I played a Nigerian Bride In #TheBiggestWeddingShoot Ever

Okay!!! For those of you who follow me on social media, you might have seen my post about my new hobby – modelling. I played the role of the bride in the #BiggestWeddingShootEver, directed by the incredibly talented stylist and jeweler, Gbenga Artsmith, in collaboration with a number of other fabulous vendors (full list below). It even got featured on Bella Naija today.  Mama, I am arriving gradually 🙂 

I think I'd make a gorgeous bride *blush*
I think I’ll make a gorgeous bride *blush*

I have gotten numerous congratulatory messages and phone calls from people I know and people who I have not even spoken to in ages. I am gladly accepting the congratulations and keeping them for the not-so-distant future when it will be actually real. (Baba God, pick up, pick up!)

Disclaimer: I only met the ‘groom’ on the day of the photoshoot, and I have not seen him since then. He was so shy (hahahahaha) but he did a great job. I have newfound respect for actors. Playing make believe is not the easiest job in the world.

Kemi O takes on modelling

Pretending to be sooo happy! Lol
Pretending to be sooo happy! Lol

Why did I do the shoot? I could not let an opportunity to play dress up and get a free photoshoot pass me by, lol. Okay, I kid. I did it because I thought it would be interesting to express a different side of me, the side that likes to act. I did because I was trying to keep my dream alive.

You see, I have always had a love for drama – not TV, but stage. I am called a drama queen every now and again by my close friends. Right from my primary school days, I have always been a member of the drama and arts club. The only person that could see right through my acting back then was my Mum. Mama Kemi for CIA President.

In secondary school, I continued my acting career with the high point being when I played the leading role as Ogwoma in Zulu Sofola’s ‘Wedlock of the gods’. (Fun fact: Zulu Sofola is the first published female playwright from Nigeria). I remember spending my entire mid-term break rehearsing my lines. I remember falling ill with a fever the day of the performance and how I insisted on going on stage regardless. I remember how the fever disappeared as soon as I got on stage and I remember the feeling of fulfillment that overwhelmed me as the curtains fell (okay, they were manually drawn by my classmates) and the audience gave a deafening round of applause. I think I cried sef. Yes, I am one of those people who cry when they are too happy for words!

Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes, feeling like a Princess

I am not sure what happened in University but between classes, tutorials, planning and executing events and trying to look good for the boys (just keeping it real, hehe), I managed to act only once in the 4 years I spent there.

After graduation, in a bid to keep the acting dream alive, I joined an independent theatre house called ‘Dream Play House’ (Ifeanyi Dibia, where are you?). We had big plans and several scripts lined up but between work and life, I managed not to get on stage. In 2010, we worked on a play called “To Love a Ghost” written by Ita Hozaife, but the closest I got to getting on stage was hosting the red carpet interviews. Close enough, NOT!

On the red carpet with Ita Hozaife
On the red carpet with Ita Hozaife

When I realized I might not get on stage anytime soon, I decided to continue to fan the flames of that dying dream by indulging in watching plays at Terra Kulture at least once a month. I don’t even want to calculate how much I have spent on theatre viewings. I remember saving up to watch Lion King on Broadway, Fela on Broadway, and other shows. I am always the first person to go and watch a musical (Saro, Waka, etc) or any other plays showing in Lagos. Every time I sit in the audience at such shows, I am inspired and reminded of my dream to be on stage.  I am not on stage yet – but I will get there. In the meantime though, I know that my life is a stage and everyday I am given the gift of life, I have the opportunity to play any character that I want. I could be Kemi the Consultant, Kemi the Ajala Traveller, Kemi the Aspiring Dancer, Kemi the Coach, Kemi the Writer, and now, Kemi the Model.

This is not my real face, lol
This is not my real face, lol
One of my first attempts at modelling -circa 2012
One of my first attempts at modelling -circa 2012

This photoshoot was my attempt to revive that dream of being on stage. An attempt to rekindle the flames of acting. I figured playing the role of a bride would be quite challenging as I had never been one before. The shoot was fun and it was quite a challenge too. Try looking happy to be with someone you have only just met. Try smiling when your ears hurt like crazy from the pain of gele. Try being joyful when you can imagine your mother’s voice asking you ‘’ta ni eleyi’ (who  is this? ) as she sees the pictures on Instagram (yup, Mama Kemi is on Instagram o, hehehehehe). Try giving the photographer a genuine smile for the 50th time. I really had to overcome my shyness, my fear of what people would say and the random congratulatory messages,  and just give the shoot my best shot! And I think I slayed it, if I must say so myself.

Suffering and smiling
Suffering and smiling

Do you have any dreams that are comatose, lying low or dead? I don’t think dreams die, they might have been asleep for a looong time but they don’t die. Fan the flames of your dreams today. Whatever it takes, keep your dreams alive. Keep your eye on the prize, don’t let your dream die. Step by step, little by little, poco a poco, you will get there. 

