Tags / Lagos
June 26, 2014
Professor Bola Akinteriwa is the Director General of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs. He describes Boko Haram fighters as ‘religious terrorists.’ The professor dismisses the idea that the group is acting in the name of Islam, calling their ideology “satanic at best”. He recognizes the difficulty in dealing with Boko Haram, who have the upper hand in the hostage situation and are always planning ways in which to protect themselves, calling it a “hide and seek game”. He believes that combating the ideology on every level is the only way to defeat them and says, “Terrorism has to be fought tooth and nail, wholly, without any condition.”
Boko Haram released a video on Monday May 12, 2014 claiming to show the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.
The leader of militant Islamic group, Abubakar Shekau, says the teenage girls have converted to Islam and will not be released until all Boko Haram members who are prisoners are freed.
Protest demonstration in Lagos, Nigeria by parents demanding the return of more than 200 school girls kidnapped from their school by the Islamist extremist militia, Boko Haram, on April 14, 2014.
There is a palpable fear in Makoko-------the stilted settlement on the Lagos Lagoon. The fear is real and will not depart, at least not now!
For more than thirty years, local fishermen from around neighbouring villages, towns and countries such as Benin republic and Togo had converged to recreate and live in this settlement that is feared to be the biggest slum in Nigeria!
Makoko has attracted the attention of the Lagos metropolitan government in recent years and it is set to pull it down, burn its photogenic wooden structures built at the tip of the Lagoon, stretching from Oworonsoki district to the West of Ebutte-meta and rebuild it (not for the present residents)as part of the mega-city urban renewal dvelopment project.
From the beginning of 2005, Makoko had been on my list for documentation and i began exploring that opportunity with the coverage of the National census in 2006.
Makoko is a beautiful, photogenic place with a rough estimate of about thirty-thousand people residing. The culture of this small community is entirely on fishing and its commerce, education and social ceremonies are done on the surface of the polluted Lagoon.
Though makoko assumed an ugly picture of pollution and collapsable structures, it is a reminder of our surprising world where a committed, strong and creative people can thrive regardless of the deadliest barriers!.
Though not far from Lagos city skylines where Nigeria had her first glittering central business district, Makoko has never experienced electricity, has no clean drinking water and education is a figurative chioce!
A girl fetches water from a storage tank.
A boy stands in front of fishing nets
Living without any light
Fishing is almost impossible in the Lagoon
Education is a figurative choice
A girl paddles a canoe with water continers
People sit in front of a stilt house in Makoko.
A watershed in the slums
A girl carries a tray of fish in Makoko
Canoe raft waterways
Kids learning with fun
I spent almost a full day at the Marina having a good walk as it was stunning, lots of lovely ship and little boats to see and some interesting character we met along the way.
Hollywood Contra Nollywood By Tee Jay Dan
APRIL 23, 2013 2 COMMENTS
“Critics should be active participants…propound and participate.” BM Dzukogi.
Nothing said in praise of Nollywood, in whatever fashion or design will invalidate the fact that the industry is threatened with poor funding, low quality production, technical ineptitude, piracy and blighted distribution channels. But we must not dwell on the many sins of Nollywood. We should appraise the industry; analyze her with the genuine hope of rediscovering her lost beauty. We must, stakeholders and consumers alike, collectively and jealously trade ideas and criticism; serve as a galaxy of souls to our very own motion pictures enterprise. I am playing my quota by writing this article in hopes that every reader will play their role by spreading the word until the identified defects are righted!
Here’s a little education on how a proper film industry functions. Top on the chain is THE MONEY nearly bracketed by THE FINDERS.
THE MONEY is further categorized into FILM and TV. The FILM category consists of major studios such as Universal, Disney, Warner Brothers e.t.c, whereas the TV category refers to Cable Networks such ABC, FOX, CBS e.t.c. Like every other business, these studios and Networks are structured with CEOs, Presidents, Creative Executives, Assistants and Business Affairs Executives.
