- All the drama, intrigues and surprises

It promised to be a star-studded event; an evening of beautiful people, lavish music, endless supply of champagne, and no-holds-barred conversations. And Champagne Conversations, which debuted in Lagos yesterday (Sunday February 27, 2011) at the Pool Side of Eko Hotels and Suites, in Lagos, more than lived up to expectations.

With a decor and ambience that made many marvel, drinks that refused to go out of supply, rich and riveting music from Shuga Band and DJ Jimmy JATT, and a community of stylish guests, the cocktail event delivered on a well promoted promise: to deliver an evening of fun and friendship. 'We took the night club out of all those enclosures and delivered a wild evening of fun right by the pool side. Such beautiful people, colorful ensembles, great music and so much to drink!' Abisoye Fagade, Principal Consultant of Sodium Brand Solutions says.

Those present to witness the epoch debut include star actresses Kate Henshaw, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Monalisa Chinda, Rukky Sanda, Annie Macauley and Najite Dede. Musicians Darey, Jaywon, Mocheddah, KSB, Goldie, Praise, Timi Dakolo, Emem Ema, TWO, Femi Adeyinka, Essence, Djinee, also spent the evening soaking up the fun. Other notable guests include: Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, ChiChi Nwoko, Denrele, Olisa Adibua, Yinka Oyedeji, Michelle Dede, Bolanle Okhiria, Gbenga Adeyinka (1st), Tee A, Segun Demuren, Jide Adediran, Toolz, Joke Jaiyesimi, Kingsley James, Tamilore Kuboye,Ayo Animashaun, Misi Molu, Dola Bamgboye, Cherry Eromosele, Emamoke Ogoro, Steve Babaeko, Bayo Omisore, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, AY, Cecil Hammond, and Linda Ikeji.

The evening's host Darey (who also anchored a special Chat Arena) joined Akin Shuga and Jummy JATT as the souls of the night, as guests mingled freely, while downing glass after glass of Champagne and various Champagne-based cocktails. Meeting and mingling with old and new contacts was not a problem, as specially-trained 'Conversation Starters' moved round endlessly, linking up guests and breaking all conversation barriers.

'I had so much fun, it should be illegal', a guest said while leaving the gig. Many admitted to making new friends; getting long-sought business appointments. Some just drank and danced, rocking away the night without any bother - fully aware that Monday was just a few hours away...

And everyone was shocked, when an argument went out of hand and a well-dressed gentleman landed in the pool. Those present say star OAP Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi and PFWA alumnus Praiz were joking and arguing about the floating technique that sustained the giant-sized Champagne in the pool all evening. Praiz, who's apparently a regular swimmer, was taking Gbemi through the details, when, encouraged by standers-by, the OAP pushed Praiz into the pool. When the singer emerged seconds later, 100% wet, bottle of Champagne in hand, not many could fathom what happened. Was it an accident? Would he be upset? was it planned? Did he have a change of clothe? Would he revenge?

Praiz simply popped the huge bottle and drank away with friends (including Gbemi, who disappeared shortly after).

By the way, there were two huge bottles of Custom-made Moet and Chaddon. After Praiz recovered the one in the pool, it occured to organisers that the second bottle was nowhere to be found. It was not at the bottom of the pool; not in the coolers, and not on any table. The organisers believe it has not been consumed.

'I'm baffled too', Fagade says. 'I believe someone is up to something. It's so funny, but I have my fingers crossed'. Will the 'missing bottle show up anytime soon? before the next event? Time will tell. Other surprises of the night include charmer Ebuka showing up in a native attire, Darey's 'Bani kidi' costume which shocked many a fashion pundit, and usually solo Timi Dakolo who showed up with a glam date.

Champagne Conversations was made possible with the kind support of MTN FUNLINK. Partners include NET Newspapers (thenetng.com), BlackHouse Media Group, The Beat 99.9 FM, BELLANAIJA, Ovation, Encomium, Equally Diverse Solutions, Virtual Exchange, Digiprints, Soul Muzik, Soundcity, Speakerboxx, Hip TV, Core Media, Shuga Band, JATT INC, and AV Edge.

Although meant to be an annual event, organisers Sodium Brand Solutions say they are considering the possibilities of staging the gig more frequently.

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