Archives for posts with tag: Nigeria

Inspiring writer Bura Bari Nwilo is our guest today and it is a real pleasure.

Like the late African hero Ken Saro Wiwa, he hails from Ogoni land- a paradise in Nigeria turned to a bed of conflict centered on oil, and as you read on; Bura reveals to us from his Port-harcourt base what this means to him.

His contagious humor and satiric sense has earned him even more fans on social media, and frankly speaking he brings joy to many with his wise cracks, much needed in beautiful and chaotic Nigeria.

Here’s the cover of his new book, A Tiny Place Called Happiness.

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Now we invade the man in question, a little bit.

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AFRIKAJUMP- Welcome Bura and thank you for talking with us. I’m curious to know which African writers have influenced you the most, and how?

BURA- In terms of simple storytelling, Achebe would take the honour and of course it is basically by reading his works. In terms of experimenting and taking unconventional approaches, Dambudzo (Dambudzo Marechera) would be the man. I have read the House of Hunger and some of his works published posthumously. I love Ms Adichie too. She works magic with intricate sentences and details.

AFRIKAJUMP- Like the great late Ken Saro-Wiwa, you are from Ogoni land. How does the past and present history of your ancestral home affect you as a person and as a writer?

BURA- Currently, violence among the young people give me sleepless nights and sometimes I want to create fiction but the thought of my mother in the village give me worries. The despoliation of the land and our insistence on government to take responsibilities are factors that spur any creative person.

AFRIKAJUMP- And as a writer?

BURA- I always feel that writers have a way of representing their cultures in their works. Mine is under-represented. See what Junot Diaz does with Dominican Republic. The fine memories I have of Ogoni and the people, of love and late night play in the sand, if I don’t capture them fictionally, I doubt if anyone would.

Ken Saro-Wiwa is a pathfinder when it comes to stories from this part of the world and I appreciate his styles and courage to tell it.

AFRIKAJUMP- If you were appointed by government as part of a team to support Literary Arts in Nigeria what top 3 remedies would you prescribe?

BURA BARI- We would give adequate support to indigenous publishing houses and create reading centres across the country. This would help to reunite book readers again. When you visit some of the libraries, either the rooms meant for literary discussions have been turned into shops or made into stores. We will bring it back. We’d set up reading contests so that young people would know that reading is cool too.

AFRIKAJUMP- You have a funny bone. Your book; Diary of a bloody retard is proof; and there’s that letter you wrote to Nigerian pop star Dbanj some years ago. Of course we cannot exclude your social media updates. Many Nigerians use humor as a survival mechanism. Is this your case too? Are you going to take your comic to perhaps the movies, and more?

BURA- Yeah. It is in my book on relationship – Diary of a Stupid Boyfriend and of course the recent book of short stories – A Tiny Place Called Happiness. Humor is one way to survive around here. It could be too dark and to see the lighter side of the things around here keeps life in us.

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 AFRIKAJUMP- Any past, present or future project(s) you want us to know about?

BURA- I am still promoting A Tiny Place Called Happiness. I may be working on a book of stories for young children. I have been researching that for a while. It is still developing. And yes, I am looking at going back to school, get a degree in African Studies and write some more.

AFRIKAJUMP- Can you try to describe your city in one word? Okay two words max.

BURA- Chaotically beautiful.

 

CONNECT MORE WITH HIM HERE

www.themetroreview.com

rottenbiro.blogspot.com

In this present day Africa where most things that are our trademark historically, economically, socially and culturally are getting eroded, it is refreshing to see people, especially young people that insist on being Africans- acknowledging the continents richness in spirituality, culture and other ways that pay homage to their rich roots.

Based in Eastern Nigeria, Precious Amarachi-Ugo a cultural enthusiast and explorer seeks to remind Africans of who we were, and what we can be. Her mission reads like the Ghanaian phrase SANKOFA which is a call for us to return to our roots. Amarachi-Ugo believes this is the path through which Africa and indeed Africans can be free again, in body, mind and spirit. We do too, and also love her love for mystery.

AFRIKAJUMP asked her questions about her life and great mission.
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AFRIKAJUMP-Thanks so much for giving some of your precious time, Precious. It is a real pleasure. Can you tell us when you realized your love for travel and exploring?

