By NBF News

trong>•ARISE Africa Fashion Week opens today in SA

By Tokunbo Adedoja, 06.12.2009
R&B superstar and one of the world's most influential producers, R.Kelly, will be jetting into Africa for the first time ever to perform at the prestigious THISDAY Music Festival 2009 in South Africa's Sun City Super Bowl and Grand West Casino in Cape Town on June 27 and 29, 2009.

This, however, will be preceded by a Command Performance at the ARISE Africa Fashion Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa on June 20, 2009 where the platinum-selling artiste will be the star attraction.

R.Kelly is expected to proceed to Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria from July 3 – 5, 2009 and to London for his first show in the United Kingdom in eight years at the Wembly Arena, London on July 8, 2009.

According to a tour schedule of the influential artiste released last night by ARISE Magazine, which is organizing the shows, R.Kelly will be performing at the grand finale of THISDAY Music Festival 2009 as part of the multi-city tour.

The THISDAY Music Festival, conceived in Africa but increasingly taking the world of entertainment to new levels, will have several African acts sharing the world's stage with the music icon.

R.Kelly said: “I'm very excited about my first visit to Africa. I've dreamed about this for a long time and it's finally here.  It will be one of the highlights of not only my career but my life. And I can't wait to be back in the UK to perform live for my fans there -who have been some of the best in the world.”

THISDAY Entertainment Division, THISDAY LIVE, is internationally renowned for the music and fashion festivals it has hosted since 2006 in Lagos, Abuja, London and Washington, DC.

Some of the biggest names in music and fashion have participated, many for the first time in Africa, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, John Legend, Rihanna, Usher, Christina Aguilera, Shakira, Seal, P. Diddy, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Tyson Beckford, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede and many more.

For the past 14 years, THISDAY LIVE has produced the THISDAY Awards, which celebrates good governance in Nigerian business and politics, recognizing outstanding leadership in banking, oil, government and other categories.

Many of the world's greatest leaders in business and politics have come to Nigeria to speak and participate in these awards including former US President Bill Clinton, former US Secretaries of State, Dr Henry Kissinger and General Colin Powell, former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and Jeb Bush.

Others included Howard Dean, former Prime Minister of France, Dominic De Villepin, former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, Donna Brazile, Karl Rove, Steve Forbes, Larry Summers and many more.

This summer's event is set to be no exception with further acts to be announced soon by ARISE Magazine.

Meanwhile, ARISE African Fashion Week will open today in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The organisers of fashion week have confirmed the participation of over 51 of the best African fashion designers from at least 20 countries and all regions of the continent at the event.

According to a release last night, the fashion week will climax with ARISE Africa Fashion Awards on Saturday, June 20 at the Pavilion Room of the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Dozens of fashion collections from across Africa are to be showcased at the event.

Also, it has emerged that at the fashion week one designer will bag the once-in-a-lifetime chance to showcase collections at the New York Fashion Week in the ARISE Africa Rising show coming up in September.

A world-class launching pad for the continent's most promising designers, ARISE Africa Fashion Week is being organised by ARISE Magazine in conjunction with African Fashion International (AFI).

A panel of fashion insiders and experts will present awards to designers and models in several categories including Designer of the Year, New Face of the Year and an Award for Innovation.

Prominent humanitarian, philanthropist and former First Lady of France Cecilia Attias will deliver the keynote address on the theme “The Promise of Africa.”

Recently, Attias founded the Cecilia Attias Foundation to support non-governmental organizations in the area of improvement of women's lives globally.

ARISE Magazine founder and Chairman, THISDAY Group, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, said of the event last night: “The moment for Africa is upon us. At this time of global economic crisis, the people of Africa must turn disadvantage into opportunity and show the world that we are witnessing the first green shoots of the emerging African century. We have all it takes and we're going for it!”

Also, founder of Africa Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Awards Precious Moloi-Motsepe said: “Our goal is to promote and recognize the best of African fashion talent on a global scale and the ARISE Africa Fashion Awards is a further step towards fulfilment of this goal.”

Obaigbena and Moloi-Motsepe will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to a surprise honouree at the awards ceremony.

THISDAY Music and Fashion Festivals have brought music and fashion icons as well as world and business leaders to Lagos, Abuja, London and Washington, D.C., including former US President Bill Clinton, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Usher and many more.

ARISE Africa Fashion Week is being launched at a unique moment in history.

US First Lady Michelle Obama's preference for young, multicultural designers, European fashion houses' rage for African motifs and Italian Vogue's recent best-selling issue on black style all point to an unprecedented opportunity for African designers.

The ARISE Africa Fashion Awards will train the spotlight on the source of all these inspiration, Africa, and will provide a platform from which its gifted designers can launch international careers and businesses.

ARISE Africa Fashion Week is set to become an annual event hosted by different countries on the continent each year following 2010, with Nigeria expected to host the event in 2011.

The organizers of the fashion week are confident that it will become one of the world's must-attend fashion event.

ARISE Magazine
Launched in February 2009, ARISE is the world's first magazine on global African style, culture, business and politics. The all glossy magazine which celebrates the best of Africa is produced in London and is published by THISDAY Media Group and Leaders & Company Ltd, one of Africa's leading daily news outlets.

ARISE is aimed at a readership throughout the global African Diaspora with an interest in the cultural successes and positive social developments coming out of the continent.

African Fashion International (AFI)
African Fashion International (AFI) owns and operates the continent's most anticipated and directional fashion weeks namely Cape Town Fashion Week, Durban Fashion Week (50% ownership), Audi JoBurg Fashion Week (autumn/winter), JoBurg Fashion Week (spring/summer) and Arise Africa Fashion Week in addition to other fashion-related strategic marketing initiatives.

AFI values key company traits of excellence, innovation, transformation, development, relationship building and integrity.

AFI strives to be globally recognized as the leading authority on African fashion-related strategic marketing initiatives and African fashion brands.