Sunday, May 31, 2009

Highlights from the Hay festival 2009

Hugh Masekela's concert was the high point. Colm Toibin was excellent (his newish book Brooklyn is brilliant), as was David Simon last night (creator of the Wire) and Michio Kaku (one of the world's leading physicists who told us how the invisibility cloak is nigh upon us, and that teletransportation is only a couple of hundred years away). Slide show here.


Hugh Masekela at Hay from Jeremy Weate on Vimeo.


A short film about the mass synchronized polio campaign across Nigeria and seven other West African countries.


Friday, May 22, 2009


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Iya Ile at the Soho Theatre

Play runs from 14 May to 20 June. Click here to see the trailer.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Interview with Kayode Fayemi

In Africa Confidential.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Surviving the Mountain of Death

Our trip to Gangirwal last Easter is on the Wide World website today.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nigerian Acrobatics on X2

Original post here.


Victor Ehikhamenor showing

Open invite to "MIRRORS & MIRAGES": an exhibition of paintings, drawings, installations and lecture by the talented Victor Ehikhamenor. One of Victor's paintings graced the cover of Helon Habila's Measuring Time:

GRAND OPENING:MAY 24, 2009 Time: 4:00 pm. Other days: May 25-29, 2009 Time: 9am-6pm daily



Thursday, May 14, 2009

9 Writers, 4 Cities: the book tour

Click to enlarge the images.


Guide to Motherhood

Doreen Baingana's humorous guide to becoming a mother.

Doreen is author of Tropical Fish, available in Nigeria from Cassava Republic (plug! plug!)

What a gorgeous cover, no be so? Here is the blurb:

Tropical Fish follows the three Mugisha sisters, as they grow up against the backdrop of Uganda in the 1980s. Patti is a born-again Christian, Rosa is adventurous and sexually precocious. The star of the show however is Christine. We travel with her as she takes her first wobbly steps in high heels and later encounters the alienation amidst material wealth of America, before her final return home.

Through eight interlocking stories, Tropical Fish explores themes as diverse as the family, sex and relationships, disease, betrayal, and spirituality. Doreen Baingana paints an engrossing and unforgettable picture of young women coming of age in Africa.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The failure of deregulation so far..

Where is the analysis when you need it? Matthew Green's article in today's FT lays out both sides at high level, without taking a stance in favour of either side. From the government's perspective, a cartel of some of the most powerful businessmen in Nigeria is resisting the development of local refining capacity, and Nigeria petrol being available from refined Nigerian oil. From the private sector's perspective, the government has botched deregulation by not allowing for price increases to take the place of subsidies (citing union pressure).

The truth is likely to be somewhere in between. The major marketers have no incentive for building local refining capacity as it stands - they risk getting cut out of the deal and make far more money from the export/re-import game anyway. On the other hand, the government has yet to articulate a clear, staged deregulation plan. Only until the marketers are forced/incentivised into developing their own refining capacity will things change.

In the meantime, the nation's budget may not be matched by available funds from low oil prices and restricted output, hence the talks with the World Bank. Isn't this just the story of Nigeria's boom and debt-buying busts since the 1970s repeating itself?


Interview with Seun Kuti from Jeremy Weate on Vimeo.


Go Tolu! Go Tolu! Go Tolu!

Our very own Tolu Ogunlesi has been nominated for CNN's African Journalist Awards 2009 (click to enlarge as usual).

Prayer-warriors get to work. May all the heavy Ijebu Babalawos be consulted and well-remunerated. Let Eshu be libated, let Obatala smoke plenty tobacco while the sandalwood burns.

And let Tolu decide to stay in Nigeria even if he wins!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Confetti Couture designers

Yemi Osunkoya gets a mention on the highly respected Confetti website as among the best of the UK's couture designers. Congrats Yemi!


Saturday, May 09, 2009

At the Mountain of Fire Ministries this morning

The pastor cried, "May my enemies..."

The congregation responded (while wildly shaking their heads): "Catch fire, catch fire, catch fire...."


Flower girl & bridesmaid at the wedding


Friday, May 08, 2009

After the rain...

