Friday, 28 December 2012

Memorable Moments with Some Family Friends



Baby Rhuno with Kome  and Evi
Prayer time


The holidays have been worth every while with family friends visiting.  The children have been having real fun in company of the little ones.
When baby Rhuno (she’s actually 2years old) came with her parents from Ughelli in Delta State, her presence kept the house in a light mood always. Rhuno would sing every praise song, clap and dance, and she ensured everybody took part in her tea parties. It is wonderful to have loved ones come spend some time with the family.
My daughters were reluctant to let Rhuno go when it was time for the family to leave. We all look forward to welcoming her again.

                                                       With Seun enjoying his biscuites

 Just yesterday, another family friend came visiting with her 2 year old son Seun. The holiday fun continued like they did with Rhuno. Seun liked my daughter’s old school bag and carried it as a back-pack throughout his stay in the house. Behold, he couldn’t cry to go home with it as he slept off and didn’t know when they left for home. See you next holidays Seun!

 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Gone But Not Forgotten; Mrs Victoria Ozonitsha Orivri


                  Grandma  Ozonitsha Orivri
 
It is nine years gone (precisely December 23, 2003), but our loving mother, grandmother, mother-in-law is still being missed as though she left this world yesterday. Beautiful in every meaning of the word, she touched many lives positively. ‘Grandmother’, as she was fondly called, was soft-spoken and expressed an undying loving kindness to everyone who was around her. She was richly blessed in her trade and she used every of her possession to serve humanity. And my greatest joy for her remains the fact that she lived a dedicated Christian life.

As a cloth merchant at the popular ‘Balogun’ market on Lagos Island, her neighbours loved her in limitless measures, just as did her neighbours at home. Before her transition to glory, she made every Christmas celebration memorable for all with her variety of foods that she shared. She was expert in making what we all called ‘Delta Special’; fish, chicken pepper soup with pounded yam; Banga soup and Ozi; Ukodo and several other delicacies.

I treasure greatly what I learned from her because I felt very much at home with her; it was way beyond a daughter-in-law and mother-in-law relationship. In fact she was the mother who did not give birth to me, and I was lucky to have experienced her person.

 

In The Spirit Of The Season


 
Oops! Christmas  is just some hours away. Thank God for the precious gift of life!  To all of you who have taken time to visit my blog , and those who made contributions  by way of comments, I say a big Merry Christmas and a most wonderful 2013 to come.  In these barely two months of my blogging, I have realized how important people can be in life’s experiences.  Rejoice and share the best of the season.  

One special thing to give this Christmas---volunteering!


                                      Google Images

If you have ever volunteered in some way, then you’ll understand what I’m driving at. From my opinion, volunteerism is top on the list of special gifts you could offer at a time like this. When you volunteer doing the house cleaning at the old people’s, not only would you be taking off a lot of stress from those who do the regular maintenance at the home, you‘ll be creating a relationship and leaving an assurance of love in the hearts of the people.  

Besides giving food and clothing items to children at orphanages, spending time with them and helping out with some chores leaves lasting memories of love and belonging. And if you ask me, they would remember you first for the time you shared with them, before any other gift.  Try volunteering today.

My Grandmother Wants To Come Back Home by Oyindamola Thomas

                                                                   Google Images


It’s been two years now since my mum took my grandmother to the old people’s home in Yaba, Lagos. Before that movement, grandma lived with us in Surulere for about five years and she was 84years.  Grandma demanded attention for almost everything, but that didn’t change the fact that she was full of humour. She always wanted the contrary of everything we all wanted and she was serious about it; cold water for bathing when we thought the weather condition demanded us to have warm baths, and the other way round too.

