Oops! This Writer Went In On Fela!

"Basically there was no Rosa Parks kind of momentum, no Martin Luther King massive disruption of an entrenched system of segregation which led to concrete achievements in the areas of adult suffrage, women and minority empowerment, desegregation in the educational system to mention just a few."

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"For Fela specifically, his failure could not be taken too far away from his personality. He was seen as a caricature by serious minded people who although loved the rhythm of his songs and the powerful lyrics consigned him to just side attraction that only interest you on a Friday night. His message, however, resonated on the masses, those who were dislocated from the system, who apart from the tendency of morphing into a mob flow were dim-witted and unable to effect a real social change at the levels where it matters the most."

Fela Lives But Was He a Fraud?

 

"Healing"

"Healing, a simple act of kindness bring such meaning
A smile can change a life let's start believing
And feeling, let's start healing"

The GTBank "737 Moments" Commercial That I Was A Part of

One could say this commercial has literally colonized Nigeria. I hear it at every corner. It’s GTBank’s clever attempt to create something catchy from one of its widely-used products - the USSD code, *737. It is especially popular with young people. It only makes sense to create content that resonates with them. Hence, I teamed up with other creatives to create the commercial.

I’m proud to have been a part of it. It was quite an experience scripting it, casting the models, and especially working with a cool team.

Trevor Noah's Book Is a Beautiful Memoir

I finished reading Trevor Noah's memoir - "Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood". Simply put, Trevor's mum is a riot. No woman should go through her version of hell. And not many women have the doggedness that makes her the most admirable and pitiful character in the book. In a way, she reminds me of Frank McCourt's long-suffering mum in his epic memoir - "Angela's Ashes", only differing in her charming rebellion. She's introduced as unruly with a modicum of extreme piety, which makes her a good comic material for her narrating son. She risks herself in an apartheid South Africa to get pregnant for a white man and challenges everything that threatens to muffle her freedom. The biggest irony however is left for the ending pages where the once untamable lady resigns into a life of enduring domestic violence from Trevor's alcoholic step-father. The way he handles this aspect of his mum, one gets the sense that Trevor wrestles with the mystery of how women stay in abusive relationships.

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Trevor finds her Christian piety funny. Some of the funniest passages are those where he argues with his mum about the role of Jesus in their lives. The mischievous child once poo-poos in the living room and the stench produces a community-wide panic that made his mum and grand mum suspect a demon. He finds the whole panic funny. It's easy to theorize that families like his are fertile triggers for a creative existence. Whereas his mum deploys Jesus, Bible and the Church as survival tools to navigate a crazy world, Trevor considers these Christian elements nothing more than placebos.

Dude has a healthy cynicism about the whole Christian enterprise. Again, one may theorize that he is like those kids whose extreme pious upbringing, spiced with enough liberal tension, prepare them for an adult life marked by cynicism or creativity - or in the extreme - Unbelief.

There are more thematic concerns in the book, including racial dynamics in South Africa, the struggles for love, etc. but I'm mostly fascinated by his profiling of his mum.

It's sheer brilliance how he blends the realities of ghetto, with his coming-of-age struggles, with his innocent love-life, with his family drama, against the backdrop of apartheid South Africa, all with his characteristic humor.

Charming Ads Promoting a Bookstore

The charm is in the text - "A Good Night Starts With a Good Story", and how it features characters from classics.

Kinokuniya in Dubai is the biggest bookstore I've ever entered. Since it's located within a big mall, I had to warn myself never to enter the bookstore if I planned to check other stores. The few times I forgot this warning, I ended up not visiting somewhere else. I was literally lost in it.

"Charles Dickens"

"Charles Dickens"

"Williams Shakespeare"

"Williams Shakespeare"

"Jane Austen"

"Jane Austen"