On Saturday,20TH February 2016,the sleepy town of Rumuodani came alive as it witnessed one of the biggest events ever in the community. It was the grand wedding ceremony of star actress Monalisa Chinda who tied the knot traditionally with her heart throb, Victor Coker in grand style. The carnival like event which took place at the bride’s home community in Rumuodani Obio Akpo LGA, Port Harcourt converged dignitaries and celebrities from all walks of life, with all the trappings of the rich wedding culture of a Rivers bride. City people Head of Movie Desk VIVIAN ONUORAH brings you gist from the star studded event.
ABOUT THE COUPLE
The good looking groom Victor Tonye Coker is half Sierreleonan and half Delta State Kwale, the Siereleon who are descendants in Bonny. He is a prominent figure in Port Harcourt, he hails from the highly influential Coker Dynasty but spent most of his years in Germany where he schooled and lives till date. He currently shuttles between Nigeria and Germany. The pretty bride Monalisa Chinda is one of the A list actresses in Nollywood .She is also the brain behind the popular You& I With Monalisa TV show and Arise Monalisa Foundation. They are both from Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
THEIR LOVE STORY
For the light skinned beauty and her prince charming, their friendship started several years ago as teenagers. We gathered the bride first met her husband while she was 14years old but then they were just family friends and his sister happened to be her childhood best friend. They lost contact and several years after, they finally met again last year November, the rest they say is history. They held their introduction in December, 28th precisely.
THE PRE WEDDING CEREMONY
Not many know that the screen diva Monalisa comes from a royal family, she is the daughter of Late Eze Anoro Chinda, hence the ceremony had all the trappings of a true Port Harcourt bride. Prior to the event proper, the bride was adorned in a full Ikwerre attire as she was escorted to her ancestral home to visit some women and families. They engaged in some cooking and dancing pre marriage rites, after which she retired to prepare for the big ceremony.
A WHITE AND GOLD AFFAIR
The venue of the event was scheduled to be at her family home but owing to the large turnout of guests, the venue was shifted to a large field at the Rivers State Television where 3 huge white& yellow tents were mounted. The arena was beautifully transformed into a heaven with gold drappins, chandeliers, flowers and all. The round table sitting arrangement had all tables and chairs covered in gold or white colours. The beautiful decoration was a sight to behold. On each table were assortment of various drinks and the VIP section was well barricaded, with security personnel scattered at different vantage positions. Also mounted at the entrance and round the venue were security personnel who tried to curtail the onlookers gathered to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.The dominant colour for the day was gold and all guests turned out in different complimenting gold outfits and scarves, creating a very beautiful ambience.
THE PRETTY BRIDE DAZZLED IN 3 TRADITIONAL ATTIRES
For her day, the beautiful actress employed the services of one of the biggest celebrity stylists in Lagos, Ezinne Chinkata and her overall ensemble attest that she did make a perfect choice. She dazzled in 3 different traditional attires, the first was a multi colour Ikwere attire with a sash over her shoulder, and same pattern wrapper worn on her waist. Her little brides including her 8 year old daughter ,were also adorned in similar outfits. That was the first dress she wore to greet the council of chiefs and other villagers. The second outfit which was the first real traditional attire for a real princess comprised of beaded hat,Popo ,Kente with her neck adorned in heavy corals. The blouse was designed by popular Lagos designer House of Maufechi.The third outfit was a beaded off shoulder red blouse worn on an expensive bejewelled judge wrapper .She complimented the look with a beaded hat and corals.
AND PORTHARCOURT CITY STOOD STILL
It was indeed a very grand event as the bubbly city of Port Harcourt stood still for Monalisa. The River State TV venue that served as the event venue was filled with friends, family and many Port Harcourt top shots. It took the help of the security officers keep the mammoth crowd in check. The moment the bride arrived the venue to make her first appearance, sheers of excitement rented the air especially from fans gathered around the venue. She was accompanied by her friends who were all clad in gold outfits, they went round to greet all guests and her in laws and retired to change to her last outfit to search for her husband. At the final entry, she was also accompanied by her friends who led her to the council of elders to receive her cup of drink, and the search for her husband commenced .When she found her husband, she knelt and presented the drink, then led him back to the council of chiefs who poured another cup of drink to be presented her brother Prince Gabriel Anoro Chinda who represented her late dad, and then another drink which they presented to her for her mother Dame Franca Comfort Chinda who prayed for them and finally,her father in Law Chief Jimmy Coker, he also prayed for them. The next activity was the cutting of the cake witnessed by her mum, brother,star actress Liz Benson,Hilda Dokubo,Segun arinze and few others.After the cutting of the cake,the couple took to the stage .It was another spectacular view as crisp naira notes filled the arena and at some point, the couple seemed to be swimming in them. The event no doubt had a lot of PH big boys and they sprayed the couple endlessly.She was later handed over to the Cokers.
