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FIVE OF MY FAVORITE NIGERIAN BOOKS

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Books. We’ve all read books, some of us still read novels and some of us don’t even remember the last book we read (I am guilty of this). For most of us, reading is an escape from reality’s boring embrace, it is an adventure we take without moving from our chairs or beds. reading feels better when we are getting our time’s worth in the books we read. we are attracted to the subjects and the vast characters in each book. whether we relate to the characters or not we almost certainly get engulfed in their stories and lives.
It’s literature month at LL, and in honor of the theme, I’m going to make a list of my favorite Nigerian novels and my favorite/stand-out character in each book.

Simbi goes to school.
I’ll start with a book we should all be familiar with, You’d laugh, but, If you did your primary education in Nigeria, you would know Simbi’s story had a vital role to play in our development as lovers of the literary culture. This book’s influence was the foundation for most of our interest in reading books.
Simbi is a girl, Simbi did go to school and she always went early. She followed all the rules, never did any wrong. Simbi passed WAEC, JAMB, NECO and every other obstacle that was placed to not make her gain admission into a university, she graduated with a first class in petroleum engineering and is currently working as a receptionist at a law firm.

Simbi

Ali.
Ali is Simbi’s brother, he loved school too, and he was a talented grass cutter. He had the agile wrist of a lawn tennis professional.
Ali

Akata witch by Nnendi Okorafor
Nnendi Okorafor is an amazing writer, and Akata witch is her best work to me so far. It is a magical story of Sunny, A nigerian-albino, who was born in America, but lives in Nigeria. She was never allowed to go outside into the sun and play; which saddened her most of the time, because, she was a very good athlete and loved playing football. She discovered that she was a witch and struggles to cope with that revelation. She eventually joins a band of other witches to battle a magical criminal.
It is a Great book, with a great plot and great characters.
I do recommend.

Sunny


Purple hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie

I read purple hibiscus when I was arriving at my teenage years and it made me appreciate my parents and how they punished me even more. Adichie has written a series of hits back-to-back and to me this book is her best yet. Purple hibiscus is about Kambili, a fifteen year old girl, who comes from a rich and dysfunctional family. She struggles with school, making friends, religion, and her father, Eugene, most of all. I loved everything about the book, from the character development to it’s style. Chimamanda really did a number here.

Eugene

Eugene is not my favorite character. I just wanted to show you guys, how I imagined his appearance while reading the book.

The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta.
This heartfelt book is about Nnu-ego and her husband Nnaife and Nnu-ego’s plight with child bearing. The novel centers around the necessity for a woman to be fertile, and above all to give birth to sons. The down pouring of neglect that comes with the lack of children and the relief that comes with having children; especially male children.
It was a great book, and even though it was published in 1979, it is still very much relevant today in 2017.

Nnu-ego

The Concubine by Elechi Amadi

I finally got to read this book last year, and I found myself asking why I took so long. This is a tragic tale set in eastern-Nigeria. It is about a beautiful woman, Ihuoma, who only brought death and suffering to every man who became her lover. It is an amazing story, dramatic and tragic. The writing, the plot and the characters make it hard to believe it was a debut novel by Elechi Amadi.

Ihuoma

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The Lemon Curd x Korede.J

How did your journey as a photographer begin?

Korede.J: Hmm. As I recall, photography for me started as learning a skill in my year 9 as a school project. I already had two digital cameras but my parents acquired the DSLR camera for the assignment. I then put all my effort and energy into it because I fancied what I had started.

Did you intend on your childhood hobby became a passion as such? if so do you see it becoming a profession?

K.J: It wasn’t a childhood hobby per say. I didn’t initially think this hobby would develop into a profession however it’s what I’m now studying in the university currently

What are your plans for your future photography wise?

K.J: Well already I have a studio named “Alté Studios” In VI.
I’m also going to continue focusing on events photography, and I do videos as well.

So what was your experience at The Lemon Curd this year? How was it?

K.J: I think it was nicely set up .the initiative is fantastic. The best of its kind in Lagos so far. Working as well, connecting with other photographers was a good networking event for me.

What do you think can be done to better the experience?

K.J: More artists and more talents.
It’s not only about the music and dance. People want to showcase arts also people are in other parts of the country that would love to participate. This would then require a larger venue.

