Nigeria

Seven Lean Cows

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How Nigerian Charismatic Christianity Became a Thing It takes two hours to get past Third Mainland Bridge when traffic is thick. I am squeezed beside a petite woman in a congested bus. Her head hangs over the phone screen. A young preacher vibrates on the screen, and she mutters along.  Amen. Amen. I look in […]

“Thus Counsels Ìṣẹ̀ṣe” by Wọlé Ṣóyínká

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[Lecture delivered on September 1, 2023 at the Freedom Park, Lagos.] ÌSẸ̀ṢE has come, but not gone. We salute all those – human rights activists, community leaders, affronted citizens, advocates of equity, and all –  but the state governors most especially – who have taken history to task and boldly formalized a level praying ground […]

Life and Times with Kole Omotosho – 1943 – 19 July 2023

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My teacher and friend. A memorial was held today 8 August, 2023 in South Africa where he settled for most of the past 30 years. Kole was one of the earliest Nigerian academics to move to SA. He left Nigeria as soon as apartheid started thawing, ahead of independence. I first met Kole as a […]

Subsidy cuts and increased electricity tariff driving renewable energy uptake in Nigeria

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For several weeks Nurudeen Aribisala’s wife consistently advised that they get solar power for their home in Lagos, but he did not pay much attention. Last month, the transformer powering their area blew and electricity has not been restored since — this was his cue to purchase  solar technology for his household.  “Power is infrequent […]

Afterlife of Poems

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In the cities, chit-chatting women with broken heels right their slipping sleeves with one hand and remove gums from their mouths with the other to paste the obituary of poems merely to do “justice” Posters hanging on for life to traumatized walls bearing the vague impression of poems tortured contortionists dissolving into amorphous ink Their […]

Shanty Town: A Nollywood Proverb

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The opening scene of Shanty Town, the mini-series currently running on Netflix, was rather long, graphic and brutal. Loud explosions, the rat-at-tat of guns, raining sand, frightened people running helter-skelter, heavy objects connecting with unprotected heads, more violent people with more guns that went on and on… but, no body parts flying through the air, […]

The Personal is also Political in Nigeria’s 2023 Elections

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To do good is one thing. To know what it is that is good to do is another. The former can easily be determined by the value of its consequences while the latter might pose as a palm kernel in a person’s cognitive processes. It is an uneasy epistemic process because of the skepticism that […]

The Poetry of Soccer Commentary

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My first interpretative encounter with poetry began with Niyi Osundare’s ecopoetics in the poem “Ours to Plough Not to Plunder,” included as one of several works to study for the year’s pre-university exam. But it was William Wordsworth definition of poetry, which I came across in an English lecture on the subject of British Romanticism […]

Let there be no death

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Ganaja sits at the mouth of the river. As some arrived on one boat, other people prepared to begin their journey across the river on another. A few unoccupied boats sat side by side at the river bank. It was on a Friday afternoon. The place bustled like a typical motor park in any part […]

Looking Through Ẹlẹ́ṣin’s Hourglass

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Or How to Render Metaphysics in Film There is now the quartet, in film, of Ernst Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal), Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), Cary Joji Fukunaga (James Bond, No Time to Die) and Biyi Bándélé, (Ẹlẹ́ṣin Ọba), who in my opinion, have brought something special to the understanding of the human condition, […]