Cheers,

Kemi

Credits:

1st outfit: Asooke @ceomaniaalasooke, Makeup @doyinadunfe, Jewelry/Styling @gbengaartsmith, Photography @raremagic_gallery Event decoration @lavishbymichelleevents

Second outfit by @teethreads, Fabric from @remio.fabrics, Lemon green asooke gele @depeju_tribesasooke

p.s – I now know that I will not wear 2 geles (head-ties) on my wedding day. The pain I felt when the second gele was being tied was deep. I didn’t know when I started crying. I wonder how all these brides do it and still smile and look happy. Respect!

p.p.s – Photoshoots take forever!!!!! Why???

p.p.s – No more free photoshoots o! Henceforth, I will be accepting payments in cash and goods. Thank you!

Published by

Kemi O

Explorer. Happy Woman.

47 thoughts on “I played a Nigerian Bride In #TheBiggestWeddingShoot Ever”

  1. As always, you inspire me…. Every Comatose dream in my life , Oya awake by fire , lol…..

    Keep at it dear …

    P.s… I bless God daily for my new found twin !!!!!!!! Yaaaaay

  2. Excellent post! For me, this is inspiration to fan the flames of some comatose dreams. The way you write sha. I went from “Eheen” to “okay” to “ha” to “Hahahaha” to “o tio” to “niceeeee one” to “awesome” to “hmmmm, Word(drops prophets offering. Lol)” to “oro lo so yen o”. Thanks for the push. God keep blessing u.

  3. Another wonderful article babes… Keep inspiring!!!! And you slayed it in all your pictures. Many more opportunities to follow! 😄✌🏼️😄

  4. Gorgeous pictures. You slayed every look. You are indeed full of talent. God epp me o, I need to find my own talent abi interests (ansa my call o)…Can’t continue like dis na

  5. Aunty K,
    Thank you for always inspiring me with your write ups and it has taught me never to give up on my dreams no matter how long it might take

  6. My darling Kemi, you’re such an inspiration! Big things indeed come in small packages often (I am not calling you small o 😀) I am indeed inspired to fan the embers of my comatose dream (writing) I have procrastinated for far too long. I couldn’t stop laughing at the “ta le leyi” part 😂 I could just picture iya Kemi’s face and tone while viewing the picture on IG (epic) the pictures make me look forward to the D-day. You’ll make a smashing bride, even with the “gele” torturing and tormenting you! Love you sis and keep shining.

  7. You are amazing Kemi….I actually use you as a point of contact when praying for my daughter…Yes! Love love your post…love love love the amazing woman you are; and to think the best is yet to come….

  8. LOL, Love this post!!!
    Thanks for the tip, only one gele when that time comes, hehehe.
    I definitely agree with you that dreams don’t die, I believe that they will become a reality in due time and each gift, talent, passion will have it’s season of manifestation.
    You made a Great Model, the pictures are Beautiful 🙂

    Tuke’s Quest

  9. Nice one kemi dearie. U slayed! I am motivated and awake! And o yes, u sure will make a gorgeous bride soonest babes..Bravo!!!

  10. Ok I didn’t know u well enough b4 Insead but i thk the school has brought out the best in u which I love so much.
    Same happened to a friend of mine who went there years ago- is it in d water or so lol.

    Love love love ur posts. Keep them coming and keep exploring- happy woman😍

  11. I had one of the most stressful day of my life today that I felt I won’t be able to read out my name. Surprisingly I found my self reading all of this. Bad ass story teller. Thumbs up

    1. Heyyyyy!! Here comes the ‘groom’!! Thanks for reading and commenting despite how exhausted you were. Hope you’re well?

  12. oh Kemi, first of all you looked stunning and i have(had) no doubt that you’ll be a beautiful bride. Secondly, i like the way you truly live your dreams somehow… that’s so encouraging and i’m spurred to action. God bless you dearie.

  13. @dreams not dying – Very true, Kemi, very true! I’m in that level of my life where I am reviving my “old love & passion”. And this time I’m going to ensure it NEVER dies!
    You slayed it with the photo shoots jare! I’m over proud of you jor! 😄✌🏼 As for the ‘fake’ hubby, the really one is around the corner, honey. The Lord has picked up your call *wink* Just ni suru…🙂

  14. Kemorra my baby girl, you are always an inspiration. Blessed is the man who God has prepared to have such an amazing beauty n brain .You are indeed a rare gem and a shinning star .

  15. Nice lovely sweet beautiful aweesssooommmeeee. You write so well you love mama kemi like the air you breathe and you have a huge sense of humor. Eku ishe oluwa

  16. Such ecstatic moment! Keeping dreams alive can be such a task in this world. Good to know you have not giving up on your dreams. Guess I should begin to rekindle mine.

    Lovely write up!

    Thanks my soon to be ‘coach’.

  17. We live in the part of the world where it seems almost impossible to live out our dreams as we are almost choked up with white collar jobs in the quest for survival but you have managed to live out yours just keep keeping it real.your big day and moment is around the corner.you are beautiful.

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