PRECIOUS-I realized the love for traveling at a very tender age. Mostly from my dad, I grew up with my dad; always traveling during the weekends, going to the borders of Benin and Nigeria to buy shoes that he sold in different places like the Ministry of works and sorts. They said I took after my dad in everything because as young as 10/11 years old, my parents were comfortable putting me in a bus whenever I’m going for a holiday and giving the driver a number to call when we alight. They knew I enjoyed it and I was smart enough to be safe.

AFRIKAJUMP-Yes we don’t need a soothsayer to make us see your bravery. Congrats. What does culture mean to you?

PRECIOUS-Culture is everything to me and also I will say I’m just an old soul. It became my own way of life, even when I barely knew what I was doing I’ve always been attracted to culture. I came from a poor staunch Christian home so anything with any cultural attributes was always frowned at and automatically labeled evil-one of the disadvantages we suffer from religion/colonization. To me however culture will always be that way of living; the way our ancestors lived, the way they flourished just with exactly what we have around us.

AFRIKAJUMP-Preach sister.  Tell us about your project Myafurika please.

PRECIOUS-Myafurika is a huge project that is going to affect almost every aspect of reawakening in Africa as a whole. Myafurika focuses on showcasing the beauty and wonders of Africa. We travel to those places in Africa with historical heritages, rich in traditions and nature. Places that hold histories of Africa that most Africans don’t know ever happened. We go there, get pictures, videos then write about them for the world to see that Africa is not about dark people living in the dark; to show the world that Africa is beyond beautiful and to assure and teach our people that we can be greater and dependent by ourselves. We will also be introducing fashion very soon that we will make possible with our hand woven materials of course made here from start to finish.

AFRIKAJUMP-Sounds great, Good luck. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve encountered on your adventures?

PRECIOUS-Finance. It has been a very big issue because most people that would have been able to finance are dragging back because they don’t agree with our stance, saying it’s against their religion. Some don’t just see the importance of the reawakening because they are comfortable in not knowing and don’t want to know.
Then there is the issue of bad roads. We do most of our traveling by road and most of our roads are death traps thus making some trips fearful ones.

AFRIKAJUMP-Many Nigerians your age mostly practice religions that were imposed on Africans but you hold your ancestral beliefs close to your heart. What is the motivation?

PRECIOUS-Like I said before,I’m an old soul,its within me. Even with the fact of being born into  a staunch Christian home,religion never made sense to me. My grandmother played a big part in motivating me, around the short period I stayed with her,in the evenings when we sit in the veranda, and I ask her questions about religion she always ended up with a line I never forget. She will say to me ‘My dear daughter, always keep your heart clean and pure and always , have good intentions towards your fellow humans cause in anybody religion is within themselves’.

AFRIKAJUMP- Wise words. What do you propose to encourage religious tolerance in Nigeria, particularly those of our native belief systems?

PRECIOUS-Whenever the discussions on that tolerance is raised, I always use the saying “Live and let live” we live in a country that supports freedom of religion and that wasn’t categorized on some and some are left. So if some religion or Christians and/or Muslims are against native believers,what makes them different from what they preach about which is “Love”? So I think individuals should learn to understand that people’s way of worship doesn’t change anything from who they are, before any religion we were first of all  Humans. And no amount of religion is going change that.

AFRIKAJUMP- Preach. What is your dream destination?

PRECIOUS-South Africa,Greece

AFRIKAJUMP-Can you describe your city in one word?

PRECIOUS-Beautiful
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CHECK PRECIOUS’ WEBSITE HERE

http://myafurika.com/

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/MyAfurika/

 

AFRIKAJUMP had the real pleasure of sitting down with Nigerian rapper Teria Yarhere, more popularly known as M-Trill Teria. M-Trill has trilled audiences with hit songs that won him fans and awards until he changed directions to pursue other creative paths. He is back on the scene with his new musical work- ABOH. This word in Teria’s language from Delta state means CLAP.

M-trill talks about stuff he did while away from music, and more.

Further below is the premiere of the track and video on this page.

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AFRIKAJUMP M-trill, how does it feel to be back on the scene with your new work, Aboh?

M-TRILL I think relieved is the right word. I feel relieved to be back, music doesn’t allow you a life if you do not answer it. Every song is a reminder of what you can do, so I’m happy to be making and putting out music again.