THE FINDERS literally refers to professionals who find talents/stories for the studios/networks. The Finders serves as mediators between studios/networks and the products. Since studio execs are too preoccupied to read through heaps of specs/scripts these guys handle the hunt job. They function just like literary agents in the business of publishing.
It is the collation of these two factions; THE MONEY and THE FINDERS that makes up what is known as Hollywood. There is more to the solid structure of Hollywood but this will suffice for lack of space. Sadly, Nollywood strives on the exact the opposites of these dictates! There is no single Studio in Nigeria! The absence of a skeletal framework is Nollywood’s first and major problem. With a functional structure in place, Nollywood will look sexier to potential investors as investment returns will become guaranteed – only then can we bury the old days of financially constrained productions.
It is funny how the lots of producers in Nollywood believe funding to be the most pressing need that must be remedied if the industry is to be revitalized. They often find out albeit painfully so that even with the billions of the world they cannot make mind blowing movies with only money. In this business of ours it is believed that a good film could be made with a bad cast and poor production but no good film can be made with a bad story. There is no gainsaying the fact that our home videos are pretty predictable because the stories made into films are stereotypes! Any good screenwriter could easily hash out two or more stories from a typical Nollywood flick! Do you feel mentally exhausted after seeing a Nollywood film? This is because your brain is busy trying to patch together the unrelated stories/scenes in our home videos. Our producers need to pay closer attention to stories before they give the green light. Here’s an assignment: watch a Chinese, Bollywood or Hollywood movie without the sound then watch a Nollywood film in the same manner – watch the Nollywood clip first if you like. Then return here and share your experience. Please pick films you have not seen before and remember to mute the sound. Yes, that is the power of a good story of the lack thereof!
Recently I joined camp with Balogun Omo Oba Dayo of Ravernsbourne UK; a Nigerian Filmmaker based in the United Kingdom. In the course of our joint venture I learned a great deal. Nigerians making good movies are either independent producers or our brethren in the Diaspora. Movies like DR. BELLO, LAST FLIGHT TO ABUJA, TWO BRIDES AND A BABY, THE LOST NUMBER by Tony Abulu, Obi Emelonye, Blessing Egbe and Kester Nsirim respectively are clear examples. Oh, there are three kinds of filmmakers in Nigeria; the Nollywood filmmakers, Nigerian Filmmakers in the Diaspora and the Independent filmmakers. It is therefore out of good faith that I propose a conscious romance between these three factions of Filmmakers of Nigerian origin.
Funding is a crucial part of filmmaking especially in Nigeria. Here’s a bitter truth. Over 80% of filmmakers in Nigeria source for production money from marketers in Alaba. These marketers go as far as dictating names for films without reading the scripts! Have you noticed some Nollywood flick with a title that clearly conflicts with the storyline? Now you know why. A similar percentage of the technical crew are a bunch of ‘trial and error’ apprentices who self-graduated or were actually sent forth by their ‘masters’ to wreck Nollywood the more. The camera man you hire for your birthday today might be shooting Nollywood’s next ‘block buster’ tomorrow if he knows a producer or if a friend of his wins a lottery and decides to make a movie. As much as lack of funds is a problem, industry veterans should sign up for professional courses. It doesn’t take a lifetime!
We still suffer some shamefully from poor sound and picture quality in Nollywood. Take the just concluded AMAA 2013 event for instance.
Finally, because Nollywood churns out thousands of movies annually is not a yardstick to say it is without blemish. Popularity isn’t necessarily prosperity so goes the saying. A female Nollywood apologist argued that the industry guys are making big bucks alright hence do not need to up their game. This is laughable. See, in Nigeria pirates earn more than the filmmakers. Forget the paparazzi, safe for some side ‘runs’ our movie stars will be dying in penury. To say Nollywood is fine as it is is a terrible misconception. Let’s have a working structure then we can attract investors. Let’s build a tight knit industry and engage in collaborative ventures so we can make superb movies. Deal with Nigerians in the Diaspora, tackle piracy and pirates head on, mend the rift in AGN, and awaken DGN and SWG from slumber then watch Nollywood bloom.