The petals from the flame trees on our beautiful street fluttered to the ground this afternoon: nature's confetti.

I took this picture as it is: no photoshop, no cropping. Just the leaves of the flame tree outside our gate, after the rain.


Teju Cole: soundtrack for a novel in progress

Cassava Republic's rising star, Teju Cole, has a second novel coming out next year. This is the soundtrack..


More Ukpabio blather

A bit of Liberty Gospel "PR" in This Day yesterday. This is the woman who keeps people chained up in her church while others are getting married..

The struggle against pastors with distorted/contorted views of Christianity who believe that children can become witches continues.


George Monbiot on God

"God is a self-justifying myth available for all occasions. He justifies whatever course of action you wish to take. If you want to smite the Gideonites, Midianites, Amorites and Ammonites, all you need is God. If you want to invade Iraq, he's given you prior clearance. You want to blow up a train? fly a plane into a skyscraper? He's there for you. It's true there are some people - a small minority - who use their conception of God to create a better moral code. But they are greatly outnumbered by those who have used it to excuse every form of venal, grasping, brutal and murderous behaviour. God is the last refuge of the scoundrel."

From the New Statesman last month.


I Do Not Come To You By Chance...

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's debut novel, I Do Not Come To You By Chance, launches in the US and the UK this month (buy from Amazon). The novel charts the rise and fall of Kingsley, an engineering graduate who, when family fortunes fail, is forced to turn to his Uncle Cash Daddy (a 419-er) for help. I Do Not Come To You Chance is a tragi-comic depiction of how a 419-life can seep in as young Nigerians struggle to make ends meet.

I Do Not Come To You By Chance will be published by Cassava Republic Press later this year.

Some press exposure: see this article on NEXT, a piece in the UK Independent (today) and an article in CS Monitor.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

At the Eyo Festival..

Me and my National Open University of Nigeria Lagos Tourism student homies at the Eyo. I miss teaching...


Homage to Star

Here's a little test, dear readers. See if you can read this article without wanting to drink a cool, large green bottle of Star. Grazie Leo the African for the link.


Call for papers: on neo-Yoruba religions

Neo-Yoruba Religions

Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions

An upcoming special edition of Nova Religio will be dedicated to the theme of neo-Yoruba religions. English-language articles of original research are invited on any expression of Yoruba religions that may be defined as new, emergent, or alternative. Submissions may address new manifestations of Yoruba religions within West Africa, such as Ijo Orunmila or Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, or within the African Diaspora, such as Candomblé or Santería. Submissions are invited across disciplines.

The guest editors of the edition are Dr. Joel E. Tishken of the History Department at Washington State University and Dr. Akintunde Akinyemi of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Florida. The editors may be contacted at and respectively.

Abstracts are due to the guest editors by 15 May, 2009, and full papers will be due 31 Dec. 2009.

The preferred length of articles is around 8,000 words, including endnotes, with a maximum length of 10,000 words including endnotes. Submission of photographs or other graphics is encouraged when they can substantively enhance an article.

Accepted manuscripts must follow the Chicago Manual of Style and should be submitted according to these style guidelines. All references should be in endnotes, numbered throughout the manuscript with the auto-numbering feature of the word processing program.

If the paper is accepted for publication, the editors reserve the right to edit for length and clarity, with the agreement of the author. The editors also reserve the right to edit for usage and style.

Each paper submitted will be subjected to peer review. Authors of papers accepted for publication will receive a pdf file of their article and two free copies of the issue in which the article appears.

Additional information on Nova Religio may be found here.


Story in the FT about Ekiti rigging allegations

In today's Financial Times.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Nigerian millinery

One area of art and craft where Nigerian artistes excel is in hat design. The examples to the left are by John 3v3. Click on Customer Care, then Haute Couture, then Fascinators to see more extraordinary pieces similar to these.

Eme Akenzua is the genius behind John 3v3.

Apologies in advance to all the fashionistas who knew about John 3v3 ages ago..