AFRIKAJUMP What were some of the lessons you learned from your recent past time of absence from mainstream music?

M-TRILL Quite a number, more business lessons though because I started a media support company. I learnt a lot about customer service. Your client’s troubles automatically become yours. I was waking up at 4am to respond to client needs. I loved the experience. I learnt how to better manage people, I learnt more about myself and what drives me. I think what I learnt the most was balance. The art of walking the thin line and catering to all needs at the same time.

AFRIKAJUMP Congrats M-trill. Can you tell us a bit about your new song Aboh, and what inspired it?

M-TRILL Aboh was partly inspired by my very first single “Bounce” off my first album. I began that song with a phrase “where my clap at”…turned out to be very effective for performances as it was the ice breaker between the crowd and myself. I also always liked the way the churches in Warri clap and praise. The claps alone are melodious so I wanted to try and infuse all that into this song.

AFRIKAJUMP Clearly it’s working for you. Welldone. Is this single part of a coming album?

M-TRILL Yes, the album locally made should drop this year by God’s grace. There’s a lot of music I want to free myself off. So, yes we will be dropping the album this year.

AFRIKAJUMP The influence of your culture is evident in your new video. What does culture mean to you?

M-TRILL For me, it’s the balance. I really don’t rap in pidgin or any of the local languages so infusing our culture in the beats and visuals is my way of balancing it for my target audience. I needed to find a way to let people know where I am from and I didn’t want any misconceptions.

AFRIKAJUMP If you had the power to change three things in Nigeria’s music industry for good, what would they be?

M-TRILL Royalties. I would change the ways royalties are collected so more artistes can live off their art. 2. Better media platforms for performing arts…so more TV and radio shows that go beyond playing music videos and more music related content, educative and entertaining content. 3. Celebrate the diversity in music, most of the songs in the industry sound the same and that’s because we do not celebrate the diverse talents that abound, I would like to change that.

AFRIKAJUMP Thanks bro. Lastly, can you describe your city in just one word?

M-TRILL Port Harcourt is my city and that’s Home. PH is home to me.

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WATCH “ABOH ON YOUTUBE 

 

LISTEN TO “ABOH” ON SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/user-34074749/mtrillaboh

CONNECT WITH THE ARTIST

Twitter- @Mtrillteria

Instagram – @Mtrillteria

facebook – @mtrillteria

Nigeria is home to many prolific story tellers, always has been. It is evident in movies; music; writers and especially vivid in its theater. 60s and 70s Nigeria saw a boom in drama and stage performances with human proponents like Hubert Ogunde, Baba Sala, Eddie Ugbomah, Ken Saro Wiwa and many other lesser known but well loved thespians that impacted their immediate communities and cities.

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AFRIKAJUMP is happy to have here Temitope Omobolanle Haastrup-Atitebi, a gifted actor often sighted in quality theatrical productions in Nigeria. She was part of the popular SARO-The Musical; which had a cast of over one hundred artists, and has also played Funmilayo Kuti, activist and mother of legendary musician Fela Kuti. She continues to represent depth and detail in her field. The entrepreneur and charity organizer took time of her busy life to answer some questions about life and work.

Here goes.

AFRIKAJUMP- It is a real pleasure to have you on, sister. Thank you for giving us some of your time. How do you juggle being a theater artist and entrepreneur?

OMOBOLANLE-I have realized that I am blessed being a Theater artiste because theater is really encompassing. It prepares and trains you for the persistence and doggedness one needs in any area of life really. Fortunately, what I do as an entrepreneur is in the art; an extension of theater. I trained in acting, costume, make-up, stage management, theater management, directing and production management.

All these skills and knowledge come to play whenever I need them either as an Event manager or as a fashion and craft vendor. Truth be told I don’t even see it as work, because every event is a production that needs all these skills to become a success.
It was actually the theater that inspired my business and provided a platform for me to grow, needless to say most of my clients are in the industry and they give me a lot of referrals as well. That’s why I call myself a Theater-preneur.

AFRIKAJUMP- How did your journey into theater and performance start; and was your family supportive of your decision to study theater at the university?