It was a Saturday morning in December, 2010, and mum walked to me and announced she had concluded plans to take grandma to be with other old people. “She will be better off there”, she said. But I was taken by surprise at this move from mum. She wasn’t going back on her decision, not even if I expressed an otherwise feeling about it. Her reason (which I considered excuses) for grandma’s relocation to the home was that there was no one available to take care of her. Mum said that uncle’s wife would not be able to give grandma proper care because she was a young mother who was nursing a set of twin children. She was newly promoted and that meant greater demands on the job. I was preparing for my senior certificate examination and mum didn’t think I could cope with grandmas care-giving.

I got so worried because grandma shared a lot with me while mum was away to work.  Grandma always kept a portion of her ogi and akara for me, and her lunch waited until I got back from school. She asked always if I was fine and encouraged me to make amala and  ewedu my favourite food. Mum didn’t buy my idea of getting a nanny to come in at certain times to take care of grandma. She had a bagful of fears, so a nanny was not the solution for grandma to stay back with us.  Grandma agreed to go to the home after mum convinced her and packed up bags of food and other items she could share with other old people.

Mum’s initial promise of going to visit grandma at least once weekly, started dwindling.  She felt there were good and caring care-givers in the home, and that as long as she was making provisions, she needed some rest from all the troubles. My exams over, my hopes of having grandma back home got slimmer. And every time I go to see her in the home, she wanted me to bring her back to the home she once knew. I’m sad because my uncle and his wife also think mama was better off being in the home where she was being cared for.

I’m asking mum to allow grandma come back to us for a while before I go back to school but she thinks there could be a challenge taking her back. I asked her if she wanted grandma to live the rest of her life in the home, but she did not give me a definite answer. I love grandma and want her to be with her family, so my plans have been pushed to when I’m done with schooling. I’m praying that she remains alive until I’m able to take care of her. But now I also think that mum should know that where grandma is today, may just be good for her when she’s this old! What do you think?

 

Don’t Do Any of These To Your Children This Christmas



                                                                           Google Images
 

Christmas celebrations has actually started for a lot of people,  and the children are very expectant of what they’ll get for the celebrations. Mothers too are planning how to manage their resources so that the family is well provided for. But one thing worries me when I remember how some children look in their groups, going visiting from one family or friend to another during the Christmas celebrations.
My worry is not far from  these:
Children in over-sized clothes! The excuse for this is that they want the child to use this outfit for more than one Christmas celebration or pass it down to a younger one, and inherit an old one from an older sibling.
For shoes, it is just the same problem as the dress. They help the children into the shoes and have them padded with sheets of newspapers. Some children just have to manage along in wobbling ‘high-heeled’ shoes, and for some others, it is tears in very tight shoes.
Hair wigs on little children! It’s a ‘No, No’.  Please mothers, let the children enjoy being children. For this Christmas, just don’t give them ‘burdens’ to bear on their heads.

 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Issues with the mandatory family visits before the marriage Ceremonies

                                      Google Images

As a part of culture and tradition, many Nigerian tribes require that an intending groom pays familiarization visits to important members of the bride-to-be’s family.  While it is the tradition of the people, it is known too that the number of family members to be visited depends on the lady’s parents. Some parents may only request that  the husband-to-be  visits a family member each from  their families and they are satisfied, but  for some others it is a different matter.

You can imagine that some weddings have been threatened   because of the request to go and see so many family members that are scattered across Nigeria. Some people have been required to go and visit some family member in faraway distances from where the parents of the bride-to-be live.

Arguments have been that the parents are not the only ones who own the daughter who would be given out in marriage, and that it is a mark of respect  to those who have been listed  to be visited.  Many people have also seen differently; some say that you cannot for example, be introducing the groom to uncles and aunties on the day of the wedding. It is expected that  everyone who is considered a close family member ought to have met the groom before the traditional marriage day.

For a number of tribes among the Delta State people, it is considered as respect not only to the people to be visited by the groom, but also for the parents of the lady.  It is also looked at that after such a time, the man may not make the chance to go visiting these people. But then, the issue of consideration arises. How do you rationalise a request for the husband-to-be to go visiting an uncle or aunt in Uyo or Warri from Lagos, when the parents of the lady are in Lagos? While some people say it is in line with tradition, others think that the distance is too far such visit when all resources to be spent are considered.