Ekiti: the aftermath

Nzesylva's latest post captures the general feeling in Nigeria today. What happened in Ekiti yesterday does not augur well for free and fair elections in two years time. The 16,000 votes for Ido-Osi which clinched the election for Segun Oni were collated in a police station, without the Resident Election Commissioner's permission (the reason why she resigned in the first place). After ten years, Nigeria has still not got a passmark in the Democracy 101 test, in sharp contrast to Ghana and South Africa. Millions of Nigerians are increasingly ashamed and frustrated in the process - they expect better than this these days.

One can only hope that Segun Oni puts this behind him and works hard to develop the state he now governs..


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ekiti pandemonium

Just snapped this with my phone - NTA live at the Ekiti Collation Centre. What you see are INEC officials trying to tally the votes, while all around supporters from both the AC and the PDP hurl insults at each other.

One man held up his hands to the police and said, "kill me if you will". Then a chant of "All we are saying..." (the old Beatles song), with the last four words changing from 'give peace a chance' to 'no more rigging' etc. At one poignant moment, everyone stopped and started singing the National Anthem.

The 15,000 votes for PDP from Ido Osi must surely have won it for them...

The broadcast got so rowdy that NTA has just pulled the thing off air in favour of their stock panic-footage: fat women dancing in Calabar.


African of the Year 2009

African of the Year 2009 Nomination Begins

DAILY TRUST, a leading Nigeria newspaper, has called for nominations of outstanding personalities for the “African of the Year” 2009 awards.

In a statement at the weekend, the Chairman of Media Trust Limited, publishers of DAILY TRUST, Mr. Kabiru Yusuf said emphasis is on ordinary Africans doing extra-ordinary things and that nomination of women is highly encouraged.

He said nominations of deserving personalities can be done online at up until October, 2009 after which the winner will be selected at a meeting of the advisory committee in Nairobi, Kenya.

Last year, the newspaper gave the maiden award to Congolese gynecologist, Dr. Denis Mukwege, in recognition of his exemplary humanitarian/medical assistance to victims of rape in the war-torn East African country.

Two others, Dr. Christiana Thorpe, Sierra Leone’s Electoral Committee chairperson, and Mr. Salif Keita, a music legend from Mali, emerged as runners-up to the award. Dr Thorpe was recognized for her successful conduct of the 2007 post-civil war elections in Sierra-Leone, and Mr. Keita for his work with albinos.

The prestigious awards were presented by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of Commonwealth, on January 13th, 2009 at a colorful dinner at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria.

The Advisory Committee of the award is chaired by Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) and one of the most distinguished African statesmen and diplomats.

Other members of the Advisory Committee include Professor Abdoulaye Bathily, historian and politician from Senegal; Professor Kwame Karikari, media specialist and activist from Ghana; Dr. Muthoni Wanyeki, veteran columnist and Executive Director, Kenya Human Rights Commission; and Professor Tandeka Nkiwane, political scientist from South Africa.

The Committee members also include Kabiru Yusuf, Chairman of Media Trust Limited; Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria; Professor Okello Oculi, political scientist and columnist; while Dr. Tajudeen Abdulraheem of the UN Millennium Campaign, Africa Office, Nairobi, is Secretary of the Committee.

To qualify for the award, the nominee’s action which impacted on the lives of African people or spheres of activities through ideas, decisions or innovations must have taken place within the year under review, in this case, 2009.


Kabiru Yusuf
Chairman, Media Trust Ltd
Abuja, Nigeria
30th March, 2009


When will there be justice for the Apo 6?

Article on the BBC's site today.


Monday, May 04, 2009

419 Kingpins and their cash..

While on the subject of Yahoo-Yahoo, the question remains: how much do the Big Boys with the Hummers and their f.ugly Nollywood pads in VGC really make? Follow the debate on this Reuters blog.


Ben Stiller to save Nigeria from itself

Its so nice to know he cares and wants to spread the Goodness.


Wide World launches today..

Congrats to my mate Alex for getting his gorgeous new online venture off the ground. Wide World adventure sports/travel mag launches today.


SIJI - "Yearning For Home" Music Video from SIJI on Vimeo.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Eyo Festival - Lagos, 25:04:09 from Jeremy Weate on Vimeo.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Another online/print magazine with an Africa focus

JTON. Its got that all-over-the-place American look and feel. America is not the place to love magazines I guess.


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