ikki 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 and Africans as well as the police brutality endured by Africans in the diaspora.
The Tiwa Savage 49-99-inspired campaign was released for Halloween 2020, following the heat of the Lekki Massacre and of course the protests arising as a reslt of George Floyd murder. These events provided the perfect timing for the launch which focused on raising more awareness and creating more dialogue around a movement that deserves a lot of 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). Thus, 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.
In 2020, during the 49-99 listening party in London, 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 over 12 million views on YouTube, and received two nominations for the 2020 UK Music Video Awards. The mother-of-one also has a UK Music Video Awards nomination for Best Styling in a Video and Best R&B/Soul Video – International.
Reacting to the Nikki Billie Jean and All Things Ankara campaign, Savage said on Twitter: “It must have taken so much to re-create this. Truly appreciate it. Thank you!” She also took to Instagram to say, “Brilliant.”
It must have taken so much to re-create this. Truly appreciate it. Thank you ❤️?? https://t.co/ENIo17XoRx
— Tiwa Savage ⚔️ (@TiwaSavage) October 31, 2020
49-99 Tiwa Savage Inspired Campaign
The 49-99 campaign is a remake of Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 music video originally directed by Meji Alabi of JM Films and single cover originally photographed by TSE. The campaign focuses on the scenes when Tiwa and the group of women were adorned in 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.
A multi-talented team
49-99 campaign was executed by talented African and Caribbean creatives from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Haiti. It was produced and creatively directed by Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean) alongside co-creative director Troy Massa (@firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, it was managed by Sia Jas, Jasmine Ngegba (@sia.jas) (@sia.mgmt), with assistance from Sir Niick, Nicholas Orji (@sirniick). Photos were captured by Tayo Jr., Tayo Kuku Jr. (@tayojr), and the video was filmed by Wale Olawoyin (@waletheceo) of Champion Studio (@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 (@shotbytife), Boluwatife Owolawi (@real_tife). Also, interview was conducted by Ayo Omolewa from One Tribe Magazine (@onetribemag) (@thetribeguy). Finally, campaign was shot at Dotun Ayodeji’s (@dotunayodeji) The LightSource Company photography/videography studio (@thelightsourcecompany).
The campaign includes Nigerian models who are some of the top influencers in the African
fashion and entertainment industry. Featuring fashion designer, director, stylist, campaign producer, and event producer Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean), Miss Nigeria USA 2020, Funmike Lagoke (@funke.lagoke), fashion models Adeyanju Adeleke (@yanjusofine_), Gloria Nnaji (@africanglow), Modupe Oluwalade (@thedupester) and Jessica Soares (@thelifeofjessica).
Costumes were fashion directed, designed, and styled by Nikki Billie Jean (@nikkibilliejean) with on-set assistant styling from Kerla Pamphile (@kerlamarie_). All fashion items — dresses, sunglasses, earrings, and sandals — were provided by the Nikki Billie Jean Shop (@shopnikkibilliejean). Ankara fabrics were provided by All Things Ankara Shop (@shopallthingsankara).
Hair was styled by Aggie Hair (@aggie_hair) (@aggie_nes), Princess Abrafi Sakyi (@byprincessabrafi) (@princessabrafi). Makeup was done by Touched by Ju
Artistry’s (@touchedbyjuartistry) Juliannah Adeoye (@juliannahjulyance), Dupe’s On The
Beat’s Modupe Victoria (@dupesonthebeat), Glam by Gilda’s Gilda Safowaa (@glambygilda_) Yinx Beat’s 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 and Igbo descent, who hails from Maryland and 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 including artists 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.
Check out the campaign video by Champion Studio
Go behind-the-scenes with Shot by Tife
Watch the BTS interview video with One Tribe Magazine
Vibe to Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 Music Video below
Campaign Producer, Creative Director, Fashion Director, Costume Designer & Fashion Stylist: Nikki Billie Jean, Nicolette Orji (@nikkibilliejean),
All Things Ankara (@althingsankara)
Co-Creative Director: Troy Massa (@troy.massa) (@creative.troymassa )
Project Manager: Sia Jas, Jasmine Ngegba (@sia.jas) (@sia.mgmt)
Assistant Project Manager: Sir Niick, Nicholas Orji (@sir.niick)
Photographer: Tayo Jr., Tayo Kuku Jr. (@tayojr)
Videographer: Champion Studio,
Wale Olawoyin (@championstudio) (@waletheceo)
Videographer Assistant: Michael Ignatius (@aper_touch)
Behind The Scenes Photographer: Nayo A Photography,
Nayo Ayegbajeje (@nayoaphoto)
Behind The Scenes Videographer: Shot by Tife,
Boluwatife Owolawi (@shotbytife) (@real_tife)
Behind The Scenes Interview: One Tribe Magazine,
Ayo Omolewa (@onetribemag) (@thetribeguy)
On-Set Assistant Wardrobe Stylist: Kerla Pamphile (@kerlamarie_)
Dresses, Glasses, Earrings & Sandals: Nikki Billie Jean Shop (@shopnikkibilliejean)
Ankara Fabrics: All Things Ankara Shop (@shopalthingsankara)
Hair Stylists: Aggie Hair (@aggie_hair) (@aggie_nes)
& Princess Abrafi Sakyi (@byprincessabrafi) (@princessabrafi)
Make-Up Artists: Touched by Ju Artistry, Juliannah Adeoye (@touchedbyjuartistry) (@juliannahjulyance), Dupe’s On The Beat, Modupe Victoria (@dupesonthebeat), Glam by Gilda, Gilda Safowaa (@glambygilda_) Yinka Ajeigbe, Yinx Beat (@yinxbeat) (@yinka.loves) & Salewa Ojo (@salewaojo)
Models: Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean), Funmike Lagoke (Funke Lagoke) (@funke.lagoke), Adeyanju Adeleke (Yanju So Fine) (@yanjusofine_), Gloria Nnaji (African Glow) (@africanglow), Modupe Oluwalade (The Dupester) (@thedupester) and Jessica Soares (Life of Jessica) (@thelifeofjessica)
Studio: The LightSource Company,
Dotun Ayodeji (@thelightsourcecompany) (@dotunayodeji)
Food (On Set): Queensway Restaurant, Tunde Ogunsalu & Tinuke Ogunsalu (@queenswayfood) (@tunz_gotem) (@tinukeogunsalu)
All images courtesy of: Nikki Billie Jean
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