Nikki Billie Jean and All Things Ankara presents a Tiwa Savage 49-99-inspired campaign bringing awareness to the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria and the poor economic condition of Nigerians, Africans, and Africans in the diaspora endure with police brutality.
Releasing the Tiwa Savage 49-99-inspired campaign Halloween 2020, was the perfect time to raise more awareness and create more dialogue around a movement that deserves attention.
49-99 is a phrase coined by Fela Kuti in his 1978 hit song, “Shuffering and Shmiling”. The song and the popular phrase refer to the hard life many Nigerians endure. 49-99 references a transit bus, known in Nigeria as a molué, which originally seats a maximum of (49 passengers), but often has twice that number (99 passengers). This is a direct reflection of the poor economic conditions predominant in Nigeria. It also shows the economic growth imbalance with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
During her 49-99 London listening party last year, Tiwa said:
“I wanted my first global single to have a message that we are suffering and smiling, and music is a powerful tool. I wanted a title that could be a conversation starter. The song encourages the young to put down the sense of inheritance and work for what they desire in life, for a better tomorrow. We can’t sit on our old glories and expect things to change for the better.”
Tiwa Savage’s “49-99” music video currently has 11 million views and counting on YouTube and two nominations for the 2020 UK Music Video Awards. She has a UK Music Video Awards nomination for Best Styling in a Video and Best R&B/Soul Video – International.
Tiwa Savage has also seen the campaign with her reaction on Twitter saying,
“It must have taken so much to re-create this. Truly appreciate it. Thank you! ” and Instagram saying “Brilliant”. by Tiwa Savage (@TiwaSavage) October 31, 2020.
49-99 Tiwa Savage Inspired Campaign
The campaign is a remake of Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 music video originally directed by Meji Alabi of JM Films and a single cover originally photographed by TSE. The campaign focuses on the scenes when Tiwa and the group of women wore blue and white-collar dress uniforms while rocking threaded hairstyles, black shades, counting naira, and working as seamstress sewing Ankara fabrics in a factory.
The blue dresses with threaded hairstyles are a direct reference from the iconic portraits called Congo High, Class of ’72. The series of portraits are of protestant secondary school girls in Mbandaka, the Democratic Republic of Congo photographed by Eliot Elisofon in 1972.
The campaign was executed by talented African and Caribbean creatives from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Haiti. The campaign was produced and creatively directed by Nikki Billie Jean, Nicolette Orji (@nikkibilliejean) alongside co-creative director Troy Massa (@firstname.lastname@example.org). The project was managed by Sia Jas, Jasmine Ngegba (@sia.jas) (@sia.mgmt) with assistance from Sir Niick, Nicholas Orji (@sirniick).
The campaign photos were photographed by Tayo Jr., Tayo Kuku Jr. (@tayojr), and the campaign video was filmed by Wale Olawoyin of Champion Studio (@waletheceo) (@championstudio). Behind-the-scenes photos were captured by Nayo A Photography, Nayo Ayegbajeje (@nayoaphoto), and the behind-the-scenes video was captured by Shot by Tife, Boluwatife Owolawi (@shotbytife) (@real_tife).
The behind-the-scenes interview was conducted by Ayo Omolewa from One Tribe Magazine (@onetribemag) (@thetribeguy). The campaign was shot at Dotun Ayodeji’s The LightSource Company photography/videography studio (@thelightsourcecompany) (@dotunayodeji).
The campaign includes Nigerian models who are some of the top influencers in the African fashion and entertainment industry. The campaign features fashion designer, director, stylist, campaign producer, and event producer Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean), Miss Nigeria USA 2020 Funmike Lagoke (Funke Lagoke) (@funke.lagoke), fashion model Adeyanju Adeleke (YanjuSoFine) (@yanjusofine_), fashion model Gloria Nnaji (African Glow) (@africanglow), fashion model Modupe Oluwalade (The Dupester) (@thedupester) and fashion model Jessica Soares (Life of Jessica) (@thelifeofjessica).
The costumes were fashion directed, designed, and styled by Nikki Billie Jean (Nicolette Orji) (@nikkibilliejean) with on-set assistant styling from Kerla Pamphile (@kerlamarie_). The dresses, glasses, earrings & sandals were provided by the Nikki Billie Jean Shop (@shopnikkibilliejean). Ankara fabrics were provided by the All Things Ankara Shop (@shopallthingsankara).
The hair was styled by Aggie Hair (@aggie_hair) (@aggie_nes) & Princess Abrafi Sakyi (@byprincessabrafi) (@princessabrafi). The makeup was done by Touched by Ju Artistry, Juliannah Adeoye (@juliannahjulyance) (@touchedbyjuartistry), Dupe’s On The Beat, Modupe Victoria (@dupesonthebeat), Glam by Gilda, Gilda Safowaa (@glambygilda_) Yinx Beat, Yinka Ajeigbe (@yinxbeat) (@yinka.loves) and Salewa Ojo (@salewaojo).
Nikki Billie Jean & All Things Ankara
Nikki Billie Jean (Nicolette Orji) is a Nigerian-American editor-in-chief, fashion designer, fashion director, fashion stylist, creative director, campaign producer, and event producer. She is of Yoruba-Igbo descent and from Maryland based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
In 2012, Nikki launched All Things Ankara, a go-to source and a multifaceted Ankara print fashion and entertainment brand, consisting of an online publication, online shop, online marketplace, and special events.
Nikki has worked with celebrities and influencers such as Jidenna, Cardi B, Yemi Alade, Akon, Cynthia Bailey, Nadia Buhari, Gizelle Bryant, Mame Adjei, DJ Tunez, Sky Landish, Ronke Raji, and Izzy Odigie.
Nikki Billie Jean and All Things Ankara are most known for their viral Ankara print-inspired fashion campaigns, such as the one featuring Jidenna for All Things Ankara Ball 2015.
For more info go to: nikkibilliejean.com/49-99
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