I once heard about an occasion when a lady had to come with her fiancĂ© to Lagos, to fulfil the mandatory visit to her brother. Though her parents were in Warri and all plans had been completed for the wedding to take place in Warri, the parents insisted that the brother in Lagos must see the fiancĂ© before the traditional marriage. Unfortunately, their trip back to Warri turned sour when the vehicle they were travelling in got involved in an accident, causing both of them to remain in hospital for over three months.  The lady’s family lamented and traded blames because some of them had argued earlier that the trip to Lagos was not necessary since the family was in Warri and the brother would be coming at least a day before the ceremonies.  

In another pathetic situation, a father insisted that the husband-to-be must go and visit his own sister who was in the village, while the mother of the lady stood her ground saying ‘No’.  The husband-to-be was torn between a family crisis. The mother insisted that the said sister-in-law did not have regards for her, so she did not see any reason why she would accord her the honour of an earlier visit before the traditional marriage and wedding.  The husband-to-be’s family had to put a hold on the preparations because according to them, their son would not begin marital life on such confused note.
Today so much has changed concerning this tradition, as many parents don’t worry about sending their son-in-law to-be, going round family members to accord them honour before the marriage ceremony proper.  Many families now consider distance and resources to be spent on such trips. However, some others are of the opinion that if the tradition is allowed to die some of the practises that beautify and dignify our culture would completely be lost.
What things do you think should be considered in the practice of this tradition? Please share your views.

 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Simeon Olaghere Foundation awards scholarship to students of Mass Communication


 

 

Four undergraduate students of mass communication, who major in advertising in the University of Lagos, and the School of Communication, Lagos State University, have emerged as beneficiaries of this year’s Simeon Erimiakhena Olaghere Memorial Foundation Scholarship award.

The students, Olaide Seinde, Akporowve Hope, Esther Adeyanju and Simbiat Atinuke Awe were adjudged successful after individual discussion sessions with the scholarship administrator Chris Doghudje, an advertising icon and former Chairman of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
                                                                           

                                                           Olaide Seinde

                                                                       Hope Akporowve
Chairman of the foundation, Mr Jimmy Olaghere, said that the foundation was established in honour and memory of his father Mr Simeon Olaghere an icon in Outdoor Advertising in Nigeria and West Africa, to promote, develop and sustain the study and practice of advertising in Nigeria.

                                                                            Esther Adeyanju                                   
                                                                                                                                    
                                                                     Simbiat Atinuke Awe
Since its establishment in 2008, the foundation has been actively involved in fostering the growth of advertising profession through  its annual lecture in memory of Simeon Olaghere; creating enlightenment in the public sphere on the important role of advertising in driving the nation’s economy, and sponsorship of an award for the best creative poster during the APCON’s Advertising Day celebration .

The late Simeon Olaghere started his career in advertising after he was posted to West Africa Publicity (now LINTAS) from where Afromedia emerged.  He initially started working with Amels, a transporting company in Benin City, before he moved on to the U.A.C in Lagos, as an accounts clerk. In 1973, Olaghere and other colleagues acquired Afromedia, where he rose to become Managing Director.

In line with his vision to promoting advertising practice, Olaghere wrote several books on outdoor advertising and was life patron of Outdoor advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) and fellow, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

The scholarship award is to the tune of one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000) for each of the beneficiaries, and according to the chairman, it is renewable. “Each of the students gets N100, 000 and it is renewable annually on the presentation and verification of satisfactory academic results.”

 
    

Akoi-Jackson on the similarity of the art space in Nigeria and his home country Ghana


Akoi-Jackson in CCA
 
The artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson paints; sculpts and does live performances. His passion for the art is definitely unquantifiable.  With a master’s degree in Art from the Kwame Nkruma Univeristy of Science and Technology, Ghana, Akoi-Jackson teaches art in a school and still engages actively in creative works.

