The Angolan capital Luanda has knocked Hong Kong off the top spot in an annual survey by Mercer Consulting that ranks the cost of living for expatriate workers in world cities.
Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria is ranked 29th and is not even among the top five African cities that are very expensive.
According to Reuters, the survey found the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment suitable for expatriates in Luanda was £4,800 ($6,055) per month, while a fast food hamburger meal priced at £11.50.
It was the second time in three years that Luanda topped the survey, which compares the costs of housing, transport and clothing in 209 cities.
While Luanda rose, all UK cities fell significantly in this year’s rankings which were released on Wednesday, with 30th-ranked London dropping 13 places from 2016.
The survey, conducted by global consulting firm Mercer, suggested that the country’s vote to leave the European Union had played a role in the drop by causing the value of sterling to fall.
For those in the market for a cheaper expatriate experience, the survey found the least expensive cities are Tunis, ranked 209th, followed by Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek and Skopje in Macedonia.
1. LUANDA, Angola
2. HONG KONG
3. TOKYO, Japan
4. ZURICH, Switzerland
6. SEOUL, South Korea
7. GENEVA, Switzerland
8. SHANGHAI, China
9. NEW YORK, U.S.
Grace Ibironke Ojo is the Creative Director of Grazee stitches, Principal partner at Gramatino Nigeria Limited and the founder of Face of Hope Foundation. She is an award winning fashion designer, model, media consultant and entrepreneur. In this interview with TMG, she bares her mind on what it takes to be a designer.
TMG>Tell us more about yourself and what you do>
Grace> I was born on 29th September, in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi state into the family of Engr. & Mrs. M.I Ojo of Isan-Ekiti , Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti state. I hold Master’s degrees, in Public Policy and Administration and another in Peace and Conflict Resolution, a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and an Advanced Diploma in Public Policy and Administration.
Grazee Stitches is a fashion House that produces simple but stylish bespoke and ready-to-wear for men, women and children. The blend of African/Western design remains our topmost concern. We also have an academic arm that teaches theoretical and practical techniques in projecting and making fashion creations.
TMG> How long did you nurse the dream of becoming a fashion designer before it became a reality?
Grace> Surprisingly, I never nursed the feelings, neither did I ever think I will end up being a designer. Everything you see now happened based on God’s purpose and for a purpose in my life. I learnt how to sew playfully and maybe because I love to explore. I accompanied some of my friends to their tailor during my undergraduate days and I picked up a conversation/gist with the tailor and jokingly told him I will like to learn how to sew. He encouraged me to come and that was how I registered with him as an apprentice. I went for my tailoring apprenticeship class whenever I was done with lectures for the day.
I have always loved seeing people looking well dressed and I also love dressing up people to look good, but never thought I will end up in the business of making clothes to make people look good.
TMG> What is your area of interest: designing or tailoring or both?
Grace> Both are my areas of interest but designing supersedes tailoring for me.
TMG> Did you go to a professional school to acquire the skills and what credentials did you earn through the program?
Grace> Yes. Apart from the training I had as an apprentice, I attended a standard fashion school. I have a certificate in fashion designing and garment construction.
TMG> Did your family raise any objections to your aspirations from the beginning?
Grace> No, they didn’t. They only wondered, knowing that my desires were to be a newscaster and most importantly a professor.
TMG> What type of clients do you cater for-men/women; old/young? Nigerians or Western?
Grace> We cater for the old, the young, men and women. Our designs are styled after African-western inspired designed for stylish and classy individuals who want to look good without much effort.
TMG> Which type of clothes do you find easier to market: ready-to-wear or bespoke/custom designed wears?
Grace> I’ll say for now that the bespoke designs are easier to market. Prior to now, it had been a herculean task to get Nigerians to embrace designed and made in Nigeria ready-to-wear clothing. However, things are changing. Now, I see better and high possibilities of marketing more of our ready-to-wear, which we are presently working on.
TMG> Tell us about the very first outfit you designed and sewed: Was it for you? What were people’s comments about it and how did it make you feel?