Inspired by the spirit of convergence for which Lagos remains pre-eminent, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival celebrates African creativity within a carnivalesque of traditional and contemporary Dance, Music, Painting and Photo Exposition, Drama, Design and Fashion Display, an International Symposium, Film and Video Fiesta and other artistic and intellectual offerings, both inter-state and international. In a seven-day cultural manifestation during which hundreds of performers will animate the ancient city of Badagry and cosmopolitan Lagos with a passage of the traditional and the modern, Lagos State will welcome thousands of visitors with a feast to engage the mind, entrance the senses and linger in the memory for years to come.
The Lagos Water Regatta is about water-based cultural sporting and recreational activity was put together to showcase what the various coastal communities have to offer in terms of water sport, cultural beauty and aquatic splendor.
The regatta consist of large fishing boats, ferries, water lightening, barges and other marine vessels adorned with each depicting the social, cultural, traditional folklore's and occupational aspects of the Lagos people.
The second is the LAGOS STREET CARNIVAL - which traditionally rounds up the Festival, preceded by an innovation that enlarges the scope of youth participation in the event with colorful display of art, Dance and talent ant participant from all around the world to witness the event.
-.Soundbite 1-Otunba Olusegun Jawando.-(male)Chairman Regatta Planning committee. -Soundbite 2-Female dancers -Soundbite 3- Akinlolu Osudonire- Male-Tourist
2013 Lagos Heritage Week takes place within an event framework that the Festival has designated The Year of Brazil. After Italy and the Horn of Africa in the series – THE BLACK IN THE MEDITERRANNEAN BLUE - comes the turn of Portugal, once a great European maritime nation, and the first European nation to establish diplomatic relations with an African counterpart – the Benin Kingdom. Alas, this historic encounter between equals would later degenerate into participation in the infamous slave trade, but would also result in the greatest “rainbow” nation in the world – The Republic of Brazil!.
Brazil, inevitably, once a Portuguese colony, became an irresistible magnet to the Festival planners. There, the African identity emotion runs deep, rendered vibrantly in cultural retentions in forms of worship, largely of the orisa of the Yoruba (the candomble), in performance modes, cuisine, language, attire and music. Such was the enthusiasm from Brazil that it became necessary to transform the Festival into a two-part celebration, so as to provide more time for the participation of the Afro-Brazilian Diaspora. To them, the Festival promised the fulfillment of the lifelong dream of homecoming. The second part – October 1-10 may yet prove the largest Diaspora Return since the Black and African Arts Festival in Lagos, 1977, better known as FESTAC 77.
What has now turned into THE YEAR OF BRAZIL was formally launched in December 2012 by the award-winning Thobias de Vai Vai Samba Group. Lagos will not soon forget that uniquely sinuous collaboration of costume and motion at the dedicated Festival venue – Freedom Park. The performance signaled a formal declaration that the Brazilian calendar had been brought forward - on the authority of the Yoruba orisa – A-ase! - thus inaugurating an Afro-Brazilian year that commenced in December 2012. The year now progresses into the Festival’s regular Easter calendar in a feast of Thematic Exhibitions, Dance, Drama, Debates and Spectacles with a special cultural presence by the Afro-Brazilian descendants of Nigeria.
The March events pay homage to the late Afro-Brazilian playwright, painter, revolutionary and senator, Abdias do Nascimento, whose life-long dialogue with the orisa will dominate the exhibition galleries. His spiritual play, SORTILEGE, also takes the stage for the first time in West Africa. Abdias is the most impassioned Brazilian link with the continent in the realm of culture, racial identity and political struggle. Exiled in Nigeria’s Yoruba cradle of humanity, Ile-Ife, for some years during the Brazilian dictatorship, it is only fitting that this radical humanist be brought back to his most memorable place of exile. He remains the dynamic symbol of African affirmation in the face of historic odds, the vitality of her cultures, and the assertiveness of racial identity. Befittingly, his widow Elisa Larkin do Nascimento will flag off the year’s Lecture series with a lecture on Abdias’ life, art and struggle.