I spoke with him during his recent visit to the CCA Nigeria, and he talked on a lot of things that he finds very similar on the art scene in Nigeria and back home in Ghana.

What is your impression of the art scene in Nigeria, based on some experiences you may have gotten?

I must say clearly that so much is taking place here with respect to the number of art events and creative activities that people engage in.  It is encouraging to see that these collections of events would be documenting and sustaining art interest in Nigeria. The good thing is that the benefit for art in Africa would be beyond just Nigeria.

Is the experience the same thing in Ghana?

Wow! I must start first by saying that Nigeria is a big place with so many artists. Ghana is doing a lot too, but it may not be as much as Nigeria is doing because of the size difference. However, each time I am in Nigeria I feel the same kind of experience in work patterns, stories people are sharing just tell how much similarity we have in our art history.

Some of My Visits to Art Galleries in Lagos


Some photos at Nike Gallery; CCA; and  the National Museum, Lagos
 

One art gallery I visited the most was Nike Gallery. There was always activities going on there and I must say I enjoyed the visits, because Mrs Nike Davies Okundaye is such a wonderful woman who wants to always have people around her. She has been known for her role in empowering women by teaching them the art of adire making.
 
I didn’t really set out to document my visits to art galleries in 2012, until I decided to clear off some of the brochures I felt I did not need again. And I was wowed to discover that I made over 50 visits to different galleries in Lagos. At some times I was invited for art exhibitions and at other times, I visited on my own to go and learn more about some works of art and patterns of work of some artists.  My only disappointment in all of these is that I did not document my visits enough through pictures. I think this is a lesson for me, and I hope to do so after this period.

It was also encouraging seeing how much Nigerian artists are doing to sustain our art forms and  raising issues that have helped to document history. These are the evidential things that the generation next would see and proudly reference to.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Sustaining Art Development In Nigeria Through The Ben Enwonwu Distinguished Lecture Series


Picture Source: Omenka Gallery
 
This year’s distinguished lecture series in honour  and memory of art icon,  Ben Enwonwu was  delivered by renowned printmaker, painter and sculptor  Bruce Onobrakpeya ,with the theme : ‘Informal Art Education through Workshops: Gains and Challenges as lessons  from the Harmattan  Workshop Series’.  The event held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island Lagos, with a gathering of the art community and other art supporters.

Through a digital video presentation, Onobrakpeya showed how his works have traversed several  art patterns. He showed work processes and magnificent results from different people who are working in his studio.  Aside having to train interns in his studio in  Lagos, Onobrakpeya ‘s Harmattan Workshop  which usually holds at Agbarha-Otor, has been a great resource for  the development and sustainability of art in Nigeria. During the Hamattan Workshop artists learn fresh perspectives to the work they have always done, while many other participants are trained in any art or craft form that interests them.
On completion of the video show, Onobrakpeya  expressed satisfaction on how the Ben Enwonwu Foundation  is helping to share art knowledge and create a rallying point for the development of contemporary  art .

The Ben Enwonwu Foundation was established in 2003 with the aim to sustain and build on Enwonwu’s life and works though which he forged a philosophical basis for modern Nigerian art by fusing Western techniques and indigenous traditions.  Enwonwu’s  recognition internationally and success increased the visibility and appreciation of modern African art.

Earlier speakers on  the lecture series include: Prof Jerry Buhari, former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Design, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria;  Mr Donald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State; Prof  Yemi Osinbajo, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State;  Prof Freida High Tesfagioris,  Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, United States Of America; Dr Christopher Kolade,  former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; Prof Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate in Literature;  Prof John Aiken, Director, Slade School of Art, University College, London;  and Chief  Rasheed  Gbadamosi, former  Federal Minister of Budget and Economic Planning. 