Grace> My first outfit was designed and sewed three weeks into my apprenticeship for my little niece. Though it was only my family members and few friends that saw it, they were very impressed and happy for me. I felt good too and it made me do more.
TMG>What inspires your designs?
Grace> My ideas often spring out fully formed in quiet and serene places, around nature, and most times during sermon in church.
When it comes to my designs, I get inspired by the pattern on the fabric which I want to work with. The designs or creative works of other people also inspire me a lot.
I’m also inspired by colors of the fabric, the environment of display of the finished design and also the body shape of the person wearing it.
TMG> What do you do to stay educated about new trends?
Grace> Google is there to always keep one updated. So, I always search for new trends on the internet, check out fashion shows where most of the new trends emerge and keep to date on fashion and fashion-related posts and fashion icons.
TMG> Have you participated in any fashion show and what other achievements have you had so far?
Grace> Yes, we have participated in several National and International fashion shows such as: Emirati Fashion show, Nigeria Fashion week, African Fashion Week Nigeria, African Fashion Week London, Abuja Writers Forum Fashion Show, and the Grazee Stitches fashion show. Our outfits were also featured on the runway in Miss Democracy pageantry (held in Abuja), Face of Fashion Africa, African Designers Concert’s Clash of Fashion and Beauty and Fashion for breast cancer Awareness.
We were recently hosted by the German Ambassador to Nigeria in a Fashion Show organized by the Embassy and I was also invited as celebrity designer to the 2016 Osun/Oshogbo festival to thrill the dignitaries.
TMG> What challenges do you encounter and how do you handle them?
Grace> The major challenges are; financial wherewithal to meet production demands e.g sourcing fabrics in bulk, accessories and production consumables, erratic power supply and insufficient skilled manpower from the labor market. Thus, we have to train and re-train our workers to make them efficient. In addition, there is a need for the average customer to have a basic understanding of the properties of fabrics used, and the various stages involved in the design and sewing process, the reason being that most customers want their dresses delivered to them immediately they place the order, without going through the process of fitting and re-fitting during sewing.
TMG> Tell us about your management style and how you handle your Customers?
Grace> It will be difficult to lay a finger on a particular management style, but I think in general, a good manager gives clear directions, keeps his hands off the work, stands back to watch, but is ready and available to offer guidance, expertise and help when needed.
I am very aware of my employees; as such I ensure I’m very flexible with decision making. I delegate responsibilities to them and I get them involved in the process of making decisions so they can have a sense of belonging. I practice the laissez-faire management style most times, where I provide guidance when needed. My employees are allowed to let their own ideas and creativity flourish in their specific areas.
However, I relate in same manner with my customers. I allow them have their way with their ideas but take a professional decision having their thoughts in mind.
TMG> What do you say to other youths to encourage them?
Grace> Get as much as you can for the journey, be it knowledge, information or expertise. Be sure it’s a passion that can be driven. Be determined, focused and ultimately, involve God.
TMG> Do you socialize and when?
Grace> I love meeting people and I love interacting especially when the environment permits, though I’m naturally a shy person but can be very free and playful in an accommodating area. I don’t go on outings much but I socialize in my own way and this can be anytime.
The Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, says the Federal Government will support nine-year-old Nelson Ashinze to realise his potential as a designer.
Abubakar made the pledge during the presentation of Ashinze’s brand of designs, Nelson George Clothing, on Monday in Abuja.
She said that the young entrepreneur needed support to improve his talent.
The minister said that the ministry would ensure that Ashinze enjoyed the support of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Bank of Industry (BoI), both agencies under it.
According to her, the young entrepreneur’s company has been duly registered, adding that the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) would also assist him when his products were ready for export.
“We are going to make sure that he has the adequate training on entrepreneurship skills, we have BoI that will provide machines, when he is in need of machines, we are going to help him access loan from the bank.
“We are promoting “Made in Nigeria’’ and this is definitely a made in Nigeria initiative; so we are going to use him as one of our champions for the initiative.
“He is also promoting the cotton, textile and garment industries which again we are promoting, so we have a market for him and we are going to give him all the necessary support that he needs to ensure that he runs a successful business in Nigeria,’’ Abubakar said.
