Reaching Beyond the Skies

OK SERIOUSLY, IT’S NO LONGER NEWS THAT NIGERIANS ALL OVER THE WORLD DESERVE SOME ACCOLADES.

Source: Face2face Africa

Source: Face2face Africa

Every now and then, some Nigerian both within the shores of the country and beyond takes up the challenge of putting a large smile on the faces of Nigerians everywhere. You can’t possibly imagine the level of pride in my heart as I write this piece.

A 26 year old, Silas Adekunle the founder and CEO of Reach Robotics, has put the continent on the map once again by creating the first ever gaming robot. This disruptive innovation has taken gaming to another level. This innovative youngster called his robot called MekaMon. If the first two words that came to your mind just now were Pokemon or Digimon, it means you and I think alike.

Source: Guardian

Source: Guardian

MekaMon has the ability to perform user personalized functions as it leverages on augmented reality. As a result of this brilliant innovation, Silas Adekunle who graduated with a first class from West England University after living his younger years in Nigeria, is now the world’s highest paid robotics engineer.

Reach robotics, during the initial launch of Mekamon sold 500 bots, generating $7.5 million. Following this feat, Silas Adekunle received support from various organizations including London Venture Partners who invested $10 million into the company. He also sealed a deal with Apple to exclusively sell MekaMon in its stores. So with all this cash rolling in, you just have to be either or one of the richest in your field of play.

Source: Kolumn Magazine

Source: Kolumn Magazine

But what does this mean for the global market?

This innovation has altered the gaming experience and taking it to a whole new dimension by delivering an amazing experience to gamers. Brands and organizations can begin to rethink their strategy to leverage on the opportunities this bot creates, with a view to delivering an unforgettable experience to customers.

I’m just here TINKing about everywhere else this remarkable invention can be introduced. #JustTinking

Ghana & Nigeria- beyond the Jollof wars

HERE ARE SOME THINGS NIGERIA AND GHANA HAVE IN COMMON WHEN WE ARE NOT FIGHTING OVER WHOSE JOLLOF TASTES BETTER.

There is a said plot to send Mr Eazi who is from Nigeria back to Ghana because he sent some tweets that infuriated Nigerian's. How dare he say, Nigerian/ afrobeats music is inspired by Ghanaian music? 

Anyways, on a lighter mood; here are some things Nigeria and Ghana have in common

// Movie Industry: There is a healthy relationship between Nollywood and Ghana's Movie industry, so much so that some of their actors can almost be mistaken for Nigerians; the likes of Chris Attoh, Jackie Appiah...

// Traffic: Before you think of relocating to Ghana in search of greener pastures, they have a terrible traffic situation there too. Maybe even worse than the one on the famous third mainland bridge.

// Food: Asides Jollof, I sincerely hope the fights over whose food is better ends someday. We have other foods in common that we bet you didn't not know. Delicacies like  Amala (Kokonte), Egusi (Akatoa) and Okpa (Adibi). Find out more here.

// Music: An undeniable love for groove and shared taste in music occurs among indigenes of both countries. Dances shared between them like azonto and then collaborations between their artistes; the popular one being Sarkodie from Ghana.

// Pidgin: I have resigned to fate as pidgin is not my thing. Nevertheless, pidgin is common both countries. For example, how we Nigerians say, "Baba" or "My Guy" meaning friend, they say "Chale."

This article was not written in oblivion to the fact that this fights between these two countries run deeper than jollof which dates back to 1983 which is actually how the "ghana must go" bags were created. Every "Ghana-must-go" bag has a story. In late January 1983, the President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, held a press conference and ordered all immigrants without the right papers to leave the country within a few weeks. Those who left enmasse took their belongings in the above named  bag. hence the name.

Art from Paper

MEET AYOBOLA KEKERE-EKUN, THE NIGERIAN ARTIST WHO USES STRIPS OF PAPER AND GLUE TO CREATE INCREDIBLE WORKS OF ART.

24-year-old Ayobola Kekere-Ekun is a Lagos-based contemporary visual artist who studied graphic design at the University of Lagos and graduated with a B.A. in visual arts. Her work explores issues related to mythology, gender, constructs of power and the human condition. Her art form involves the use of strips of coloured paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create stunning designs. So, if you were ever one of those kids that just tore up papers with scissors for the fun it, shame on you and me of course. 

