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 conditions Nigerians, Africans, and Africans in the diaspora endure with police brutality.
49-99 is a phrase coined by Fela Kuti in his 1978 hit song, “Shuffering and Shmiling”. The song and popular phrase refers 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.
The 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 wear blue dress white collar 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 is a direct reference from the iconic portraits called Congo High, Class of ’72. The series of portraits includes protestant secondary school girls in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo photographed by Eliot Elisofon in 1972.
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 which 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.
Releasing the Tiwa Savage 49-99-inspired campaign on Halloween, is the perfect time to raise more awareness and create more dialogue around a movement that deserves the attention.
The campaign was executed by talented African and Caribbean creatives from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Haiti. The campaign was executively produced and creatively directed by Nikki Billie Jean, Nicolette Orji (@nikkibilliejean) alongside 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 (@sir.niick).
The campaign photos were photographed by Tayo Jr., Tayo Kuku Jr. (@tayojr) and the campaign video was videographed 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 done by Ayo Omolewa from One Tribe Magazine (@onetribemag) (@thetribeguy). The campaign was shot at Dotun Ayodej’s (@dotunayodeji) photography/videography studio.
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 and producer Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean), model Adeyanju Adeleke (Yanju So Fine) (@yanjusofine_), model Gloria Nnaji (African Glow) (@africanglow), model Modupe Oluwalade (The Dupester) (@thedupester), model Jessica Soares (Life of Jessica) (@thelifeofjessica) & Miss Nigeria USA 2020 Funmike Lagoke (Funke Lagoke) (@funke.lagoke).
The costumes were designed and styled by Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean) with 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 (@shopalthingsankara).
The hair was done 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_) Yinka Ajeigbe, Yinx Beat (@yinxbeat) (@yinka.loves) & Salewa Ojo (@salewaojo).
See the behind-the photos from Nayo A Photography. Click (here) to view more.
Check out the campaign video by Champion Studio.
Get into the behind-the-scenes video by Shot by Tife.
Watch the behind-the-scenes interview video by One Tribe Magazine.
Vibe to Tiwa Savage’s 49-99 Music Video below.
Special Thanks to everyone that was apart of this shoot!
Special thanks to Timmy Ajulo for providing additional sewing machines!
Special thanks to Queensway for providing Nigerian food on set for the production team!
Here is a list of organizations you can donate to:
Producer, Director, Stylist & Designer: Nikki Billie Jean, Nicolette Orji (@nikkibilliejean)
Photographer: Tayo Jr., Tayo Kuku Jr. (@tayojr)
Videographer Assistant: Michael Ignatius (@aper_touch)
Behind The Scenes Photographer: Nayo A Photography, Nayo Ayegbajeje (@nayoaphoto)
Studio: Dotun Ayodeji (@dotunayodeji)
Fashion Director: Nikki Billie Jean, Nicolette Orji (@nikkibilliejean)
Assistant Project Manager: Sir Niick, Nicholas Orji (@sir.niick)
Models: Nicolette Orji (Nikki Billie Jean) (@nikkibilliejean), Adeyanju Adeleke (Yanju So Fine) (@yanjusofine_), Gloria Nnaji (African Glow) (@africanglow), Modupe Oluwalade (The Dupester) (@thedupester), Jessica Soares (Life of Jessica) (@thelifeofjessica) & Funmike Lagoke (Funke Lagoke) (@funke.lagoke)
Fashion Stylist: Nikki Billie Jean (@nikkibilliejean)
On-Set Assistant Wardrobe Stylist: Kerla Pamphile (@kerlamarie_)
Costume Designer & Fashion Designer: Nikki Billie Jean (@nikkibilliejean)
Dresses, Glasses, Earrings & Sandals: Nikki Billie Jean Shop (@shopnikkibilliejean)
Ankara Fabrics: All Things Ankara Shop (@shopalthingsankara)
Makeup 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)
Song: “49-99” by Tiwa Savage (@tiwasavage)
“49-99” Song Producer: Pheelz (@pheelzmrproducer)
“49-99” Music Video Art Director: ANTI (@anti.design)
“49-99” Music Video Costume Designer & Wardrobe Stylist: Daniel Obasi (@iamdanielobasi)
“49-99” Music Video Additional Wardrobe Stylist: Temitope Uduak (@uduak_)
“49-99” Music Video Assistant Wardrobe Stylist: Ajibade Narfisat Omolade (@ladestylist)
“49-99” Single Cover Photographer: TSE (@___tse)
“49-99” Music Video Hair Stylist: Chyna Bee (@who_is_chynabee)
“49-99” Music Video Make Up Artist: Artistry by Tolani, Tolani (@artistry_by_tolani)