AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Lagos

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Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Shooting Lagos

In February of 2013, I made a hurried decision to head to Lagos, in an attempt to shoot a pilot season for My Africa Is,  an ongoing web documentary series, that aims to dispute the one dimensional portrayal of the African continent. We had been seeking funding for quite some time, and it just wasn’t

Friday, April 25th, 2014

News from Nigeria

I told my son that he would get his first sense of things as soon as we boarded the flight. Planes bound for Lagos, I told him, were filled with black people and not just in economy...

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Can documentary film as a genre do justice to the astounding life of Fela Kuti?

Documentary films truncate an entire life into fleeting bursts of exuberance and somber moments. Any moments that exist in between, however significant they are, are left out completely or brushed over. In making a documentary, on any...

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Watch: Short documentary on Lagos performance artist Jelili Atiku

From the perspective of one who appreciates Nigerian art, it seems as if a disconnect persists between those artists, almost exclusively painters and sculptors, who work in a mimetic realist representational mode and cater directly to wealthy...

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Kenneth Gyang’s “Confusion Na Wa” and the growing desire for variety and novelty in Nigerian cinema

In the discussion that followed the first public screening of Kenneth Gyang’s ‘Confusion Na Wa’ (2013) at the Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival in Lagos, audience members drew comparisons to Crash, Pulp Fiction, and Quartier Motzart as...

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Controversy surrounding the National Theatre in Lagos

The National Arts Theatre is visible from the motorway system which connects Lagos Island and the mainland: an iconic modern structure which rises, it is often noted, like the peak of a military cap from the surrounding...

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

My 5 Favorite Designs: Olalekan Jeyifous

True, true, that title sounds familiar. Consider it a variation on a successful theme. After coming across the work Olalekan Jeyifous did for “menswear brand” creator Ikiré Jones, we wanted to know more and asked Olalekan to share...

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Classic Jukebox N°1: Nigerian Highlife

They just don’t make ‘em like they used to, at least when it comes to Nigerian highlife. Whether that’s good or bad is up for debate. Whatever the case, people get riled up when they’re talking about...

Monday, February 18th, 2013

When Kim Kardashian came to Lagos and “419ed the 419ers”

I was just over a thousand miles away from the action in Freetown, watching my Twitter timeline cascade with commentary as the evening unfolded. Tweets purred with pleasure at the acrobatics segment, and at the godly qualities...

Monday, January 28th, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°11: Jide Odukoya

Nigerian photographer Jide Odukoya’s portfolio offers an exceptional insight into the social fabric of Lagos. His Facebook page documents fashion events, open mic ‘happenings’ and weddings, while his official website reveals focused street photography series, such as...

Monday, December 31st, 2012

2012′s SMH (also known as “Africa is a Country”) Moments

There are times we shake our heads or roll our eyes. When we could not invent some of the things that we spot in the media. For some reason especially New York Times journalists can’t help themselves...

Monday, October 29th, 2012

McDonald’s Baobab Tree

These days, it’s not uncommon to see Western fast food chains alongside local favorites in the post-colony. Lagos, for example, has its Nigerian fast food chains (Mr. Biggs, Chicken Republic, etcetera) but also a brand-new, shiny KFC...

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Canada likes Africa’s “new image”

After spending its first six years in power largely ignoring the continent, the Conservative Party of Canada has finally “discovered” Africa. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper undertook a four-day trip to Senegal and the DRC—only his...

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Nollywood: Nigeria’s Mirror

This past summer on a rainy June afternoon, I spent a few hours interviewing Nigerian poet and critic, Odia Ofeimun. I met him while co-producing a radio documentary about Nollywood (streaming in full here). Odia has been...

Friday, September 21st, 2012

When Rick Ross filmed a music video in a Lagos slum

American rapper (and music executive) Rick Ross shot the latest version of his “Hold me Back” song mostly in Obalende, a poor section of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The video — which resembles the travel diaries shot...

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

The Farafina Creative Writing Workshop

Guest Post by Yewande Omotoso If someone told me when I was five or fifteen that at thirty-two I would sit in an air-conditioned room in Lagos, on Victoria Island, with a woman named Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie...

Monday, September 10th, 2012

My favorite photographs N°5: Abraham Oghobase

Born in Lagos, photographer and artist Abraham Oghobase still lives in the Nigerian metropolis. His work has been exhibited in his home country, the UK, France, Finland and has traveled elsewhere as part of the Bamako Photography...

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Makoko: This sea shall be uprooted

I Dreams brought us here and we arrived With no enthusiasm for things stirring – Currents, currencies – concurrently drift us Into adamance, but we learnt before to be. Lagos: the Nigerian coastal city is shriveled up...

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Vogue Italia’s “Rebranding Africa” disaster

Everybody’s trying to rebrand Africa, and it isn’t going so well. Vogue Italia’s latest issue — boosted by great billowing gusts of editorial hot air from both the New York Times and the Guardian — is called...

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Ode to Oshodi Market

One of the more endearing attributes of Lagos, Nigeria are the markets. In varying sizes and forms, they attract a multitudes from the region for various reasons. Wholesale, retail, technology, textiles, car parts, all sorts of meat,...

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

The magazine as Tumblr

Globetrotter is one of those vaguely defined, international, cosmopolitan culture and fashion magazines. With connections to Chicago, Lagos, and Jakarta, the magazine consists of an eclectic pastiche of commentary on various international trends organized into four sections: Art/Design,...

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The 19th New York African Film Festival: ‘Maami’

The secret to making a good movie about sport is to make sure there isn’t any sport in it. Remember ‘Invictus‘? Remember ‘Goal‘? Exactly. Distinguished Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani must have known this, because there isn’t any...

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Arise Fashion Week

Pillbox hats are back! What else, besides a nouvelle variation of the old-school “Turkish” headgear, is in style at Arise Magazine’s 2012 fashion week in Lagos? After a drive through Victoria Island to get there, passing massive...

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Plenty Koko

We didn’t expect anything else: the video for FOKN Bois ‘Sexin Islamic Girls’ goes all the way. March 6 is Ghana’s Independence Day — which means we have an excuse to post it.

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Demographics and #OccupyNigeria

Today’s Financial Times, has a full page analysis by Xan Rice on how the failure of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to remove fuel subsidies has raised questions about his abilities to push through “reform.”

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Guinness for the people

Beer company Guinness’s new commercial “The Ticket,” made for its huge Nigerian market and first unveiled in early January this year, used local actors and crew, has Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba versions (the first time Guinness made...

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Happy Birthday Seun Kuti

You’ve heard this song here before so Seun Kuti fronting demonstrations in Lagos this week shouldn’t come as a surprise. In his own words: “I believe the fuel subsidy removal…is treason against the people of Nigeria.” Follow...

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

New Nigerian art in London

Tiwani Contemporary is the latest art space in London devoted to contemporary African art. Affiliated with the non-profit Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Lagos, Tiwani promises to connect artists in Nigeria with buyers in London. “The...

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Take me to your leader: Babatunde Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State is considered something of an exception among Nigerian (and African) political leaders. For one, he reads. He is also “embarrassingly young.” More importantly, he governs a state that incorporates what is...

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Lagos Street Scene

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