THE GROOM’S FREINDS FLEW IN FROM GERMANY
The groom looked dashing in his ash colour traditional outfit complemented with a designed matching cap and shoe, a walking stick. His looks and charisma reflects the fact that he has a rich pedigree. He arrived in the company of his friends who all flew in from Amsterdam and Germany where he is based. They all settled for the Good luck Jonathan Signature trad attire with hats, and the same style of outfit dominated the event.
LOVE FROM RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT
The event had a huge presence of the River State Government, as many commissioners and State House members stormed the event. The Governor was ably represented by his Chief of Staff Emeka Woke and they were very visible at the ceremony. It was very easy to identify their sitting position with the heavy presence of armed men scattered around .There was free flow of assorted drinks , expensive wines and assorted delicacies for all, they were obviously well taken care of.
CHEIF DUMO LULU BRIGGS WAS PRESENT
Among the dignitaries who graced the glamorous event was Chief Dumo Owukori Lulu Briggs, a lawyer, businessman and frontline Rivers State-born politician. He arrived in grand style and was a centre of attraction. He looked great in his native attire and did enjoy every part of the event as he was seen chatting happily with some friends.
STAR ACTRESS LIZ BENSON HONOURS THE BRIDE
Renowned actress Liz Benson Ameye showed love to the bride who is also an actress. The highly respected actress turned Evangelist flew into Port Harcourt to support one of her own .She is one gorgeous movie star whose beauty never wanes, irrespective of her age. Her glowing skin radiated in her all gold traditional attire and gold scarf. Liz also played a key role at the party as she surpervised the cutting of the cake,afterwhich she prayed for the coupe.
ABOUT VETERAN ACTRESS HILDA DOKUBO’S LOVE FOR MONALISA
Veteran actress Hilda Dokunbo was among the movie stars who stormed the ceremony. The Port Harcourt born actress who was a commissioner during the Peter Odili government ,played a very supportive role at the ceremony. Dressed in gold ,she officially observed the cutting of the cake and showered the couple with a lot of good wishes
SOki Graham Douglas & Wife partied with the couple
Port Harcourt Billionaire SOki Graham Douglas and his pretty wife also attended the event and they were very supportive.Asides playing a key role during the ceremony, they also hosted the couple to an elaborate after wedding party that had a lot of high profile guests in attendance.
MEET THE COUPLE’S PARENTS
The bride’s family all stood out at the ceremony and her late dad Eze Anoro Chinda was represented by his son Prince Gabriel Anoro Chinda. The bride’s mum Dame Franca Comfort Chinda was indeed the happiest mother of the day and she was seen beaming with smiles all through the event. Other family members of the bride were fully present from her siblings, uncles and aunts. For the groom ,he hails from a prominent Coker family in Port Harcourt hence the Coker family was well represented. Led by his dad Chief Jimmy Coker, a lot of the Coker family members graced the event in a big way. Many came from different places like from Bonny,Calabar,Sierreleon, Lagos and even outside the country, to be part of the ceremony.From their candour, it is obvious the bride is well loved by her new family.
LOVE FROM NOLLYWOOD
It was an array of Nollywood stars at the wedding, and they all glittered in gold. Their presence no doubt caused a stir and they stepped out looking very glamorous. The likes of Ibinabo Fiberesima,Oge Okoye, Mary Uranta,Ebube Nwagbo,Daniella Okeke among several others. These screen divas were the cynosure of all eyes at the event. Also in attendance were some of the most respected movie stars in Nollywood, Segun Arinze,ZIk Zulu ,Lancelot Immasuen.