Lights Out in Nigeria by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [New York Times]
"LAGOS, Nigeria — WE call it light; “electricity” is too sterile a word, and “power” too stiff, for this Nigerian phenomenon that can buoy spirits and smother dreams. Whenever I have been away from home for a while, my first question upon returning is always: “How has light been?” The response, from my gateman, comes in mournful degrees of a head shake. Bad. Very bad.Previously.
My Africa Is Lagos: WeCyclers. The Floating School. Avante Garde Fashion Photography. Dakar: Le Journal Rappe. Malika Surf Camp. Sunu Street Project. Diaspora: Sonic Diaspora. Os Kuduristas. Technologie Democracy. (via)
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]
A man has died in Lagos of Ebola virus. What's worrying is how he got there - by plane, with 100 other people. [more inside]
Teju Cole (previously) live-tweeted on Friday his trip across the Slave Coast from Lagos, Nigeria to Ouidah, Benin.
Well-stamped passport leave you feeling jaded? Think Lagos, NIGERIA: Flash Violence, 3rd largest city by 2025, Paul McCartney? Do you relish in telling tales of travel to hellish places? Maybe there's a place you havent been, so choked with people, pollution and poverty you will feel ashamed to discuss it. Paul McCartney couldn't hack it. It sent his band On The Run. Ok still not dissuaded? Know before you Go
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."
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]
Fela: Music is the Weapon is a documentary film from 1982 featuring a wealth of live concert footage (from his club in Lagos, "The Shrine") as well as interviews with the legendary Nigerian singer, bandleader and social critic. Here's part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. [more inside]
"The really disturbing thing about Lagos’s pickers and venders is that their lives have essentially nothing to do with ours. They scavenge an existence beyond the margins of macroeconomics. They are, in the harsh terms of globalization, superfluous." The Megacity, George Packer in Lagos.
Dambe is a form of boxing associated with the Hausa people of the Saharan regions of West Africa. It is essentially a striking art. The primary weapon is the strong-side fist. Known as the spear, it is wrapped in a piece of cloth covered by tightly knotted cord. The lead hand, called the shield, is held with the open palm facing toward the opponent. The lead hand can be used to grab or hold as required. Officials generally discourage the use of magical protection on the grounds of fairness.