The GRAND PARADE OF MASQUERADES, drawn from all corners of Yoruba land, a moving mosaic of colour and motion, ushers in the Festival. The programme dedicates each Festival morning to featuring the O’odua states – the modern offspring of the revered Yoruba ancestor and nation-builder – Oduduwa. This year also introduces a modern brass band, the legacy of the Afro-Brazilian returnees who dominate the area around Campos Square, famous for its surviving Brazilian architecture. The Bariga Kids will inject youthful verve into the general medley of rhythm and motion.
OBA KOSO, the tragic music-drama of the late Duro Ladipo opens a window into the tragic vision of the most talented tragedians of West African traditional theatre. OBA KOSO scored many firsts world wide, but most relevantly, as the first Nigerian dramatic work to tour Brazil. A drama of the rise and fall of an Alaafin of Oyo, inducted into the Yoruba pantheon as Sango, god of lightning and thunder, it had great resonance for the Brazilian spectators whose preservation of the deities of their original home defied all efforts at suppression by their slave masters. On the same theatre bill is the Festival premiere of Wole Oguntokun’s dramatization of a slice of Lagos history in her early colonial throes – OSHODI TAPA – a key historic role player in the colonial encounter between Lagos traditional governance and the imperial sway.
Brazil and Nigeria again meet in the Video and Film sector. Synopsis of Brazilian films will be provided where the reels have no sub-titles. These film encounters are of course primarily for audience enjoyment, but they are also planned to offer alternative ideas – including technical aspiration, to the now increasingly adventurous Nigerian cinema.
VISION of the CHILD – the Children’s Art Competition – features an unusual – but highly topical – theme. The Festival talent scouts have already visited nearly 400 schools – formal and informal - since the Festival’s inauguration in December – and assembled the lucky talents for their final contest, and a date with recognition at the Gala Award Night.
DO YOUR OWN THING means exactly what it says – a platform for individual or group talent/experimentations/creativity etc, culminating in the Final adjudication and prizes. Jugglers, singers, instrumentalists, formal and street poets, illusionists, choreographers, mummers etc are free to showcase their specializations, or indeed any kind of inspired lunacies. At the end of these capers, some Surprise Prizes – and perhaps opportunities from hovering talent scouts?
Festival 2013 also introduces a special feature – a Guest Company. Inaugurating that slot is the Rwandan Dance Company, known for its elegant, levitating display of balletic poise even in numbers dedicated to warriors. While in Nigeria, they will conduct a joint workshop with Nigerian counterparts, instigating perhaps a new dance synthesis in the search for contemporary idioms for African dance expressions.
Such exertions require a base of nurture. And so the Festival will play host to the Afro-Brazilian Food Fair. Nigerians will discover that akare-je is none other than the akara of the Ita Igarawu or Ilesha market and street stalls, or that their Easter moyo and frejon are adaptations that re-entered the continent at the hands of the returnees who made it back to homeland.
Memory forms a critical dimension of the Festival – memory as history formative, as evocations of achievement, but also – as pain and anguish. The dark history of the continent is commemorated and its victims honoured in the solemn FITILA (Oil Lamp) Procession, a reminder of the Slave Era, and the triumph of resilience and survival. Venue: Badagry, beginning with the Point of Embarkation and terminating at the Point of No Return, with traditional rituals and invocations. Heritage Week dedicates this night event to the Rites of Collective Reflection, drawing strength for the present and future.
