Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
You might wonder if there is anyone left on the planet who would wire money to Nigeria and not realise it was 419. Well, think again. There are still lots of opportunities to scam Texans at least. This clip was shot last week at the Lone Star bar, Jonestown, Texas.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Good investigative piece from Le Monde Diplomatique here.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Kowa's website certainly looks the part. The "What We Stand For" is a tad generic at the moment. But perhaps that's all a new kind of political party can be right now: not really a prospect for power next year, but the beginnings of a new kind of politics. It begins with a new way of talking about politics. They have some good people on board already, including Chinua Asuzu and Remi Sonaiya. One can only wish them well, and hope their governance structures remain rigorous and as transparent as possible..
Forwarded message from Papa Omotayo
I just wanted to let you know about our new venture - A White Space.
Some people maybe already be aware of it and others, this will be the first time I’m telling you about it. Either way, I’m grateful that you're still reading and this hasn't ended up in your delete folder. (yet!)
The concept/development has been in the pipeline for a few years now and we've been VERY lucky to get things moving in 2010. We got great feedback from friends, families and hopefully future clients to help crystallise the model, but more importantly we found a great venue for the first WHITE SPACE.
What is all this white space talk - you're asking - huh?
A White Space offers a solution to businesses/individuals looking for a short term commercial space/venue.
It is a fully-serviced, empty white space available from 1 day or up to six weeks.
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE THE SOLUTION YOU'RE LOOKING FOR???
It provides an option to help solve the major challenges that retail/commercial businesses often face in finding and affording the right space, in the right location, especially in Lagos.
It also provides the opportunity to totally brand a space and create unique temporary installations.
We're very excited at all the various possibilities and incarnations that the space could be transformed into. We're excited about working with existing commercial brands and businesses, already in or coming to Lagos, who may want to use the space for, workshops, intimate events, branding exercises etc.
But also for the new start ups, and the abundance of talent and creativity in Lagos at present, with designers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, creatives, artists and culture junkies whom the white space concept was initially created for. This is a great way for them to get a temporary space in the city and for everyone else to see what they’re doing.
create. exhibit. retail. share
I hope I get to see or hear from some of you, in some capacity, whether as a future client, collaborator, visitor or just hearing you told a friend about us. Whichever the case, I’m always grateful you took the time-out. Thank you.
The walls are blank - The doors are open - over to you!!
For more information please check out our website or contact us via phone (ask for Papa or Azeez) or email email@example.com
Who said the blogosphere was stagnating? A welcome new Nigerian blog that promises a fine journey ahead.
“The BookJam @ Silverbird” is a monthly event that consists of book readings, discussions, musical performances, poetry recitals, book signings and a raffle draw.
The BookJam is hosted by A. Igoni Barrett and the Silverbird Lifestyle store.
The 5th edition of “The BookJam @ Silverbird” will hold between 3 to 5 pm on Saturday 26 June, 2010 at the Silverbird Lifestyle store, Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The guest writers are:
• Toni Kan Onwordi, author of Nights of the Creaking Bed;
• Abraham Oshoko, author of June 12: The Struggle for Power in Nigeria;
• Kunle Ajibade, author of Jailed for Life: A Reporter’s Prison Notes.
Admission to the BookJam is free. Members of the audience who purchase books during the event stand a chance to win a special prize in a raffle draw.
For more information send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The first thing I noticed was the jewel-effect on the back of her Blackberry. We were on the Hammersmith and City line train headed east from Paddington. She took a call from the phone. As she spoke - about getting her car fixed - I detected a few yoruba words. When she finished, I asked her se daada ni? It took a few seconds for her to realise what I was saying. She burst into laughter. Her face was like an Ife head, slightly on the round side. She was beautiful. We said our goodbyes when the train reached Euston Square.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Not sure I like the look of the new iteration of what became of Virgin Nigeria, Jimoh Ibrahim's Air Nigeria.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Excellent piece by Ijeoma Nwogwugwu yesterday in This Day. Here. It doesn't look like the power issue in Nigeria is being approached with any kind of seriousness right now..
Monday, June 14, 2010
The base of this tree is as massive as it looks, perhaps ten or more metres across. The hole in the middle is big enough to live in. If lightning should strike and it falls, it would flatten the colonial house behind it. For now, it watches over the neighbourhood, giant and resigned. I didn't examine the roots for machete marks..
The Hill Station area of Freetown near Country Lodge Hotel and the President's compound has a cluster of houses that were built in the 19th century, when Freetown was the capital of British West Africa. Most of them are on stilts. There is a heavy pall of memory and time about the area. Empire feels like a very long time ago and slightly sinister. But the fact that the buildings are still standing and in use also suggests that the time of Empire still lingers. Many in Sa Lone still yearn for the Colonial Masters, no matter how uncomfortable that might make the visitor feel...