Master Nelson, the young entrepreneur, said that he discovered his talent on bow tie making in school during the craft class.
He said he came this far with the support of his parents.
His manager, Mr David Ashinze, said that the young entrepreneur was known for creative designs of handmade bow ties, pocket squares, headband and accessories with classic touch of African prints.
Ashinze said that at the age of eight in 2015, Nelson founded the Nelson George clothing where he doubles as designer and a CEO.
“Since his debut production, Nelson has been able to put his craft on runway fashion platform,’’Ashinze said.
Also speaking at the presentation, The Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibir, said that Ashinze needed not only the support of his parents, but the government as well.
“I believe that with children like this young boy, there is hope for Nigeria.
“He is an encouragement to children out there, with what he is doing; the sky is his limit.
Jibir, however, advised Nelson’s parents not to exploit him, but to encourage him.
ris Mittenaere, a 23-year-old dental student from France won the Miss Universe crown Monday in the 65th annual pageant held in Manila, the Philippines.
The model beat 85 other beauties to take the title from Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Miss Haiti, Raquel Pelissier, 25, came in the second, while Miss Colombia Andrea Tovar, 23, was placed the third. The Nigerian representative, Unoaku Anyadike, winner of the 2015 edition of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant, did not make the cut.
Mittenaere from the small town of Lille in northern France said in reply to a final question from pageant host Steve Harvey that she would be honoured if she just landed among the three finalists, but was visibly stunned when she was announced the winner among the field of 86 contestants.
She was speechless and put her hands on her face as the outgoing winner from the Philippines, Pia Wurtzbach, crowned her.
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause at the packed Mall of Asia Arena by Manila Bay.
In her profile, she said she would “advocate for dental and oral hygiene” if she takes home the crown.
In the final question to the top three finalists, the candidate were asked to cite a failure in their life and explain what they learned from the debacle.
“I’ve failed several times in my life,” Mittenaere said without elaborating but added that “when you fail, you have to be elevated and you have to try again and keep going … I have failed before but for me this is the great first opportunity.”
Miss Haiti, 25 year-old Raquel Pelissier, the runner-up was a survivor of the devastating 2010 earthquake that destroyed her hometown.
“I survived the earthquake,” Pelissier said in reply to the same question, citing the quake the Haiti government estimated to have killed more than 300,000 people and displaced more than 1.5 million others.
“I felt I was failing myself because I was not living my dreams … But I chose to be a very positive person, and learned a great lesson from it because if I am here today, it is because I am living my dreams.”
As he closed the ceremony, the American comedian host declared: “This is Steve Harvey, I got it right,” referring in jest to his mistaken announcement of Miss Colombia as the winner in the last pageant in Las Vegas more than a year ago that sparked an uproar.
*With reports by AP and Xinhua
Hi divas, welcome to another page on MUSLIM FASHION with KAFAYAT OLARINDE
Here you can discover Islam Modest wears that is trendy, fashionable and fun!
Are you tired of dull and boring Islamic traditional wears that are not in vogue and makes you look well a little dated? Keep calm this page is going to impressed you every friday.
Today, we are going to display “ESSENTIAL TOPS”:
“ESSENTIAL TOPS” is lovely and simple dress any lady will love to add to her wardrobe. This outfit can be matched with Jean trousers, accessories like wrapped veil, glasses, bronze, heel shoes etc. to give a perfect elegant look. ” ESSENTIAL TOPS” is in different designs and styles like Meka Long Tunic, Fiona Chiffon , Falisha Roll, Leah long Tunic etc. Checkout the below pictures as you have a Stress free weekend ahead.
Leaving the medical profession to pursue his talent and passion in photography is one giant leap of faith that Ademola Olaniran took years ago and not regretted nor looked back since. The accomplished CEO of ADEMOLANIRAN Photography and 2011 winner of the best Still life photo at the Nigeria Photography Awards opens up to TMG about what gave him the courage to go into a field which is gradually becoming a popular money-making venture in Nigeria.
