Cool Round-up

Some things that have fascinated me lately.

Playground Friendship. Price Upon Request.

A photo posted by on on Instagram
I stumbled on this Instagram account. I got so excited I quickly called the phone number on its profile. I assume the person I called is the owner. It strikes me as a simple idea that curates artworks from contemporary Nigerian artists, and selling them from an easy digital space. It's still a new account. If my assumption is correct, it might grow to become the digital version of street exhibitions. There are many talented painters exhibiting on streets and corners of Lagos. I often wonder if people's admiration of those works is complemented by purchase. I really hope the account blossoms and become a big art point.

Other People's Lives: Eric Wainaina (Ft. Nneka)
I found this on SoundCloud while I was bingeing on Eric Wainaina's music. He’s about the closest Eastern African singer that has threatened my love for Kidum. I'm surprised the song was published in 2012. Never knew about it. I still struggle to appreciate Nneka's music but I like her on this. And it has a video too.

Oliver Mtukundzi
Possibly my biggest musical discovery this year. I had first heard him on Eric Wainaina’s song - Twende Twende. I decided to find out more and, lo, I was introduced to a universe of beautiful songs from this Zimbabwean musician. In terms of prolificacy, I think Oliver Mtukundzi is Zimbabwe’s answer to Nigeria’s Fela. After a copious YouTube streaming of his songs, I bought this album from iTunes. The guitar reefs in some of the songs remind of solos from Ibo highlife. This guitar in this, Dzoka Uyamwe, for example, could pass for a Osita Osadebe joint.

A photo posted by Ake Film (@soyinkasakefilm) on

Ake, The Movie
I'm closely following a film adaption of one of my favorite Soyinka's work, Ake. I sometimes claim it's Soyinka's best work. But that may be a conclusion bore from my admiration for memoirs with strong literary gracefulness. (My all-time favorites include Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram, Frank McCourt's Teacher Man, and I'm waiting to read Binyavanga Wainaina's One Day I Will Write About This Place. It's fascinating how recollections can be turned into beautiful literary pieces. So I'm looking forward to how this Soyinka's masterpiece is turned into a film. I only wish they can make the Instagram campaign bigger than it is now.