Monday, September 26, 2011

Lil Wayne - How To Love [Official Music Video]

sad, beautiful, it made me cry....

I often complain about the "NGO aesthetics" of what scholar Jane Bryce has called "donor films"--the sort of didactic "message oriented" films you see made on HIV prevention, VVF, and other social ills. I was speculating the other day, that the predominance of such films makes it very difficult to deal with serious issues like HIV in creative ways that don't turn off any audience who have seen and heard the message a hundred times before.

I don't know the background of Lil Wayne's music video, How To Love,
and whether there was any NGO involved in it. I doubt it, but I think filmmakers working with "donor" agendas could learn something from it. Perhaps there's something about the emotional punch of the short form of the music video, the expectation of sexy context from Lil Wayne, and the uncontrived sincerity in it that catches you unaware. There is a message here, but it feels more like "truth" than "propaganda", and I can watch it over and over again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

soyeyya [love] by XDOGGinit

My current music video obsession. I think this may be one of the best Hausa-language music videos I have ever seen. The camera-work is great, and the story is well-told, and the rap beat is so catchy I have been listening to it non-stop since yesterday. Interestingly, this was apparently made in 2006 (which you can tell if you know the Kannywood stars featured--who have aged somewhat since the making of the video), but only just uploaded to youtube a few months ago. The Hausa is a bit non-standard (the use of danmama, danbaba, instead of yar for a girl) but exciting all the same. X-Dogg init is definitely a musician to keep an eye out for.

Monday, June 27, 2011


blocked, blocked, blocked, blocked, got up at 5am to write. nepa went off just as i realized i hadn't boiled water for tea to wake me up. stared at my screen and dozed between words. finally curled up on the couch with my feet on two stacked bound volumes of newspapers and my head in the deep hole in my couch and slept off with my laptop blinking and purring beside me. (thank God for my investment in an inverter and battery). woke up and decided to read a few more documents from the censorship board, three chapters for the ur-text on northern nigerian cinema culture by B.L. 11:42am haven't written anything. wishing i could do everything everyone wants me to do for them, wishing i could do everything i want to do, no duties, and instead doing nothing but read. sometimes reading helps me start writing. in this case, it just makes me wonder if i can ever write anything so long and so elegant and so beautifully cited, with theory interwoven throughout the historical detail.

i try to remind myself of the sermon in hausa i heard yesterday, "perfect love drives out fear." yesterday it was comforting, inspiring, left me with a glow throughout the day. now i just feel guilty. i do not love [this topic? myself? God? my lost love? my department? my friends whom i am disappointing by refusing to go out and visit?] perfectly, therefore i fear. i fear writing. i fear disappointing. i fear not meeting a deadline.


i do not fear writing. i love writing--this sort of meandering spiel, for example--the reason i started this blog back when i was writing my (awful) masters thesis. i can naval gaze through typing all day long and gain a lot of insight from it. i fear academic writing. the necessary perfection of it. the craft of it. the "jobness" of it. if this article were a blog post, I would be done with it by now, and with a million links and photos too. And probably hundreds of more people would read it than will read this book chapter.

enough kvetching, i've wound out some of the tension in my head. back to the article.

it's on censorship. and perhaps i should try getting myself to write by just not censoring myself. this is not an article for publication, i will lie to myself, it is a blog post that people can google at midnight. i can edit it out later.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blogger Nostalgia

I spent more time than I really had this evening reading back over old blog posts from this blog. I miss it. I miss writing everything that I am thinking in diary fashion, a lot of which was boring but which sometimes turned up jewels of observation and description. I miss working through my thesis and my thoughts on this blog as if it were a workbook. I miss writing about random walks, the sleepless nights before travelling, about my childhood and my friends. I miss the blogging community and the other bloggers who would often leave comments here: Christian Writer, Teju, Texter, Toks-boy, Jeremy, even the gadfly Fred, and all the others. I miss the satisfaction that this blog brought, and the feeling that even if I was procrastinating something by writing here, that I was building up an archive that I could look back on, in dry spells, for inspiration. And I was right. It has been.

My attention has been taken over by my professional blog, with my real name. I can't write that one off the top of my head with little editing as I did this one (I've let it go too long without an update too, because I can't stand the thought of the hours it will take to properly update), and the damnable addiction of facebook, which has grown too large and too demanding and too invasive--yet i still can't leave it alone. Both forums lack the intimacy and playfulness of this blog that I began in the days when the Nigerian blogging community was just beginning and was still small and affectionate and not as glossy as it is now.

This is the way our lives progress. I now write for money, and am beginning (the key word is *beginning* here) to crank out academic publications. People now write my public email address with comments on my writing and "like" (I blush) my public facebook page. These things, too, are satisfying, but perhaps just as temporal as this blog. The next hurdle on my horizon is finishing the dissertation (in partial requirement for the PhD), which should have been done last year, or now, and perhaps I should return more frequently here as I try to write, much as I did when I was writing my MA thesis.

I miss anonymity. That is, perhaps, the major reason I do not write here as often. This blog has become too visible. Too linked to my public persona. I would say "I can't just kvetch here anymore" but I suppose that is what I am doing. Kvetching. Publically. Some would say "whining." For no good reason.

Many of my blogging friends from the days when I was regularly keeping this up have taken down their blogs, others let them lie fallow. Some of them have become famous authors, who have gotten rave reviews in world presses and nominated for major awards. Others write, now, for money too. But I can't bear to take this blog down. I let it remain, an archive, the place I file youtube videos I like, and my occasional outlet to write things that are not academic and are not professional--to write little rants and creative bits and bobs that fit nowhere else but here.

This space comforts me. I think I will come back more often.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Music video by Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley performing Patience. (C) 2010 Universal Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

speechless.... incredibly beautiful on multiple levels....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ice prince ft Brymo - Oleku (naija music 2010)

A song worth obsessing over. I've loved this Ice Prince song since I first heard it. An American journalist currently visiting Nigeria for the first time, just sent it to me again telling me how obsessed she was with the song. She also googled the lyrics, which can be read here. She was surprised (as I am) at the dismissive tone of a bjmighty on the nairaland thread who said "Just normal rhyming. He can do better."

Naija-people, sometimes we don't appreciate what we have, until someone from the outside points it out to us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


fire flared fierce, then flickered down to a warm steady flame, a light that glimmers through cracks in clay, feeds on air and dust, faith, hope, and love, when wick and wax is gone.

Friday, February 11, 2011

#Jan25 Egypt - Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Freeway, Ayah, Amir Sulaima...

I should go to bed tonight, but I am obsessed with Egypt.

Here is a video that has been going around: #Jan25 Egypt. On YouTube, the notes read:

"Inspired by the resilience of Egyptian people during their recent uprising, several notable musicians from North America have teamed up to release a song of solidarity and empowerment. The track is fittingly titled “#Jan25″ as a reference to both the date the protests officially began in Egypt, and its prominence as a trending topic on Twitter. Produced by Sami Matar, a Palestinian-American composer from Southern California, and featuring the likes of Freeway, The Narcicyst, Omar Offendum, HBO Def Poet Amir Sulaiman, and Canadian R&B vocalist Ayah – this track serves as a testament to the revolution’s effect on the hearts and minds of today’s youth, and the spirit of resistance it has come to symbolize for oppressed people worldwide."

It begins

First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they fight you.

Then you win.

The song was apparently posted on YouTube a few days ago, but, as music and art so often is, it was prescient, confident of success, yet reflective on the anxieties of revolution: “We know freedom is the answer, the only question is, ‘Who’s Next?’