TMG> What was the attraction to photography as a medical student?
Ademola> During my days in University I belonged to a group of extremely talented folks called the “Guys from the Booth-hood”. We had poets, artists, craftsmen, all sorts and all of us were in the department of medicine,training to become Doctors but from our second year, some of us started having issues with balancing our academics with our gifts and talents. I eventually got kicked out of medical school after spending 3 years and that really got me depressed so I stayed away from school for a while and all I could think of was art. I sketched and drew everything, I became addicted to downloading photographs of portraits, landscapes and I screen-munched a lot. I just loved to see and have amazing photos. After that, I got back into med school but this time into the department of Human Physiology, where I eventually obtained a BSC in Human Physiology from the University of Ilorin College of Medicine.
It was during my NYSC that I got a tourist Sony camera which I took with me everywhere taking pictures of any and everything.
TMG> How did you eventually get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time for a living?
Ademola> After National Service in 2008 I did a series of short courses with UNICEF, thereafter worked as a volunteer trainer with UNICEF, SFH, and AFRH. Then I got a job with Visafone Communications LTD I moved to banking in 2010. While I was in the bank I remember my boss and now very good Friend, Mr John Jatau serving me queries for browsing Photography stuff at work. I eventually bought a camera in 2011 with my Salary and the beast was unleashed. I resigned and went on my first expenditure to the Mambilla plateau (Taraba State) with an Uncle- Dr. Clement Meseko who was in search of blood samples from Warthogs in the region. The trip got us to the border between Nigeria and Cameroon and I got to take an amazing Photograph of a lantern on a window that I named “Atupa mi” little did I know that the photo was going to win the best StillLife photo of 2011 at the Nigeria Photography Awards. That opened a new Vista in my Photography journey.
TMG> Did you go to professional school to learn more about photography?
Ademola> My first professional Photography training was in 2013 Saabruken, Germany. I was the first African to be on the Prestigious PHOTOKAMP facilitated by world famous Nick Saglimbeni. It was a great experience.
I also attended JideAlakija workshop in 2013 and that was when I had the most intimate interaction with fellow Nigerian wedding photographers; these people have formed my community of photography friends.
In 2014 I was in Los Angeles California USA for PHOTOKAMP 2014
In 2015 I was in LAS VEGAS for WPPI ( Weddings and Portrait Photographers International) where I got to learn from the industry’s Crème de la crème. I met people like Joe McNally, Parker J Pfister, Jerry Ghionis, and a host of other great photographers.
TMG> What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
Ademola> Today I am in a northern city making images of young happy children whose happiness can only be seen in their eyes and smiles. Tomorrow I am in the east making images of a bride whose hand is about to be given out in marriage and she cries a whole lot. How do you tell if it’s tears of joy or sadness or a mixture of both? My pictures….uniqueness of each story keeps me wanting to do more
TMG> Which photographers influenced you and how did they influence your thinking, photography, and career path?
Ademola> Dayo Adedayo, Donald Barber, Nick Saglimbeni, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Aisha Kuta Augie, Ty Bello, Femi Adewuyi.
All the experiences I have drawn from all these people at different stages of my photography career by personally sitting with them and learning has formed the kind of photographer I have become.
TMG> Exactly what do you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
Ademola> I want to be able to tell the story of hope, of passion, pain, joy of all possible emotions and the mix of it. I want to be able to incite behavioural and societal change with the stories my pictures tell.
TMG> How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film, chip or paper in just the way you want?
Ademola> By connecting with my subject before introducing them to my camera
TMG> What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?
Ademola> I shoot with a Canon 5Dmark 3 and Nikon D750. Someday I’ll be able to afford a medium format. I would really love to own a Hasselblad Lol. the first time I shot with one, I didn’t want to let go. I use Lightroom and Photoshop
TMG> How do you get clients?
Ademola> Simple: I get called or e-mailed requesting for photography services. I request for a brief so I know the scope of work and also duration, I send my pricing, get booked and subsequently paid. Of course, not all enquiries end up in executed jobs but a couple do and I am grateful to clients that make this happen. Also, referrals have been my strongest selling point.