Titles of lectures given according to the speakers listed above  are: Beyond Two-Dimensional Art; The Role of Art and Tourism In National Development; Enwonwu: The Responsibility of Privilege; Positioning Art and Culture for Sustainable Influence in Nigeria;  Art as a Tool for Cross-Cultural Development;  Art, Tradition and Modernity;  A Position for Art: Locating Sculpture and Its many Contexts;  The Place of Creative Art in the History of Man.

 

Some Performances of Note At Goethe’s Art Festival



Keziah on stage

The internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and king of  Blufunk- Keziah Jones, performed a solo concert on the night of the opening event. Rare enough, this very special event was topped by a live painting action by Nigerian artist, Native Maqari who combines the traditions of mural-painting with comic and street art styles.
Keziah Jones’ very special musical style is a fusion between raw blues elements and edgy funk rhythms. His roots in Yoruba music and Soul music can be considered a major influence on his sound. His shows are legendary for his distinctive guitar-playing styles and for playing his gigs most times with bare torso.

 

The choreography of ARALAMO explores the spiritual and physical characteristics of man from his vision to his realization in the face of his idealism.  Performed by Sunday Israel Akpan, ARALAMO was inspired by the Black Heritage Festival, which brought together roots of African ancestral history and Africa’s traditional background. It was dedicated to Etim Emmanuel, Virginia Okereku, Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe, one time vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, victims of the last Dana Airline crash and to all who lost their lives at the different bomb blasts.

 

 
In INPINYA and BARIGA Crown Troupe presents their very personal view of Lagos; the everyday struggles and the life of the younger generation in this gigantic city. Caught in short and touching scenes, backed by pumping drum rhythms, Crown Troupe of Africa performs right in your face and brings up stories of personal responsibility and political engagement.

 

 
Jelili Atiku’s Porongodo  was an intervention performance in public space that referenced the hysterical contents of human history and attempted to show memorials of sacrifice, pains, sufferings and callousness. It set in motion the interaction of organic and inorganic matters through a construction of human abode and the presence of human body in the space. Here, bones stood as a metaphorical statement of destruction and degeneration.

The work of Video Art Network (VAN) Lagos opened a multi-perspective picture of contemporary Lagos. Evidently, the city has begat multiculturalism as an insatiable infiniteness that defines its identity. It is noteworthy that Nigeria’s vibrant digital video film industry, also known as Nollywood, has been increasingly referenced with regards to making films about or from the African continent. The vibrant film stories, being told by Nollywood, embody the prevalent happenings that interface the Lagos landscape.
VAN Lagos presented a compilation of works from various artists from different parts of Africa. The artists and their works speak eloquently of the complexities of the African continent, raising very pertinent questions and discourse on issues and topics that define multiple specificities, trajectories and conditions in a continent rich in history, social-political, cultural and economic conditions.  VAN Lagos remains proud to pioneer the exploration of video art both formally and conceptually in Nigeria.

 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Is 'Omugwo' a violation of men’s rights to being with their wives?




Picture source
 
 
Omugwo is an Igbo word for care- giving to a woman who has just put to bed a baby.

I did the piece on issues with Omugwo after some discussions about negative attitudes from either a mother or a mother-in-law, when they go to give care to a new mother. When another opportunity to talk about Omugwo arose, it turned out not to be business as usual. This time around, a man was protesting that men are usually left unattended to each time their wives went to do Omugwo, either for their sons or daughters.

See how three men expressed their opinions about the issue as it affects men.

Dennis said: “My dad did not find my mother’s Omugwo runs easy at all. It became bad that after an initial six weeks of being with my oldest sister in Benin doing Omugwo, she barely stayed for another one week when the call for another Omugwo came from my brother. My dad initially said no, but had to allow her after my brother insisted and even accused my mother of being biased against his wife. He felt that since my mother did it for my sister, she should also be there for him. So off my mother went to Asaba. The two weeks she was away was like two years. My dad complained of not being given food at the right time and many other excuses. My younger brother and I did our best to help out but he wanted his wife back. On her return, my father just sat his wife down and read the riot act to her, “Henceforth, no Omugwo beyond one week for you, because I also have to be cared for. Let your children know that you have a husband who needs your care and warmth first before any other thing.” Now that I have my own family, I also stopped once and pondered how life would be if my own wife decides to leave me at home and go for one Omugwo for so long.”