Festivals do not end on a sombre note. The joyous face of human concourse is displayed along the lagoon that slices across Lagos, winding round some of the newest hotels and restaurants on the island. This is the route along which the WATER REGATTA will light up the lagoon with decorated crafts, fluttering pennants, synchronized paddles, a display of marine skills and ethnic symbols created by cultural groups, labour unions, youth organisations, craft guilds, warrior descendants etc etc., with some floats narrating the histories of the riverine and sea-going communities. The land equivalent of this ‘peacock parade’ – THE LAGOS STREET CARNIVAL - traditionally rounds up the Festival, preceded by an innovation that enlarges the scope of youth participation – The Children’s Street Carnival. A percussive medley of voices, instruments and pounding feet take to the streets along a designated route that begins from Awolowo Road and ends in Tafawa Balewa square with the crowning of the Pageant Beauty Queen.
Once again, Lagos opens her arms to men, women and children of all races, histories, and cultures, in her mission to animate the past, celebrate the present, and illuminate the future.
The short documentary shows the everyday life of some Graduate youth in Lagos Nigeria who faces the daily challenges of unemployment and the hard economic situation in the country . Some of them narrated their experience with me and how they were able to find a means of livelihood for their self by been entrepreneur and how government as not fund the small business owners in the country.
Fourteen years old Nigeria girl created a generator that produces electricity for six hours using a single liter of urine as fuel .
Girl power generator with urine in Nigeria.
Taiwo Adeleke / --
Duro-Aina Adebola (Female), Urine power Generator initiator (Student)
Omotayo Fakinlede(Male), Professor of Engineering
Olatuji Araoye (Male), Engineer
Patrick Uloba (Male) Teacher.
LAGOS, NIGERIA, JANUARY 2013
VAR of student starting the Generator.
VAR of cylinder and filters
VAR of bulb and socket with electricity
VAR of students talking
VAR of School University
VAR of Man in the Office
VAR of Lagos Street at Night
VAR of man starting generator
VAR of generator sounds
VAR of secondary school building
VAR of teacher with student in the classroom
SOUNDBITE 1, Duro-Aina Adebola (Female), Urine power Generator initiator (Student) (English, 00:14:18 seconds ):
"I got the idea when i went on net and i saw a family of five (5) killed by carbon-monoxide poison. its now stroke me that people are dying regularly from generator poison and that what could be done that wouldn't releases any harmful gases into the environment . Urine is a waste material definitely Nigerians will opt for urine since is a waste material, Nigerians like cheap things "
SOUNDBITE 2, Omotayo Fakinlede(Male), Professor of Engineering (English. 14:01 seconds)
"we can view hydrogen as the hydro carbon minus the carbon. There are very good properties that its as one of the most important thing is the environmental friendliness".
SOUNDBITE 3, Olatuji Araoye (Male), Engineer (English 10:18 seconds).
"Its depend on the cost of the generator first and i will look at the durability at the same time".
SOUNDBITE 4, Patrick Uloba (Male) Teacher.(English 20:18 seconds)
"We have done several other project before this, we are hoping that with the volume of information that as gone out on this project, we are trusting that somebody will come and pick up this project , so that it can be mass produce and it can be there in the market.
Nigeria’s growing talent in the fashion industry was on display during Lagos MTN Fashion and Design Week in October. For the first time Nigeria saw high-end European buyers such as Selfridges $Co, MyTheresa.com attend. British designer Matthew Williamson rounded up the show with a recent collection and many talented Nigerian designers showcased their work.
Nigeria is a developing country with less than most of the population living on $1 a day. Most of the countries economy is based in oil exports, however Nigeria country is beginning to tap into and value its creative potential. This comes at a time when a middle class is rapidly growing and more Nigerians have disposable income. Nigeria is becoming noticed internationally as buyers around the world are increasingly attending these fashion shows and taking on board some of the talented Nigerian designers.
Photographers during Lagos Fashion week in Nigeria
Designer Kola Kuddos shows his collection during Lagos Fashion Week
Kola Kudda's collection during Lagos Fashion week in Lagos Nigeria.
Catwalk show during Lagos Fashion week in Nigeria