"Even as a very small boy I was utterly fascinated by animals of every kind."
Shortly before his 19th birthday in December 1957, Bob Goulding accompanied Gerald Durrell
on an animal collecting trip to Cameroon. "Our trip to Cameroon, which lasted around six months, is the subject of Durrell’s book ‘A Zoo in my Luggage’, published in 1960 by Rupert Hart-Davis. I am Durrell’s ‘young assistant Bob’ in the book."
This was neither the beginning nor the end of a life-long involvement and fascination with tropical natural history which saw Goulding later take over management of the zoo attached to the Department of Zoology of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
in 1963. Now retired back to Bristol, he keeps a personal website which contains a fascinating record of those pioneering years. Particularly poignant is the story of the two gorillas, Aruna and Imade
, from their capture by hunters to the years of their maturity.
Under Golding's leadership Ibadan Zoo became an early and exemplary instance of zoo habitat design.
The website contains an account of building the gorilla enclosure; a heartfelt acknowledgement of his former staff; letters from past visitors, now grown up
; stories of research and collecting; a snapshot of Nigeria in the 60's and 70's; an overview of local fauna; and lots and lots of photographs! Also, hairy frogs
(don't look at them.)
posted by glasseyes
on Aug 25, 2014 -
According to the Daptone Gold
compilation liner notes
(auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk
, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records
. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 18, 2014 -
With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup
have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination
for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting
, alternative commentary
, mood swings
, (allegedly) sulky England players
, exciting matches
, the USA vs Ronaldo
, Europeans taking early return flights
, deep analysis
, a fantasy league
and many goals
- but who will finally lift the trophy
in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã
on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Jun 26, 2014 -
187 girls still missing two weeks after they were abducted from a school in north-eastern Nigeria.
The Nigerian government is facing growing international embarrassment and domestic anger over its failure to locate scores of school girls kidnapped by militants more than two weeks ago.
There are fears many of the missing girls, suspected of being taken by the Islamic group Boko Haram, may have been smuggled out of Nigeria into neighboring countries.
From The Smithsonian
ABC News, Australia
The suspected abductors, Boko Haram
, are believed to be linked with Al-Qaeda.
posted by bricksNmortar
on May 1, 2014 -
The Hausa people of the north of Nigeria like Bollywood films so much that around 20 years ago they started making their own local productions. The films of Kannywood (for Kano, the capital city) feature song and dance - and the incredible music that defines Northern Nigeria: autotuned robotic vocals combined with frenetic drum machine rhythms and intricate, interwoven synths in a hybrid of local styles and Indian influence. Hear a generous sampling of it here
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Feb 1, 2014 -
"The divers had already pulled up four bodies. So when a hand appeared on the TV screen Walker was monitoring in the rescue boat, showing what the diver in the Jascon saw, everybody assumed it was another corpse." Harrison Odjegba Okene survived three days of darkness and isolation when he was trapped in a sunken tugboat, breathing from an air bubble and listening to the sounds of his shipmates being eaten by fish. His amazing rescue hit the news this spring. (Previously
.) The actual video of his rescue has now been widely distributed. Short version. Long version
, with an appropriate but inappropriate piece of jaunty music at the end.
posted by maudlin
on Dec 4, 2013 -
When the car exploded, the same two words occurred to him, and to the ticket taker, and to every other person who saw or heard the blast, which could be heard on the other side of Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city: Boko Haram. That neither they, nor practically anyone else in Nigeria, knew what Boko Haram was exactly or why it would want to bomb a bus station was beside the point.