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thegunnavision.

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Ugonna ‘gunna’ Ikechi, a Toronto-based Nigerian multi-media artist.
 
thegunnavision. functions as a conduit for his visual expressions via a variety of media. His work is based on a sincere visual language that seeks to unify his love for thought-provocation and aesthetic compositions.
1-3. [ vrede.in.pyn ] series
these pieces are about maintaining a sense of personal tranquility despite the conditions of external circumstances. ‘vrede in pyn’ is swahili for ‘peace in pain.’ this series articulates the aim to contrast current situations with juxtaposed emotions, pacified and vulnerable, yet resilient.. going against odds and norms.
 
 
4-5. [ pacif.i ] and [ unbothrd ]
the sense of freedom and peace are very prominent themes in my art, probably as a result of my continual, personal quest for them. these pieces work to depict those sensations.
 
6-7. [ brothr ] series
these drawings were created in accordance with a year-long visual series ‘Brother,’ by photographer Ohi Omo-Eboh of GreenInc., on the versatility of black men.
 
8. [ last summer II ]
this is a photograph eye shot and edited for recording artiste Ojo’s debut Last Summer EP. it really captures the mood and direction of the project.
 
 
9. [ new age prophecy ]
this is a graphic piece for recording artiste Deuce’s debut New Age Prophecy LP. the urgency and context of the album is depicted in the work.
 
 
10. [ the wav.e rid.e ]
i’m coming to terms with the uncertainty and thrill of success here. this piece represents my life in an analogy of my art career, filled with purpose, intent and strife.. focused on my vision, not my rear.
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Fashion Film: ‘Illegal’ by Daniel Obasi

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A visual experience exploring sexuality, gender fluidity and non-conformity from a contemporary African perspective through fashion and fantasy. 
Shot in Lagos Nigeria

Director and stylist – Daniel Obasi
Narrator – Josiah Osagie
Models – Daberechi Ukoha-Kalu and Tobiloba subomi
Composer – Snargzy
Editor – Robert Matuluko
Make up – Awoyemi kemi
Hair – Happiness Okon
Creative Assistant – Lauretta Orji

Commissioned by Oxosi

Designers 
Orangeculture 
Iamisigo 
Tsemaye Binite 
Raya jewellries 
Rayo
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IBEJII

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IBEJII is a storyteller who uses folklore, metaphor and vernacular to clothe his music and deliver in a unique and sensitive manner. IBEJII seeks to explore, traditional Yoruba folk, Jazz, Dance, RnB, Juju among other genres.
Stunt Context:
The Stunt featured 12 models dressed in IBEJII’s signature outfit – a pair of dark glasses, wig and a linen tunic. The models combed various parts of Lagos including, Lekki, Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge, Marina, Awolowo way, Oba Akran, Yaba, Surulere, Alausa, Bourdillon, Opebi, Obalende.
Pedestrians and Motorists had different expressions and attitude towards the models. They expressed worry, surprise, joy, enthusiasm, wary etc.
 

Wearing his birth and musical roots as badge of authenticity, Ibejii’s essence is a fine balance of ‘Taiye’ & ‘Kehinde’ (both twins), the physical and the transcendent, timeworn and timeless, African vibe and international sound.

Part of his debut body of work, ‘Green.White.Dope.002‘ is ‘Afro-Retro’ and ‘Afro-Soul’ in one and a journey of self-discovery – a journey that embraces hope and promise, but also self-doubt and diffidence. Listen Here!

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Princess Okoh Talks Life, Music, And #WomanEP + Visuals

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In preparation for her new EP, I caught up with Princess Okoh—the 19-year old singer who officially debuted in 2015 with the soulful hit “Heartless” and then launched her well received EP Dear Cupid—to get to know more about the person behind the music, the girl behind the words, the woman behind the voice. We spoke about a variety of topics, ranging from the deeply personal, to the somewhat irrelevant.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Princess Onyinye Okoh. I am a 19 year old Nigerian singer and writer  from Delta State but I grew up in Lagos. I am a law student at the University of Nottingham in my final year.

 

Who is your life inspiration?

My mother.

 

How would you describe the relationship of your parents with your music?

My dad was extremely supportive of my music and I’m sure he’d have been so proud of what I’m doing now. My mum has always been a bit reluctant because she didn’t want me to be distracted or lose focus, but she’s slowly catching on.