Ejiofor: “I would not mind my wife going for Omugwo if it’s the first time. It will only be wise that the mother teaches her daughter or her daughter-in-law what to do and how to bring in a balance into it. A situation where the woman is going for Omugwo the second or third time and staying so long as if the new mother does not know what to do is the aspect I don’t like. The women actually take the opportunity of being away, not minding how their husbands fair during these periods.  Consider it, it is not fair for women to just stay away from their husbands for so long, with the excuse of nursing a new mother.”

Felix: “Osofia saw the danger of jumping off to go for Omugwo. Well, his adventure proved how hard the mothers work to care for a new mother. But I think they should always remember that their own husbands are back at home too. The difficult ones are those who go abroad for Omugwo. In fact they should be given a time frame so that they don’t go and think they have the license to stay for as long as one year. If care is not taken, some of the women even want to be there to nurse like two children before they remember home. How do they want the men to cope for that long period alone? As for me, my father is aging and needs his wife’s care and support so, Omugwo for anybody at that must not extend a week and she knows so.”

What are your views on this?
 

 

 

Monday, 10 December 2012

A life-time Nightmare of Living Apart from My Spouse (True-life Story)


 


A reader, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote in to share her bitter experience of not living with her husband when he secured a better paying job in Abuja.

 
My husband and I were married for 11 years plus before his untimely death in February this year. We lived together in Lagos where he was struggling to make ends meet with his one-man business as a Lawyer, while I worked as an admin officer in a research firm. Our earnings barely took care of our needs until this job came for him in June 2009 at Abuja.

The job provided a comfortable accommodation for him immediately so settling down was not a challenge. But I could not leave my job immediately; also because of the children’s school. I hadn’t been to Abuja before this time and I just thought that it should take some time before we would consider relocating with him. However, he was visiting home every two weeks or once monthly. I did not have cause to begin to worry because he had always wanted us all to move to Abuja, until the worry about the security situation started.

For the better part of the second half of 2011, I visited Abuja more than he came to Lagos because of work demands. And after completing a small family house he was building, we both agreed that by May 2012, we must begin to live together as a family. We did not see that happen as he died in February.

The memory of what happened on the night of February 8, 2012, still remains fresh within me. The children had gone to sleep and I was preparing to do the same after ironing my clothes to use for work the next day. My phone rang once and stopped. As I made to get it, it started ringing again. I picked it and asked who was calling at 10.17pm. 

When the caller introduced himself as a colleague of my husband, my heart skipped several beats. I spoke with my husband last on Monday afternoon and he was fine, but complained of a bad network service. When I didn’t get his call on Tuesday morning like I usually did, I tried his numbers severally.  One of his numbers was switched off, while the other rang a few times and the automated voice message said the person I called was not responding.

“It was not anything to worry about since he complained of poor network”, I thought to myself and hoped he’d call me later in the day. Back to the person who called, I asked if there was a problem, but he tried to weave around my question. He eventually said that my husband had complained of some feverish feelings on Monday and that since they couldn’t reach him on any of his lines, he decided to call my number.  I told him I was in Lagos and had also tried to reach my husband on phone without success. He asked me not to be worried that he would check on him first thing in the morning.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Haliamburi is 2012 Next Movie Star!





The Next Movie Star 2012 (SEASON 8) has finally come to an end and the winner is Miss Halimat Aitsegame, a.k.a Haliamburi.









