Friday, November 04, 2005

More on gbosa

The pariochial consensus I've gathered so far is that Gbosa is onomatopoeiac in origin (a word which attempts to replicate the sound of the thing itself). Gbosa imitates the sound of gunfire - presumably given its use as a celebration of someone/thing, it is the verbal equivalent of a military salute (rifles/canons etc going off).

Which makes me wonder: have there ever been any films looking at British colonialism in Nigeria? It suddenly struck me that there's a whole region of interchange and transactions that have not been represented in any detailed way, in comparison to representations of British colonialism in Asia for example. Surely the life of Lugard would make a fantastic film, as would Mungo Parks' adventures a century before. Just as how the word Gbosa may have had its origins in people watching a military salute, perhaps somewhere in Lagos or Benin..

I remember seeing a film on the amazon warriors of Dahomey a couple of years ago at an African film festival in London. It was completely without cliche, beautifully shot against a grasslands backdrop - a simple story of love and loss and female soldiers controlling the peace. Then again, Sembene's Karmen Rei (or was it Gei) - a visually gorgeous rerun of the Carmen story set on Goree Island. Which reminds me of yesterday: I always want to cry or hit someone when I go to places like Virgin Megastore and peruse the DVD racks. As I was paying for some stuff at the counter, the till girl asked me if there was anything she could help me with. I said in fact there is. Don't you think its a cultural crime, especially in the context of Geldoff et al making a noise about helping Africa, that there is only ONE african dvd amongst the many thousands here (it was Abouna Our Father). She said well the films we stock here are based on demand. To which I said yes but you and i both know that demand is not a natural given, it is always created, constructed and marketed.

But of course I was pissing in the wind. One of my dreams is that one day, all the classics of African cinema will be available on DVD. My life will have failed if this doesnt happen.


Chxta 1:34 pm  

"One of my dreams is that one day, all the classics of African cinema will be available on DVD. My life will have failed if this doesnt happen."

If you eally believe that, then your life will fail!

the flying monkeys 4:32 pm  

Notwithstanding that the origins of much of what the Yoruba stand for is in various forms currently being showcased on DVD, Jeremy's dream advocates something very good, something very desirable. This is very good but easily moved web based content will be even better.

In the pipeline is another DVD titled "Ayetoro live in lagos" by Funsho Ogundipe (a yoruba and one of Nigerias contemporary producers, showcasing yoruba music in its most artistically developed stage. Check out the tune "Yoruba boys club" in a previous album Afrobeat Chronicles 1 is a classic yoruba tune).

Back to ayetoro's imminent DVD release. It features rare concert footage with a big band. Also has extras by way of promo videos and interviews with the band. There is also a Cd Afrobeat chronicles Vol 2. Both are scheduled for release in Dec. 2005.

In the future, the distribution of contemporary West African art will be Internet-based. If consumers from the remotest villages in west africa can get diskless movies over the Web, they wouldn't need DVD players at all.

That has been a pipe dream so far -- due to insufficient use of high-capacity broadband networks and a lack of delivery schemes.

However faced with confusion of ongoing standards war, many consumers may choose to make do with their current DVD players.

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