Follow her on Instagram: @ayobola.k and visit her website here.

I discovered quilling by accident in my final year of university. I was brainstorming for my last practical project, and during one of my experimentation sessions I realized I could glue a strip of paper on edge and it would hold. It was such a liberating moment for me. I imagined that someone out there had to have figured this out as well, so I went online to look it up. I learned it was called paper quilling and I discovered some incredibly inspiring quillers and paper artists.

I’ve definitely come a long way since my first piece. I’ve had to figure a lot of things out through trial and error. I’m still learning and experimenting even now.

This story has made me realize that there is so much ingenuity in arts and culture and that a whole lot can be created from something unbelievable.

The most important part of every piece I do is the planning stage. I do lots of sketches to explore whatever idea I have.

I don’t touch a strip of paper until the piece is at least 70% clear in my head. The unclear 30% tends to sort itself out as the piece progresses.

Help me Find my Way!

A 12 YEAR OLD NIGERIAN GIRL INVENTS AN APP TO HELP STUDENTS FIND THEIR WAY HOME.

We live in an age where technology is allowing us to create things we couldn't couple years ago. From new types of phones, to new apps and even to new types of businesses. Innovation is the new way of life.

There are variety of ways we can utilize the availability of technology and 12 year old Tomison Ogunnubi has done just that by creating an app called 'My Locator' which is meant to help the users who are basically school pupils know their location, find it on the map and be properly directed to their destination. The app was designed with schools kids in mind to enable them accurately find their way home if need be. Genius right?

Tomison, a student of Vivian Fowler Memorial college, Lagos was able to achieve this through the help of her school and the New Horizon computer learning center. We get impressed when new helpful apps are made but we're even more impressed when we see young minds creating amazing things.

A picture of Tomison

A picture of Tomison

So what does this tell us? Apart from the fact that youngins are becoming more innovative, it is now evident that there are myriads of avenues for young people to easily create things that are beneficial to the society. Gone are the days when young Africans had no access to innovation. Now, platforms like the New Horizon computer learning center are available to foster creativity. If this platform keeps running and more of it are established in different parts of the continent, then more young people will be able to influence technology and, Africa will come tops on the scale of tech geniuses.

Art X History

RELIVING HISTORY WITH ARTISTIC EXPRESSION

FRED MARTINS

FRED MARTINS

Have you met Fred Martins? He is the Nigerian artist who uses afro comb to illustrate portraits of African Activists, born in Aggah-Egbema and lived in Omoku both in Rivers State, Nigeria. “I started as a graphic designer in 2004 and later grew into visual art, conceptualizing and directing surreal photography and short art videos aside making digital arts”; currently in Lviv, Ukraine, he turns to the iconic afro comb to illustrate portraits of African activists such as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba and Fela Kuti, all who were discredited for advocating for freedom and fairness for Africans. 

Want to connect with him further? visit his website here

 

His latest project

The Afro comb dates back to pre-dynastic Egypt, though it became a provocative symbol in the 1970s when its iconography evolved into a black fist, referencing the spirit of the Civil Rights and Black Panther movements, becoming synonymous with black pride and identity. And according to History Workshop, the Afro comb of this era was originally patented by two black Americans, Samuel H. Bundles Jr., and Henry M. Childrey. 

However, many manifestations emerged during that period, including a folding comb. Some viewed the hair accessory as an inflammatory symbol, which contributed to police stopping and frisking Afro comb-wearers. It also came to represent cross-cultural exchange among people from the African diaspora as color variations were manufactured in Nigeria in the early 1980s.

 

His newest project tagged “Orange, Black and Freedom.” has received worldwide acclaim; "I chose orange because it's associated with prison", he told CNN; using jail mug shots to capture a side view of the activists' faces, Fred hopes for  young Africans to know more about our history and guide it through time, and for African leaders to champion good leadership. As for the comb, he says "Worn in the 1970s by fluffy afro-ed youths in America as a protest against repression, it's a symbol that goes beyond style and adornment."

As for the comb, he says "Worn in the 1970s by fluffy afro-ed youths in America as a protest against repression, it's a symbol that goes beyond style and adornment."

What interests us about Fred is that even in this technology age where efforts are rather made to erase and tarnish african history, is a new generation man rather than go neck deep in to social media utilization would rather focus his art on cultural preservation and story telling.