MTN Afrinolly enlists Femi Odugbemi and Bongiwe Selane to Impact Budding Filmmakers

Femi Odugbemi


MTN Afrinolly, the premier Nigerian mobile application focused on promoting African entertainment; movies, music and celebrities, brought renowned film and TV content producers, Femi Odugbemi and Bongiwe Selani, to share their knowledge and experiences with filmmakers in the second edition of its Afrinolly MasterClass that held on Saturday December 8, 2012, via Google+ Hangout.

The Afrinolly MasterClass is an online knowledge-sharing and educative programme aimed at promoting the on-going Afrinolly Shortfilm Competition, a video-based competition which was launched on the 1st of November, 2012 and targeted at budding film-makers and documentary/animation content creators from across Africa.

According to Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of FansConnectOnline Limited and the developers of Afrinolly: “The MasterClass aims at offering young and emerging filmmakers in Africa exceptionally creative access to opportunities and experiences of renowned leaders of the movie industry globally. It is designed to offer technical tips and career advice intended to give budding film makers insight into all aspects of film making from writing and directing to acting and producing.”

“The second edition of the Afrinolly MasterClass Google+ Hangout, which features  two of the Afrinolly Shortfilm Competition’s judges, Femi Odugbemi from Nigeria and Bongiwe Selane who joined the Hangout from South Africa, is a delight to everyone who has an interest in filmmaking and digital TV content creation,” he concluded.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

CCA is 5, Rounds Off 'The Progress of Love' With Discourse



L-R; Berdard  Akoi-Jackson; Bisi Siva; Jelili Atiku; Wuraola Ogunji, and Valerie Oka

 

Hearty congratulations to the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), which marks five years of engaging services on the art sphere today.  Managed by Bisi Silva, CCA has proven the worth of its vision to hold a large and diverse collection of books in its Library, thereby encouraging readership for information and education on all about art, artists and great works.

 Elated by this achievement, Silva says,” Our first great achievement which remains remarkable, is that we have been able to grow our library of books from 500 to over 5000 books. This means that even in the absence of anything, we still have a reference point where people can visit and get information about all that have ever happened or created by others.”
 
                                       With Bernard Akoi-Jackson(left) and Richardson Ovbiegho 

If there be a score card on performance during these five years, then the volume of interactions that have taken place in CCA in forms of exhibitions, live performances, workshops and residencies would place this heart of art on a most enviable position. Silva is glad that they have continued to work in line with the vision, and excited by how the new media have boosted the efforts of the centre to promoting and sustaining art in Nigeria.

Rounding off on the exhibition themed The Progress of Love, which spanned over four weeks with performances and exhibition of works by different artists, a panel discussion held yesterday  with Bisi Silva, Bernard Akoi-Jackson( from Ghana), Wuraola- Natasha Ogunji, Valerie Oka (Ivory Coast) and Jelili Atiku in session.  The discourse raised issues of basically appreciation of performance art pushing the frontiers of art as No-holds-barred.   
Photo credit: Jude Anogwih

A grandmother’s Wish List for Christmas


 

A neighbour who also happens to be close, brought a Christmas-wish note to me yesterday evening. She could not stop laughing as she read the content of the note to me. She said that her maternal grandmother who resides in Akure sent the note to her through one of her  brother.

After reading the note myself, I sought her permission to publish it. She agreed immediately, still laughing. She was amused because her grandmother wanted to surprise her mother who thinks that she should just be every bit of the 80years old woman that she is, not really minding her dress sense.  No way, because this grandma is thinking youthful!

See the note below and make your grandma happy too this Christmas :

 

Friday, 7 December 2012

What is the ‘thief’ of your time?



Chugbo is 14years and a senior secondary student in one of the private schools in Lagos. Week days after school, he spends an average of between four to five hours watching ‘interesting’ programmes on television. When he is not sitting before the television set, he is sweating it out with his computer game. Food is either done after this time or he munches on whatever snack he can find. With these number of hours wasted, Chugbo never gets his academic assignment done properly, he never gets to pack up his books for school until it is next day morning. So, he is always having a fall out with his mother.