OMOBOLANLE-I have always been in love with performing arts. I had been singing, writing, acting and dancing as part of school/extra curriculum activities. However I started becoming aware of the special gifts and passion I have for performing arts after secondary school while waiting to get into the University.
Sometime in 1995, I saw a notice board with an invitation to become an actress. I remember walking into the building, registering and being very excited; that was the beginning. Afterwards I went to the training venue somewhere off Yaba road and there I met Lancelot Odua Imasuen.
The training school was called Jovies. However the major challenge was convincing my family that I wanted to study Theater.

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They felt that I was confused and didn’t know what I wanted at the time. Studying theater was a waste of my intelligence as far as they were concerned. I must confess I was confused about a lot of things I wanted in life then but being a performer was not one of them. Theater has been the only constant thing in my life, something I never struggle to do.‎ I fought my way through the opposition from my family and even from within me; Theater won.

AFRIKAJUMP- Beautiful. Congrats. What was your first role you got a cheque for and what was the experience like?

OMOBOLANLE-I honestly can’t remember getting a pay cheque but am sure I did. The experience was much more than a cheque for me at the time. Just being able to perform, being acknowledged as an artiste trumps a million dollar cheque.

The play was OBASEKI produced and directed  by Don Pedro Obaseki  with a star-studded cast of Richard Mofe-Damijo, Norbert Young,Stella Damasus, Henry Ese, Toyin Oshinaike,Kabat Esosa-Egbon, Eliel Otote,Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen and a host of dancers and singers. Everything I know in the arts, j first learnt from these people. I went from being a singer in the Orchestra to becoming an actor and later to be declared best dancer by Don P! (Story for another day).

Later went on to work with Lancelot’s production company as a secretary and was the production secretary as well as an actor in his first films YEAR 2000 and YESTERDAY. I also did my first TV series called laugh patterns in 2002/2003.

AFRIKAJUMP- Lovely, I remember Laugh Patterns. And your fashion ventures, what inspired it?

OMOBOLANLE- I literally just found myself in fashion it wasn’t planned at all. I wanted to make souvenirs and gift items that are unique. Again the arts inspired me; I started looking at using materials that speaks of my cultural background that can appeal to the world. It just took off from making flip-flops to bangles and earrings to tote bags to hair accessories to t-shirts and then dresses and then to everything I can. I am also a very fashionable person so it became a translation of my lifestyle into work. Now I do costumes for productions, my latest jobs were AFFRIF the Christmas play by Harvesters Christian Church in 2016.

AFRIKAJUMP- You have also worked in theater productions which heavily incorporate music, like Saro, and you also played Fela’s mother, how has your exposure with different aspects to art affected you as an actor?

OMOBOLANLE- When I started out, there was excuse for not being able to sing, dance and act- it’s a must. There’s absolutely no doubt that I got the best training  from the best hands in the industry and what that has afforded me is that I can be in any kind of theater production in any capacity, and I always give much more than I have been called for. I contribute positively to every aspect of the production that I possibly can. Playing Fela’s mother Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a great honor and being part of Nigerian’s first commercially acclaimed musical was a dream come through which I was well equipped for.

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AFRIKAJUMP- What would you say of the reception by people in Nigeria about this important branch of art-theater?

OMOBOLANLE-Theater is life; it’s everything. Africans, Nigerians love telling stories, love spectacle; love music and dance and this is what theater is about unfortunately there was a lull, somewhere somehow we traded our essence for shadow. The craze of westernization and all its accompaniment almost killed theater but we are going back to embracing who we are and developing those things that makes us unique as a people. Nigerians are beginning to look for alternative forms of entertainment and theater is providing that especially because it’s not limited; there’s drama, music and dance and now even fashion. The theater is also very interactive and a great place to network.

AFRIKAJUMP- What has been your most challenging role so far?

OMOBOLANLE-My most challenging role was playing Iya Ibeji in Femi Osofisan’s Twingle Twangle a Twanny Tayle in 2003 as directed by Dr Sola Fosudo. It was my first lead role as an actor. I had to show a lot of emotions; one minute I am sad another I am angry or throwing tantrums….I had to manage my voice and be on point. I tried though because I won the best actress of the year at ATAS LASU 2003 for that role.

AFRIKAJUMP- Congrats girl. What would a dream role be, in your opinion?

OMOBOLANLE-Playing Sister Clarence in Sisters Act.

