Cool Round-Up

My latest fascinations

The Chronic Magazine edition (From Chimurenga)
I bought this digital gazette – The Chronic, because of an essay by Yemisi Ogbe. Yemisi is one of my favourite essayists. (Here’s one of her best works I shared). I’m impressed by her penchant to draw inspiration from everyday realities and present them with a language that engages. She writes as though she is conscious of the mundanity of her themes and so must craft her words in order to tickle sensibilities. In this piece, she explores the nuances of the “Nigerian English” against its colonial legacy, as a vehicle of daily survival, its dynamics as a class identifier, its humourous derivations from encounters with Nigerian dialects, etc., etc.

She writes, Because English is the language of our formal education. Most likely, the language in which we have been taught to count, and read, and address authority, but it is not the language of our deepest fears and loves and passions. It is not as integral, as genuine as “Yeeee”, the indigenous cry of pain, or as warm and connected as “How body now?”. It lacks the natural ingenuity and humour of phrases like “Lepa Sprite or Shandy”, or the analogical potency of “Shine shine baby”, the humorous camaraderie in the rebuke “Leave language”. There is no resonance . . . no correct English could have drawn Nigerians’ attention to the booming counterfeit industry like NAFDAC’s call to “Shine your eyes, Shine them well well”. Queen’s English has no technical explanation for our emphatical “at all, at all” or the necessity of the “aaaa” and the “oooo” and the “jare” that ends and grounds our English sentences.”
The Chronic edition HERE

Vittel Refresh Cap
This is a clever idea that reminds people to drink water as recommended. Very simple and it doesn’t task people. I’m tempted to ask if this a better option over monitoring apps. I think it is because it embeds product package with product experience in a rather fun way.

Clinical Blues
A collection of poems by Dami Ajayi. I attended the author's reading recently in Abuja. I have only read a session of the collection and I am spellbound. Brilliant brilliant work.

My Copy of Clinical Blues

My Copy of Clinical Blues

The author signs my copy

The author signs my copy

I don’t remember how I was introduced to this Canadian group. I’ve heard their hit song “Rude” but it didn’t particularly pique me. (Its video is nice though). But a chance encounter with two tracks: “Let Your Hair Down” & “No Way No” has been a blessing. I copped their album immediately. They fuse pop with reggae to create magical songs. Fantastic songwriters too.

Crossy Road Game

Currently the most addictive game on my phone. It reminds me of Flappy Bird, that crazy and irritating game. Crossy Road is a slightly nicer version. It gets annoying sometimes. I suppose it’s the idea of the game. I hate it when the hawk comes to kill the hen. 



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.