Finally, Pidgin English Goes Digital!

Finally, Pidgin English Goes Digital!

British media powerhouse, BBC yesterday launched an online portal that will deliver its expressions in Pidgin English. The new media expression will disperse content through text news, features and podcasts. This is an exciting news for many across Africa and this is why.

Pidgin English, the now popular informal lingua franca of Nigeria has grown into a strong and highly accepted medium of communication across Nigeria into west and central Africa. The language originated from Portuguese speakers who came into West Africa during the colonial era.  Since its birth, Pidgin English has evolved, from being a medium of communication for uneducated, impoverished and lower class communicators who were not literate enough to express themselves in proper English Language to a popular and accepted language. Though still informal, Pidgin English cuts across class, age, tribe, borders and cultures.

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The man behind Fela's album covers

LEMI GHARIOKWU IS THE MAN BEHIND ALL OF THE ICONIC ALBUMS FROM THE LATE MUSIC LEGEND FELA KUTI

I did the portrait and lo and behold he took me to Fela just like that,” says Ghariokwu, recalling his first meeting with Kuti at his house, the infamous Kalakuta Republic. “When he saw the portrait, Fela said, ‘wow, God damn it,’” he recalls, laughing. It was the first time I heard these words. Fela loved the portrait so much and wrote me a check for 120 naira — I used to earn 30 naira for my portrait work — but I rejected it. I said ‘I don’t want money, I give you the work from the bottom of my heart.
He was very surprised so he tore up the check, took a sheet of paper and wrote ‘please admit bearer to any show free of charge,’ continues Ghariokwu. That was my ticket to Kalakuta; that was the beginning [of the journey].
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Lemi Ghariokwu is one of Africa's greatest visual artists. Lemi has a career spanning almost 40 years which includes designing 26 original cover images for the Nigerian musician legend, Fela Kuti. Lemi also has over 2,000 other album cover designs to his credit including covers for Bob Marley and a host of other music legends. Lemi's style to art is influenced by his deep philosophical views on social and political events. His designs are multi-faceted and combine a variety of styles and media.

He was a member of Fela's much loved Young African Pioneers. These self-proclaimed rebels supported Fela's music with their art, poetry and writings. Lemi relationship with Fela Kuti was very close and he was often mentored and advised by the Afrobeat legend. Ghariokwu's works are in the collection of art and afrobeat lovers around the world. His painting, Anoda Sistem, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

 LEMI GHARIOKWU

LEMI GHARIOKWU

That initial meeting in 1973 changed Lemi’s life. From there, he’d become one of Fela’s closest confidants despite being seventeen years his junior, and, as he puts it, the two were “comrades in arms.” They studied metaphysics together, they read Marcus Garvey and Malcom X, they discussed Pan-Africanism. “I became like his son,” Lemi says. “When he was recording a tune, I was close to the process, so by the time he recorded the album, it was almost a fait accompli for me to illustrate the album. Most of the time, ninety percent of the time, he’d say, ‘Lemi, it’s a motherfucker, man.’

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For Lemi, a 20-year journey into friendship and artistic expression via the covers of Fela's ever expressive afro-beat music, started out in 1973; Lemi Ghariokwu was straight out of secondary school, spending his ample free time giving himself drawing assignments and making portraits for people in his neighborhood. Martial arts action film "Enter the Dragon," starring Bruce Lee, was a big hit at the time, and Ghariokwu was asked by a local bar owner to draw a poster of the movie for his pub. 

A few days later a journalist called Babatunde Harrison entered the parlor, saw the poster hanging on the wall and quickly asked to see the person who'd created it. When he met Ghariokwu, who was living next door with his parents, Harrison requested to see more of his drawings. Amongst them was an illustration of Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti dancing on mud -- Ghariokwu had previously bought an album by Kuti called "Roforofo Fight" (roforofo means mud in Yoruba) and had given himself the task of creating his own version of the album cover. Impressed by Ghariokwu's work, Harrison, who was a friend of Kuti, asked Ghariokwu whether he could design album covers. The teen artist reluctantly said yes and then Harrison brought him a picture of Kuti to do a portrait as a test.

 

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Still only sixty, Lemi is now organizing his archives and preparing to open a museum of his work in Lagos, where people continue to come to pay respect to what he and Fela created.

Fela didn’t respect anyone initially, but when you had something to offer, he showed so much respect. He gave me so much freedom of expression.

A wedding made in Technology

THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR TECH ENTHUSIASTS! THERE IS NOW POOF THAT YOU CAN MAKE YOUR WEDDING TECH THEMED. JESSICA NAZIRI-SABET, A TECH BLOGGER PLANNED HER ENTIRE WEDDING AROUND TECHNOLOGY EVEN TO THE BOUQUET.

 Courtesy: thefeministbride.com

Courtesy: thefeministbride.com

Jessica Naziri, who works as a tech blogger at TechSesh.co wanted to create a synthesis of old-fashioned wedding customs along with aspects of modern life in 2017. She confessed that she had always wanted to plug into new technologies and make her wedding a modern-day experience, yet with age-old traditions.  She and her husband Michael Sabet, a real estate entrepreneur chose a tech theme for their Los Angeles wedding, from the invitations to the bouquet, to pictures, to souvenirs for guests who attended their wedding. 

"As I made choices like creating a custom app for my wedding, supplying charging stations at the reception, and wearing a 3D-printed headpiece, the tech theme came together organically," says Naziri. She said that as the world introduces more and more gadgets and tech into our everyday lives, weddings are beginning to do the same. She wanted to be a part of that. 