 

Who is your music inspiration?

I have SO many, like the list is endless. But I’d say Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Omawumi, Luther Vandross, Alicia Keys, Banky W, and Emeli Sande.

 

Your last compilation was Dear Cupid, tell us a bit about that.

Dear Cupid was a collaborative EP with Moyo Fuga. It was made up of 3 songs which were about different things relating to love and relationships, hence the title. We literally recorded the whole thing in a weekend, it was absolutely amazing to create and I really enjoyed working with Moyo. Even though the reception wasn’t like what I had hoped, I was really happy that people enjoyed it.

 

In what ways have you grown since then?

I’ve grown immensely since then, in terms of my sound and lyrics. I’ve become very experimental with the music I make and I’m really excited for you guys to hear it!

 

Tell us about the forthcoming project, and how this growth ties in.

“Woman” is my first solo EP and I’ve been working on it for about two years. It’s been the most wonderful, stressful, exhausting and hands down hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life but I’m certain it’ll be worth it. Woman has been a personal stretch for me, I’ve had to explore genres and speak on issues I usually wouldn’t but it’s been an enjoyable process and I’m very sure the listeners will appreciate the growth and the effort put into it.

 

What do you aim to achieve with this project, both musically and commercially?

Really and truly, at the very top of my list, I aim to inspire someone. Putting out “Woman” is such a bold step for me, it’s almost like giving people a preview to my life and my experiences, so I really want people to be able to relate to the songs and feel what I was feeling when I created it. I also hope that the EP will bring my highest number of plays, but as long as people are inspired, I’m fulfilled.

 

What are your thoughts on the new age of Nigerian creatives? How do you think we can rise from a catchphrase to the main event?

I’m a huge supporter of the “New Age” movement. Although I feel the phrase is used a bit too much and mostly out of place, but I’m 100% here for supporting creatives of all sort. To be honest, nothing comes easy and overnight, creatives just need to keep doing what they do, one day it’ll be their turn to be in the limelight.

 

You have the power to change one thing about the music industry, to make it better, what change would you consider the most effective to make?

The pressure put on artistes by labels and fans to release music ever so often. I really hate that and it’s one of my biggest fears for when I “blow”. I know how inconsistent my creative process and how hard it’ll be for me to put out “quality” music ever so often, and the truth is, a lot of the big artistes out there are just like me.

 

Now for the big question, did you like Daddy Yo? and bigger still, Davido or Wizkid?

Daddy Yo didn’t really catch on me at first, but after a few listens – Issa JAM!. Wizkid all the way, I’m offended you’d even compare.

 

50 years from now, you look back at your life, what’s your greatest achievement?

50 years, wow. I want to be a living legend. I want to be one of the biggest people in the entertainment industry, reaping the fruits of my labour and receiving lifetime accomplishment awards.

 

What’s been your greatest achievement so far?

I actually haven’t thought about this, probably having my song starred on the Nigerian series “My Best Friend’s Wedding”.

 

What’s been your lowest moment?

I’ve had many, but losing my dad was probably the lowest one.

 

On those bad days where the strength to carry on making music is almost nonexistent? How do you get through it.

Days like that are horrible. I always get through it by reminding myself why I started and how therapeutic it is for me to express myself through my music. Talking to friends and supporters of my music also helps me.

 

If your life was a movie, which would it be?

I actually can’t say. I’m not really a movie person.

 

In high school, where did you fit in?

I had different stages to be honest. Most of junior secondary school, I was just loud and bitter, so I wasn’t really part of the “popular” people. But moving schools towards the end of my senior year, I began to care less about being ‘popular’ or ‘cool’ and I started to really discover myself and, ironically, that’s when I started getting popular.

 

If there was no applause, no criticism, no fear of poverty, who would you be?

Honestly, I would just keep being who I am and doing the things I do.

 

I’m looking forward to the Woman EP which drops soon.

