Monday, March 31, 2008

Make we join hands...

...to make Nigeria better! (not quite sure why that NTA theme song came to mind)

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As the merry month of March comes to an end, we hope you've enjoyed tAB's positive focus on the goings-on in our dear country. It's been slightly challenging to focus solely on the positives but it's been a great exercise for us to celebrate some of the great initiatives underway. There were quite a couple of things we didn't get to talk about (including the recently launched Lagos Bus Rapid Transit system; Duet Victoire Africa Index Fund, the first sub-Saharan African index tracking fund; the African Leadership Academy (NOT Oprah's!!), among others) but from now on, we'll try harder to maintain a healthy balance in our mood/tone.

Ok, so this may not make most people go WOW, but hey, Talib Kweli riding an okada on the streets of lagos is definitely not an everyday occurence; so for this and many other reasons, we hope you enjoy his Hostile Gospel video.



Totally unrelated but a friend (thanks Jide!) shared this clip the other day and we thought it was pretty interesting (you've probably seen this before). Minister Louis Farrakhan is the acting head of the Nation of Islam (a religious and social/political organization with the self-proclaimed goal of resurrecting the Spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of the black man and woman of America) and is well-known as an advocate for African American interests and a critic of American society.



While there are some eyebrow-raising ("let's help them") phrases in this clip, you've got to admire how Farrakhan shuts down Wallace's nonchalant, non-factbased blanket statement about corruption in Nigeria. If Wallace at least backed up his initial statement with some Transparency International figures or some other data (e.g. what other countries has he covered?), he would have had some grounding for his over-ambitious claims.

Note: This is not to say that we don't acknowledge the fact that Nigeria is ranked 30-sth on the list of most corrupt countries in the world. However, i can think back to not so long ago when we and our brother, Pakistan, we ranked the most corrupt countries in the world, and now we don't feature in the top 10 list anymore. So yes, progress has been made and we certainly still have a long way to go.

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P.S: Long overdue on tAB's part but check out this great review of the Vagina Monologues on Funmi Iyanda's blog. It seems it lived up to all the hype aferall.

17 comments:

rukks said...

HEY HEY...haven't been here in yonks!!!...

just wanted to say met the founders of the african leadership academy recently when they came to interview applicants in nigeria.

seems they have a precise goal they're setting out to achieve and it seems very promising...

plus misan. im sure ull be interested in the young teachers program. whenever u're ready to spend two years in S.A

bring on April!

rukks said...

oh nigerian vagina monologues: good script, good acting on its own...definitely capturing most experiences of nigerian women.

however, i thought twas relatively weak in giving any empowering message to women. the monologue-revulva? was it? which i thought should have been stronger was poorly directed and acted[no offense to the actress-don't even know who she is]...6/10

x

Misan said...

Rukks!! that's great that you met Fred and Chris (they went to Stanford GSB so I've had the opportunity to see their baby grow from a vision to a reality). They were actually in NYC this past weekend to interview finalist candidates from the US (they're taking a handful of kids who will do a gap year in the school and pay full fees, which will go towards subsidizing scholarships for some of the other African students who can't afford full tuition). And their teaching fellows program is also a great opportunity for those who are considering teaching and would like the chance to learn from some of the most innovative African educators out there(and spend 2 fulfilling years in South Africa of course). Anyways, i think that's a good enough plug for anyone who reads this to go and check out their website.

As per V-monologues, that's an interesting take...come to think of it, most of the reviews i've heard focused on the acting and the actual stories being so relevant and home-hitting, but not so much about the messages being empowering, and the sort of what next? But then again, the director probably wants the audience to glean their empowerment on an individual basis rather than the "ok, here's my message - a,b,c..." directive. Sha, hopefully i can see it in person next year.

toodles!

Anonymous said...

I think you should also post the link to Jeremy's(naijablog) view of v monologues.. He came across slightly critical but his comments generated over thirty something comments. The responses etc give a more balanced view...

TheAfroBeat said...

thanks anonymous. could you send us the link? You can leave it as another comment.

What did you think of it?

Naapali said...

I saw Talib's video. I was more puzzled than entertained by it. I wondered what he was trying to say and what the back drop of Lagos meant to his message.

Minister Farrakhan makes me uncomfortable in a way that even Rev Jeremiah Wright does not.

Black people have suffered a lot of hardship all over the world. It is safe to say the story of the black race (African, Aborigine, Polynesian) is one of sorrow, tears and blood (apologies to Fela, but I am on the Afrobeat afterall). Perhaps no where more so than here in the USA. It is also true though that no where else has the lot of the black person improved faster and more significantly than here in the USA. We need to leverage the resources here to help black people all over. One essential resource remains the goodwill of non-black people. Hence my unease at polarizing figures leading the black emancipation movement.

tAB thanks for the work u do!

Naapali said...

I also agree that Jeremy's post was perhaps more insightful and less willing to accept the "dis is Naija" validation of this Vagina Monologue. I remain upset that they could not bring themselves to call it by its name (another dis is Naija rational).

Enough of me already!

Anonymous said...

This is the link although I want to state that I dont agree with all Jeremy said but it has generated over 40something comments now and we can take the good and ignore the bad...
http://naijablog.blogspot.com/2008/03/v-monologues.html

Personally I thought the actresses did a great job and worked their arse off but somehow I am not sure I know what I was expected to take away from the play ...

It is also a shame that the director has chosen not to read the comments generated by Jeremy's post. I personally feel Jeremy's post was more critical than necessary but I think the director should still have a quick look and take some points from the discussion it generated... criticism should be taken in good faith to make us improve..

Doja said...

Louis Farrakhan, I do not like the things he says, I find him very annoying.
I know he is an Idol to a lot of black people of which I am definitely not one. Infact he gives black people a bad name with his hateful messages.

TheAfroBeat said...

Thanks for the link Anon! A colorful slew of comments/reactions to the play. I really wish I had been able to attend. I agree with Jeremy though that a review can hardly ever be objective, so it's really his choice to express his opinion how he sees fit. Hopefully the director gets around to reading some of the feedback (especially if he plans on directing it again next time).

@ Brother Naapali (what's ur preferred blog nickname btw? Naaps, Naapals?), I too wondered what factors influenced Talib's location choice. As for the song, he really is just talking about the hard knock like in the (US) hood. Being a big Talib fan, i was just rather chuckled to see a video of him in MY hood. I certianly can't relate to his talk of dope and guns in the hood, but the imagery hit home very nicely.

As for Farrakhan, i agree that his messages mostly (unecessarily) polarize the races in his effort to empower the black race, but i loved how he shut down Wallace from his high horse in this clip.

@ Doja, howz your daughter now?

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I was just about to refer you to Doja's recently insightful comments about Farrakkhan at my Nigerian Curiosity blog, but it seems she has done so already.

Naapali said...

Naaps has a certain groove to it maybe cos it rhymes with Schnaaps.

Moody Crab said...

Gosh it is soo good to see someone shuting up these Western broadcasters! It is so easy for them -the media, to forget that these LDCs (Nigeria included) are not even up to 60 years! Rome was not built in a year (and that ancient State was corrupt as hell) so why should Nigeria? We are making efforts and such efforts should be recognized and commended...

Jinta said...

fastastic clip, spent half a day watching related videos.

Naijachic said...

sugar, haven't been up to speed in recent days....*rushing off to be informed* am at Instabul babes, gng to cali dis weekend, BRB.

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