Carol has two daughters in primary school. After dropping them off at school every day, she engages herself in watching home movies. She never fails on her target of watching at least two 3-hour-movies daily. With this addiction, Carol rushes to prepare lunch for the family. Any other spare time is for endless chats with friends, to the detriment of giving quality time to her family.

Debola is out of college, but yet to secure a job. Look nowhere else to catch him than at the Newspaper vendor’s stand. Debola is ever punctual there; he oversees the affairs of the free readers association and spends nothing short of  four hours there daily, rather than go searching for a job. “Where are the jobs?”, he teases anyone who bothers to mention to him. But can he get a job at the newspaper stand in arguments daily? That is best known to him.

The scenario above is not strange because we see it happening almost everywhere. We have heard at different times that ‘time is money’, yet some people play away precious time doing nothing for real.  While some people waste time watching television or playing video games, others stay tied to gists. It becomes dangerous when they don’t realize it on time that they are wasting time that could  otherwise have been used to achieve something valuable.

In many offices today, some workers have gotten themselves addicted with facebooking and chatting with friends instead of work. Others engage in vain discussions and their attitudes cause the overall work output to suffer. This negative attitude is what I call a ‘thief’ of time, and it can be dealt with by developing a guide on how to achieve set goals, e.g like  having a ‘to-do-list’ and being sincere about it. I don’t believe that there is a one- pattern- fit –all strategy that could solve the problem, but each person should be able to understand how they could work themselves out of it. The first step  that I would suggest is self-discipline.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Trouble With Weekend Wives and Weekend Husbands

                                                                  Google Images


At exactly 3.50pm, Onoseh starting clearing up her table. She did everything simultaneously; shutting down her computer, arranging her files back on the shelf, putting away her water flask and handing over her office key to Antonia who shared a space in the office with her.  “Please, I must get to the Airport before 5p.m to pick my husband. The flight  from Abuja  should arrival at 4.30p.m and I wouldn’t want to keep him waiting for too long. Kindly understand with me,” she pleaded.

“Just drop it on that table as usual”, Antonia replied without bothering to raise her head up from what she was doing, “ by now I should be getting used to it that  your Fridays of even some Thursdays as the case may be, are not 100 per cent for us here.”

That did not worry Onoseh anyway, as she picked her bag and made for the door. “See you on Monday”, she said. But just before she shut the door after her, Antonia gave her one for the road. “My greetings to your weekend hubby ”, she said laughing out loud.

Onoseh’s is just one out of so many couples who live apart due to job demands.  The challenge of getting a good-paying job and sustaining it has made many a couple to relocate to towns other than places where the family made out to stay.  When situations as this happen, the spouse who has the good-paying job is forced to go and start off a new life, with hopes that the other partner would also relocate with time. But has it always been so?

Different experiences have shown that  many of such couples end up living apart owing to  countless excuses; some say they have settled in the first town and would not want to move; some others  may not want to move with their spouses because of their children’s schools; while  for some, the complaint is about the high cost of living  in the new place.

The last decade saw a lot of such situation as couples living apart due to job demands in places like Lagos and Port-Harcourt grew. This development cuts across males and females, depending on the person who got the passport to greener pastures.  While jobs took some husbands or wives to Abuja or Port-Harcourt, others found their ways to Lagos or Abuja from Port-Harcourt.  There was also relocation to other towns. They serviced their relationship via the mobile phone, and in cases where the networks decided to fail, so be it.

Of course, we all know that this turn has not been the best for marriages. While some planned their visits for every weekend, others only get to see their spouses on a monthly basis. Spouses have paid impromptu visits only to find their wives or husbands in messy relationships.  While some accept the weaknesses of their spouses, others have simply walked out.

In my opinion, if a spouse must relocate to another city for reason of better job, then the other spouse should be ready to move over shortly after. This is important because  a couple should be together to support each other emotionally just as financially. This decision will help their relationship.  What do you think?