Below are visuals which give a little more insight on what to expect from Princess’ EP, please check it out:

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#theTOOLevent

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Time Of Our Lives 2017 ( #theTOOLevent )

Games x Food x Music
Due to non-stop questions and huge demand…
TOOL17 is here for the biggest summer event ever!We are excited to announce…
The Perfect EXCUSE for a break this summer…
THE TOOL EVENT!- FOOD AND DRINKS
– GAMES, RAFFLE DRAWS, COMPETITIONS AND DARES
– MUSIC, PERFORMANCE AND DANCE
– GRINDS AND CHILLS
– & much much more…SATURDAY 12 AUGUST 2017, FROSTYZ , BODIJA, IBADAN
TICKETS ON SALE NOW (& Selling Out FAST!!!!)
Time of our life ’17 is an event you don’t wanna miss.It is going to be epic, features a lot of games, music to vibe to, food and lots of drinks, it’s going to be a time to chill, connect with old friends. There’s not much we can say about it now.just come see for yourself
#theTOOLevent #tool17 #timeofourlives17
Follow us on all Twitter, Instagram & Snapchat : theTOOLevent

Brought to you by
Ini Olu , Benz , Iv Fits and theAyoBusari,Oshobisi

 

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The Sublime: A Short Film by Ajay Abalaka

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Solitude is myself and the sublime,

in the sublime,

where you hear my heart cry

This is the first short film by Ajay Abalaka, a budding Filmmaker, Photographer and Writer. She captures not only what it means to be introverted, but also adds to the beauty of it. The Sublime, starring Tracy Adjei and voice over by Colleen Laurent,  is a capsule of aesthetics and poetry- an aid and companion to the viewer as we join our protagonist on her search for a safe place to an unexpected end.

The film feels slow, a drawn out journey that is undoubtedly a reflection of our character’s experience, and the title is befitting of its ambience. The narration is our guide and we are offered a range of emotions she goes through, coupled with a broken heart. We are given an inkling of where she is coming from and what she is seeking. Something further highlighted by the Director in her note:

“I have tried to narrate what it feels like living in utopia and also, one of the many things that come with trying to find a safe place in a bittersweet world, where there seems to be no hope for emotional recovery.”

There is a delight to be found in the colourful imagery as the simplicity of it all overshadows an otherwise complex situation. This seems to be a reflection of Ajay herself or her style, as one goes through her Instagram. Ajay is a great photographer with a gifted eye for finding beauty in simplicity, which she has incorporated into his filmmaking. ‘The Sublime’ is a promise of what is to come and we look forward to seeing more of her work soon.

Sublime, this is what I live for

Ocean blue, make me full

Still water, calm my soul

Waves make me think out loud, but slow.

Watch ‘The Sublime’ below.

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The Traveller Series (UNO)

The Traveller (5)

 

Ever heard of Port Harcourt in Nigeria? 

What are your first thoughts? 

Black soot. Kidnappings. Tales of strife and stagnation. You rarely hear about the beauty of my Port Harcourt. 

She is beautiful. Picturesque if I might add, red roofs, abandoned colonial buildings, washed out brick walls, palm trees and the infamous meal of boli and fish. The stuff of dreams. My dream!

My Port Harcourt is the pulse and oil of Nigeria (pun intended). Finding creative minds here seems to be almost impossible, and that is not for the lack of but simply because of the migration most have had to go through to keep their heads above water. But we did it! We started The Journey of a Traveller – a creative series to highlight the beauty of this city as well as talents within through fashion and beautiful places.

The Journey of a Traveller (UNO). A collaborative shoot between Enefa, (@enefa_a) travel and documentary photographer) and House of ZETA model Tosin.

 

 

As she walked down the stairs of a thousand memories, she looks towards the blue skies hoping it had answers for the journey ahead.

the-traveller

She thinks of the life she had before, almost as if they lived at the top of the stairs. Her family, work, lover, everything seemed to blur out as she set out on this journey. She is scared of what it holds but uncertainty looks like the propelling force she desperately needs.

the-traveller the-traveller

To move or not to move. To stay and fight or find bliss in the lands unknown? Ever believed in your heart how you will definitely be happy anywhere but where you are currently? The windows as she looked out have always helped in the past. For her, in a building, the window was another portal to the world outside, another possibility on the life that lies ahead.

the-traveller

Brick wall, shattered ceilings and unhinged doors – they seem to be the order of her day. But as she takes in the scenery of what used to constitute her life, she becomes certain of the road less travelled is the road she must go on.

the-traveller

This marks the beginning of The Traveller.

 

 

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