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Beach number 2. Poetic in all but name. Floating several hundred metres off shore, letting the green mountains sink into my eyes. An elemental sexuality rises up from the currents below. Tournier comes to body and to mind. Treading water, the mist on the mountains ahead. The beach takes the word pristine and makes it really sparkle. White forms on the beach, making a Saturday of it. The water has a luxurious warmth. Banana Island is behind me, along with the sharks. Straight ahead, the dense green of the trees and of the forest against the mountain mist. The layer of leaves hides the truth in a smudge several shades darker than emerald. And then, the jewels beneath the red earth. Orange diamonds, then blue. The Kimberlite pipe scatters from out of glowing magma, and man scatters, and then everything scatters.
Memories without form are tangled up in the leaves and can’t seem to escape. Invisible events cut into being by steel. Ears, lips, throats, wrists, foetal bellies, all sliced open at the butcher's hand. Intestines looping out over leaves, the sculpture of the blade. Machete against mango tree, just a stump of bone and sinew in between. The queue of arms and anxiety stretches back. Women and girls pinned down and raped in formation by boys doped out wearing Tupac. Operation No Living Thing spared only the vultures. Their feet dangle still in a dance macabre, as flight ends by branch. Out of the water, I ask for a coconut. The machete swings again. The sap and the flesh cut open into the world.
Can knowledge help? Where on Lightfoot Boston was the City Hotel? Who was Lightfoot Boston? Which ethnic group is where? What did Fodey do before he had his RUF idea? Who did Taylor send to the border? When exactly was Viktor Bout’s game finally up? What is happening right now in The Hague? How different are Creoles from Americo Liberians? Does a sociology of the collective human impulse to generate class distinction, regardless of mission, help at all? Or should we turn to genetics to understand the Will to Power? The tribal function of the unempathetic amygdala in psychopaths as a scientific path into the forest of unreason? Or perhaps the answer begins in part with the extraordinary life of Cecil Rhodes and the artifice of value his company De Beers placed upon a relatively common rock a century ago.
The door to my room keeps opening itself without human hand. The ghost floats into the room and is upon me. Knowing is both essential and yet essentially useless. A shadow and a chill rest upon the room. I cannot think. I must think.
The do gooders throng the hotel in waves. Secular missionaries, onward to their stations and the meaning they gather into their lives. The inevitable Land Rovers with logos and uberantenna. A Prado would send the wrong kind of message. Clusters coming in on medical programmes into the jungle. In the afternoons, Americans play with their Ipads in front of the projection screen at the bar, not sure how much football to absorb, sliding their fingers over images of river and of tree.
On the way back from the beach, by the pipe carrying water into Freetown, animal cries enter into language. In a flash beyond the window, a man holds a head full of matted oozing blood. It is not clear what has happened or when. Just a few metres later, boredom in the posture of others. Auden’s Icarus, once again. The human lack of empathy can be unbounded. Then, some avocado pears neatly laid out on a table by some corn. Things will grow again. Brightly corrugated surfaces form shacks up on the hill. The Senegalese are building the road and it will gleam. Cars will fly by onto beaches beyond. Who knows, Liberia may be a motorway away in a century or less.
Sierra Leone. The Collierites, that new biblical tribe, consider the problem and then compute: failing or fragile? Traumatised more like. The Lion Mountain is silent (its throat was ripped out ten years ago). I return to my reading while the Why lies buried alongside the darkened carats, its mouth full of earth.
As I went up to the hotel reception, Sa Lone popstar Willie J was shooting her latest video in the reception. The Ghana vs Serbia game is on the TV in the background..
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Saturday, June 05, 2010
When asked a few years ago to list the top ten books children must read, this is what Ben Okri recommended:
- There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.
- Read outside your own nation, colour, class, gender.
- Read the books your parents hate.
- Read the books your parents love.
- Have one or two authors that are important, that speak to you; and make their works your secret passion.
- Read widely, for fun, stimulation, escape.
- Don’t read what everyone else is reading. Check them out later, cautiously.
- Read what you’re not supposed to read.
- Read for your own liberation and mental freedom.
- Books are like mirrors. Don’t just read the words. Go into the mirror.10.5 That is where the real secrets are. Inside. Behind. That’s where the gods dream, where our realities are born.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
The Storyville documentary "The New Kings of Nigeria" on BBC 4 last night was a sore disappointment. It was hard to know what the thing was about. As the minutes ticked by, any hopes that a theme would emerge drained away. The focus was most of the time on the great grandson of King Jaja of Opobo, a young chap called Walter. Walter had just returned from an expensive education and a stint selling electrical appliances in Jand which he seemed proud of. He was now being shoed in to a role producing reality tv shows and music videos. He seemed to know little more than anyone else about his ancestor, resorting to the internet to find out pictures. It might have been nice to have had him return to Bonny and be greeted by the locals or provide some kind of context beyond interviewing his sister at the Boat Club.