TMG> Are you an employer of labour or do you work alone? If yes, how many people report to you and how efficient are they?
Ademola> I run an internship where interns get integrated into the Team. I have four members on my team and they are ever talented and highly efficient. At the moment I have 6 interns.#
TMG> In case of problems, how do you manage? Do you seek for help from another professional?
Ademola> When work gets overwhelming we have a healthy network of colleagues in the industry and I have been lucky to receive as much help as I need, considering also that I am also available to reciprocate.
TMG> Would you say photography is profitable?
Ademola> Yes it is, even in the face of the economic trials we face…..our field is one of the worst hit because every piece of equipment in PHOTOGRAPHY is dependent 100% on the foreign exchange rate to Naira and you find our pricing progressively rising. It’s quite challenging really.
TMG> What do you do to stay educated about new trends?
Ademola> Self- development through trainings and studying
TMG> What are your challenges and how do you intend to handle them?
Ademola> Poor supply of Electricity is our major problem
TMG> Give us an example of someone you have trained or mentored. Where did they start and where are they now?
Ademola> One example that readily comes to mind is Mr Pilaku John. He started out as an office assistant years back and progressively started from learning to use the computer to printing photos to making photo books to taking and editing pictures. Today he is independent: he produces Photo books for a whole lot of photographers and he has been hired to shoot weddings of his own every now and then.
Another example is the very Talented Mr Samson Shobanke who also was in our internship program. He has been on Official international assignment in The Federal Republic of Ghana documenting the President of Ghana.
TMG> Tell us about an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your career.
Ademola> Winning the best StillLife photographer of the year 2011at the Nigeria Photography Awards with my photograph “Atupa mi” -My Lantern. It was the same year I started my photography career and it gave me so much fulfilment and also offered the optimism that I could aim higher.
TMG> Tell us some things that you consider to be your strengths in photography?
Ademola> My personality- I am able to connect with my client without breaking into a sweat.
Tenacity- I could go to lengths to get my photos Practice
TMG> Is there anything you would like to learn or improve upon as a photographer?
Ademola> I want to be more Adventurous with my photography
TMG> How do you manage cost? If your labour is running high with low profit, what measures do you take to control it?
Ademola> Charge Appropriately- even the woman who sells Tomatoes knows how important this is
TMG> How do you manage risk in terms of damages or loss?
Ademola> My equipments are insured and the company has been amazing. I once had a theft issue with some of my equipment and they came through for me
TMG> What way can you encourage other youths to be self-dependent?
Ademola> Working for yourself gives you the power to pay yourself and these days when the government of the day has shown they cannot afford to pay workers, Self dependence is the way to go. Find what you love doing and you would be happy getting paid to do just that
TMG> Do you socialise and when?
Ademola> Once in a blue moon! (laughs) I am almost always on the move. I attend a lot of social events but sadly, not for social purposes -it’s purely business with camera in hand.
Award-winning Nigerian singers Yemi Alade, Flavour and ‘K9’ performed live during the launch.
The host of the show, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, a former housemate who introduced the housemates said he remains one of the biggest supporters of the show.
“Ten years ago I was a housemate, today I am one of their biggest supporters,” Obi-Uchendu said.
The Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, expressed delight on their choice of the host.
“We are particularly excited to have Ebuka as host of Big Brother Naija.
“This was the platform that unearthed his potentials and propelled him to stardom.
NAN reports that every Sunday on the show, viewers are expected to witness an eviction of a housemate.
The winner of the 11-week contest will be given 25 million naira cash prize and a brand new Kia Sorento SUV car.
The series will run for 78 days and end on April 9.
NAN reports that the Big Brother Naija which was introduced in 2006, is a special Nigerian version of the continental show Big Brother Africa.
It was specially coined to suit the viewing interest of the Nigerian viewers who largely expressed displeasure over the controversial “Shower Hour” and nudity.
Among the 12 housemates who will be entertaining Nigerians are: Efe, Gifty, CoCoice, Kemen, Miyonse, Bally, Bisola, Marvis, Bally.