The couple created an app and website for their wedding using so their guests could share photos and chat to one another. As if that was not enough, Naziri also made bouquets for herself and her bridesmaids using Belkin lightning cables as an alternative to flowers. 

 IMAGE: MHER HAGOPIAN, M.T.H PRODUCTION

IMAGE: MHER HAGOPIAN, M.T.H PRODUCTION

Jessica said that when she started planning, she realized that she was less interested in flowers and dresses than in finding ways to incorporate what she loved most as she started a new chapter in her life.

“I always wanted to plug into new technologies and make my wedding a modern-day experience, yet with age-old traditions. The tech theme just came about naturally because technology is such a large part of who I am. I wanted to bring technology down the aisle with me." This she took to another level by wearing a 3D-printed headpiece.

The social media savvy wedding just wouldn’t be complete without four Snapchat filters specially designed for the day as there were three custom Snapchat filters stamped with photos of themselves which were geofenced to the wedding venue.  

When it came to the guests, the happy couple wanted to make things as easy as possible for their friends to take photos during the day. "We encouraged everyone to keep taking photos and even provided charging stations, so you can say we definitely did not impose social media restrictions," says Naziri. According to Naziri, special charging stations are a "must-have" at weddings, so no one stresses about saving their phone battery when taking pics and posting on social media. 

Photography which is an important part of the wedding had a touch of technology as an enlisted photographer who used drones to get some extra-special 360 footage of the wedding that only drones could provide was used.

The couple really wanted the day to be "very social" and to keep the photos of the party from "a guest's perspective" thus guests were encouraged to use their wedding hashtag #SabetterTogether with the W-Fi password that was provided at the venue so everyone could be connected and social. Just so no one complains of low battery, charging points were provided at the ceremony. To cap it all, the wedding party were given portable charging packs engraved with the wedding hashtag. She chose this gift so her party would "always remember this day and keep a piece of the tech theme on hand." 

Take a full look at the complete pictures below.

SIMISOLA- The Album

HERE IS ALL WE KNOW ABOUT UPCOMING ALBUM FROM NEW WAVE MUSICIAN SIMISOLA OGUNLEYE (SIMI)

I remember the first time I met Simi at Hardrock Cafe during a concert, she sang to me which resulted in me smiling too hard to close my mouth even after 20 minutes and of course I proceeded to have a typical fan moment with her and waited for a selfie, then she urged me with a smile not to leave in a hurry so the pictures can be taken; Wait! What? Did Simi just beg me to wait for a picture. Anyways that was just a testament to the realness she preached and so perfectly carves into her songs. It is no news that she has come a long way from singing strictly gospel songs to being an inspiration still to her 952,000 Instagram followers and bagging a 9Mobile ambassadorship deal.

Over the years she has repeatedly won our hearts over with first her remakes to already popular songs like Apologize (20nine), Grenade (Misbehaviour), Burn (Not okay) and the more recent ones like Tiff, Jamb Question, Smile for me; with a voice I would lightly describe as addictive, we the fans have been asking her for an album, new single, anything and she heard our pleas and has revealed the title of the album- SIMISOLA and the date.

 

That's all we have for now, as soon as we get the tracklist and all other vital information, this article will be updated.

I can be your hero baby

AN AFRICAN START UP HAS BIRTHED THE DREAM OF CHANGING THE NORMS OF THE AFRICAN CHILD BY HELPING TO CREATE INDIGENOUS SUPER HEROES THAT WILL INSPIRE THEM TO BE BETTER AND SOCIETAL CONSCIOUS.

 Courtesy: Giphy

Courtesy: Giphy

Everyone knows Batman, Superman, and Voltron and most sometimes dreamt of being like them in their growing years. But Batman does not live in Africa, neither does Superman enjoy 80 percent of sunlight in a year. Voltron has no idea of what it means to have an African mom. This unknowingly was a gap to be filled that many were oblivious of. So, Jide Martin, a comic lover came up with an idea to create Super heroes from indigenous characters and names and called it Comic Republic

Comic Republic Global Network is a Nigerian comic character franchise that produces digital comic books to tell more compelling stories of Africa and her rich culture.

Jide Martin, CEO, Comic Republic said "I grew up consuming loads of comics and realised that we're in a society where the generation coming are not very big on listening to their parents or religion. I thought of what could I do to change this growing pattern I had a flashback of my growing years. I reminisced what did I when I needed to make tough decisions as a boy. I ask myself "What would Superman or Batman do? Superman would stand for what is right and Batman would be strong against all odds." So, I asked "Why don't I use comics to instill the right mindset in the present and even the next generation?" The same impact it had on me would still be the same impact I would like to share with the world.

Of course, I'm Nigerian and we already have western super heroes and I needed to reach people who are here in Nigeria and Africa in general. So, I thought "Why not use our culture and our people and portray them as heroes so that they can inspire and show the world in general what Africa can be?"

Scroll right for more pictures.

Jide added that "Comic republic has seen massive downloads even beyond the shores of Africa. Most downloads come from the US at about 40 percent. 30 percent from Nigeria, 20 percent from the UK and the rest of the world shares the other percentage left."

Akintoba Kalejaiye, Content Creator Manager, Comic Republic mentioned that "All of our comics are digital because it is very easy to access them digitally. As a result of this, people who do not initially buy comic books find it easy to download and read."

They pursue the dream of making the society a better place by creating more African Super heroes and making the younger generation better citizens one comic story at a time.

To view the comics please visit http://thecomicrepublic.com/