Officially, according to the Nigerian government, Boko Haram is a terrorist group. It began life as a separatist movement led by a northern Nigerian Muslim preacher, Mohammed Yusuf, who decried the country’s misrule. “Boko Haram” is a combination of the Hausa language and Arabic, understood to mean that Western, or un-Islamic, learning is forbidden. In 2009, after Yusuf was killed [BBC, The Guardian]—executed, it’s all but certain, by Nigerian police—his followers vowed revenge. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 27, 2013 -
acrylic painting over photocopies combines figurative, domestic scenes with the cacophony of globalism and traditional decorative motifs.
posted by klangklangston
on Aug 12, 2013 -
"Elaborate greetings are the norm, I’ve found, when one enters a Central African village. So it was a surprise when I noticed that many people weren’t shaking hands the morning I arrived in Tiringoulou, a town of about 2,000 people in one of the remotest corners of the Central African Republic, in March 2010. I soon found out the reason: the day before, a traveler passing through town on a Sudanese merchant truck had, with a simple handshake, removed two men’s penises
." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water
on Mar 25, 2013 -
"Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, acclaimed in part for his groundbreaking 1958 novel "Things Fall Apart," has died, his British publisher, Penguin Books, said Friday."
Set in precolonial Nigeria, Things Fall Apart
portrays the story of a farmer, Okonkwo, who struggles to preserve his customs despite pressure from British colonizers. The story resonated in post-independent Africa, and the character became a household name in the continent. [more inside]
posted by jquinby
on Mar 22, 2013 -
The Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood
started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS. The majority of Nollywood films are still sold offline, in outdoor markets from wheelbarrows or by the roadside from street vendors. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online. iROKO, one of the first companies to take Nigerian films online, is carefully tracking the viewing patterns of its growing audience
. While Nigerian internet access is often subpar
, streaming services are catering to the international diaspora. iROKOtv is a hub for streaming movies
, with plenty of free movies alongside movies available as part of monthly membership. Their website grew out of their YouTube channel
, which had over 400 movies online in 2011
, though recently they are mainly posting trailers. If you're not sure which movies to see, Nollywood Forever has plenty of reviews
, and Nollywood.com has a ton of African movie trailers
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 16, 2013 -
How Things Fell Apart
, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 25, 2012 -
How To Make Foreign Friends You can still mix with Americans. Imagination is a powerful thing. You can have a taste of Canada and all those creamy countries whose Visa’s you have coveted. All here in Nigeria. Granted, the foreigners who come here may not always be the cream of the lot, but beggars cannot be choosers. You will manage the ones here in Abuja. You will enjoy their company so thoroughly that your Visa rejections will cease to hurt. After all, is it not people that make a place? My job is to help you learn how to mix with and enjoy the company of foreigners from creamy countries, right here in Nigeria.
posted by modernnomad
on Sep 6, 2012 -
THE OYO EMPIRE by Prof George Ayittey As you read this keep these pertinent modern questions in mind: Whether or not military dictatorship existed in the empire, rule of law was absent, there were no accountability or checks and balances, and whether the rulers can be removed.
posted by infini
on Feb 19, 2012 -
Fifty years after British colonialism, ten years after military rule, Nigerians are free. Not economically free, not yet, and we see the effect of that lack of economic freedom in the kinds of crimes that are committed. But they are free in important ways. You can live where you want, associate with whom you want. You can sue people in court, gather to practice your religion, under the leadership of whichever holy man or charlatan you prefer, and you can marry and divorce as you please. This is a major thing. This is modernity, and to tell these stories, to give the protagonists of these losses even that little bit of attention, is to honor the fact that they are there, that their life goes on.
On his twitter feed
, novelist Teju Cole has been taking the French literary tradition of faits divers
and adapting it to "bring news of a Nigerian modernity."
posted by villanelles at dawn
on Aug 12, 2011 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
Nigeria's film industry produces 50 films a week.
"Nigerian films are as popular abroad as they are at home. Ivorian rebels in the bush stop fighting when a shipment of DVDs arrives from Lagos. Zambian mothers say their children talk with accents learnt from Nigerian television. When the president of Sierra Leone asked Genevieve Nnaji, a Lagosian screen goddess, to join him on the campaign trail he attracted record crowds at rallies. Millions of Africans watch Nigerian films every day, many more than see American fare. And yet Africans have mixed feelings about Nollywood.
posted by artof.mulata
on Dec 29, 2010 -
Dutch artist Esther Polak uses GPS, white sand, and a robot to explore traditional versus industrial milk economies in Nigeria.
posted by shakespeherian
on Jul 12, 2010 -