Nigeria

Notes on Kampf

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One of the numerous reasons the German word, Kampf, has remained popular is its usage by the failed Austrian artist and dictator, Adolf Hitler. The word itself, ‘kampf’, from old High German, is borrowed from Latin, Campus; more familiar to us in its modern English form, ‘camp’. Camp—not a mode of sensibility as in Susan […]

Yabasi at Papa Benji’s Pub

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Yabasi is Basket Mouth’s debut album of 10 high-octane tracks that feature a variety of Nigerian artistes who bring their prowess to bear on the project, culminating into a medley. Even though Yabasi is his first full music project, Basket Mouth, an established comedian and actor, is not a stranger to music. He recalls in […]

Ultimate Maestro – Victor Uwaifo (1941-2021)

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Siwo siwo siwo Siwooooooooooooooo He was Nigeria’s closest instance of the Renaissance Man: musician, sculptor, inventor, sportsman, architect, scholar, mythmaker, lay philosopher, folklorist, and culture ambassador/impresario. A true Jack of many trades who strove so hard to be master of all, he was a man of  many capabilities , with a voice that was admirably […]

Some places become homes by habit

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When the thousands of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated, they were thought to be business records, but what if they were poems or psalms? My love is the same as twelve Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light Shiploads of thuya are what my body wants to say to your body. — Jack Gilbert. […]

On Digital Obituary

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The searing reality of grief began to creep into my life the year I lost my friend to death. It was on a cold-ridden morning in Benue, when a phone call from a friend from home broke the news to me. Stunned by the gloominess that pervaded the voice that delivered the news to me […]

Thinking in Bits of Borno

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The power of our Muse lies in her meaninglessness – Gueorgui Pinkhassov I am on Instagram fiddling through images. I am looking at pictures by Fati Abubakar. The account @bitsofborno is titled Yerwa. Maiduguri, also called Yerwa by the locals, is the capital and largest city of Borno State in North-Eastern Nigeria. These images are […]

Crazy Little Things out of the Blues

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I’m doing something crazy. There is in fact no exact English word to describe it. It is called fait divers which is a French phrase for very brief newspaper reportage of unusual happenings and dark occurrences, like accidents or crimes, that befall ordinary, insignificant people. There are a thousand and one loose English translations of […]

dance

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i will leave the dead in your body some room to dance. i will sit beneath the baobab tree with drums of tulips by self-acclaimed craftsmen. i will call forth boneless children & make  seats from udala trees for them. we’ll sit, we’ll eat, & drink too. we’ll be the motivators the eyes of the […]

Flat-lining and the Buzz

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You don’t send out invites to these things. So obviously no RSVP’s in return. It’s all guess work. There’s a metaphor somewhere in there. I’ll work it out in a minute.  – Aduke Gomez There is, among the Bambuti of the Ituri forest in the Congo, the impossible music of the bamboo flute. This flute […]

The Religious Root of Nigerian patriarchy

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A whopping 70 percent of women in Nigeria have been abused at some point in their lives. In a country where religion is the order of the day, a stalwart religious patriarchy enforces a gendered order of submission that ensures that this disturbing statistic will remain where it is. Here, patriarchal structures and harmful gender stereotypes still […]