AFRIKAJUMP- What do you think upcoming theater enthusiasts need to know basically?

OMOBOLANLE-Theater is hard work with a lot of passion. Talent alone cannot take you far you must invest in developing yourself all the time. You must constantly reinvent.

AFRIKAJUMP- Can you describe your city in one word?

OMOBOLANLE-Inspiring.

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On this year’s World Read Aloud Day, it is a real pleasure to have Nigerian Author, Editor and children’s book writer Ayo Olofintuade as our guest. Ayo became more visible on Nigeria’s literary scene after her book ENO’S STORY published in 2010 earned her a Nigeria Prize for Literature nomination.

She is more interesting because she isn’t only about writing books, but wants people; particularly Nigerians; to read books. To actualize this challenge she founded LAIPO Mobile Library which has engaged hundreds of Nigerian children in reading and other literary activities.

We are also inspired by her human rights activism.

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We caught up with Ayo at her Ibadan base and had a good chat, after which she graciously read a passage from her heartwarming new work KING OF THE HEAP, in celebration of 2017’s World Read Aloud Day. Enjoy.

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AFRIKAJUMP- Thanks for sharing your time with us Ayo. You were our top choice on the blog today also because of your spirited efforts in the area of literacy with Nigerian children. Why are you so involved?

AYO- I grew up reading, so when I discovered that a lot of children do not have access to libraries or good books I decided to do something about it.

AFRIKAJUMP- Congrats. We are excited about your new book “King of the heap”. What inspired it?

AYO- One of the things I discovered while running the mobile library project in public and lower income private schools is that the children enjoy books with characters they are familiar with. King of the heap was written for the children I teach. They are the children you see on the streets after school hours, during holidays and on weekends, selling things by the roadside. These are my heroes because they’re determined to make a life for themselves in spite of all the odds stacked against them.

AFRIKAJUMP- We hear the book isn’t going to be widely distributed, but will feature in some select libraries- some consolation. Why is this so?

AYO- I applied for a business grant from the Tony Elumelu Foundation, I had such grand plans but things didn’t work out the way I’d envisaged them, because of the economy and sheer incompetence of the people I worked with. Instead of completely losing out I made the decision to keep the circulation low while I work on other business models that can work in the situationship called Nigeria.

AFRIKAJUMP- Why have you chosen to write for children?

AYO- I am that eternal child that still watches cartoons and reads comics.

AFRIKAJUMP- What was your favorite book as a child?

AYO- My Father’s Daughter by Mabel Segun, basically because it features a black, female character who went on the same adventure as boys.

AFRIKAJUMP- Who’s your favourite Author now? You only get to choose one… hehehe evil, I know.

AYO- You are Evil. But I’m presently enamoured with Yaa Gyasi. Her book ‘Homegoing’ provided a much needed insight into the slavery period in Africa, particularly what happened in the Gold Coast.

AFRIKAJUMP- On this year’s World Read Aloud day, how do you think the reading culture of your country can be improved?

AYO- The only way is the provision of quality education that makes reading (and I’m not talking about textbooks here) its chief concern.

AFRIKAJUMP- Can you describe your city in one word?

AYO- Sarcastic.

Nigerian and South American music collective in Brazil; Okwei Odili and Aweto Band had their first outing in this year on February 3 at Tropos, Salvador. The gig which was also in tribute to Yemoja week in Bahia, attracted friends and fans of the band who were thrilled with Afrobeat, Soul and Reggae vibes enhanced by the band’s ancestries.

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They perform Okwei’s composition- SUFFER in the link below

To be in the know about the band’s activities, click and LIKE their page here-

https://www.facebook.com/OkweiNigeria/

 

 

 

 

The night of February first was alive with hundreds of people in the streets of Salvador, mostly dressed in white and blue, some in gold and pink; in honor of maternal deity/energy of the Sea- Yemoja, Yemaya, Iemanja.

The very next day February second would be the climax of the yearly event, with more people; fanfare and Baianos ancestral customs of worship, culture, fashion and other expressions on full display.

Afrikajump joined many faithfuls and adventure seekers who kept vigil on the night of February first in Rio Vermelho- Salvador, and here are some shots of the event.

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Many thanks to TV LAPA DIGITAL FOR THE DAY TWO PHOTOS BELOW ❤

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