Thursday, April 30, 2009

A nation of talkers

Took this shot inside a BRT bus. It made me realise that we're a nation of talkers. Hence, the sign says No hawking (because we realise that you folks are always trying to sell things to passengers inside our bus); No preaching (because we know you're always trying to convert others in that holier than thou manner) and No advertising (because you always like to disturb others with your loud lifestyle).

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eyo festival

When the Eyo masquerades come out to play, praise singers follow their trail. Beautiful women turn out in their best, because it's an opportunity for them to shine.
The arcade is filled to the brim and Lagosians proudly celebrate their heroes.

Dateline: Saturday April 25
Venue: Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos

The city of Lagos celebrated its most famous traditional event, the outing of the Eyo Masques. It's usually held in honour of a recently dead influential Lagos indigene. This time it was for TOS Benson.

It was my first time of seeing the ceremony because it was the first time the Lagos government was beginning to see how it can be used to encourage massive tourism in the state. So we all travelled to the TBS on Lagos Island to witness the spectacle of the Eyo. Dressed in white flowing gowns, a hat and a stick, each group represents a ruling house or iga. They are differentiated by the colour of their hats. They dance around the city chanting ritual songs while praying for the purification of the land.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Philosopher

Knowledge really is power, otherwise try ignorance

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kokoro the blind drummer

I return to Tinubu Square in today's post with this statue of Lagos' popular blind minstrel Kokoro the Drummer. This statue was raised in honour of the minstrel who died in January. He was 83 years old. Here's a link to read more about the life of the minstrel who became blind early in life and turned to music to earn a living.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nights of the creaking bed

Author Toni Kan held a public presentation and reading of his new books, a collection of short stories Nights of the creaking bed, and poetry Songs of absence and despair at the Terra Kulture, Victoria Island on Saturday.

The title story Nights of the creaking bed is a noirish story of how a boy discovers his widowed mother's lover dead on her bed with his naked erect manhood. The first line of the story: "My mother was a kept woman."

It's mostly dark tales about city life in Lagos.

It makes good, easy reading. Toni describes himself as a happy writer who creates sad stories. He has a refreshing take on the Nigerian experience. Here's a link to his publisher's website to learn more about him and order a copy, perhaps.

Here he autographs a copy of the book for me with the inscription, "From one artist to another".

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wings of Liberty

Inside the refurbished Tinubu Square in the heart of Lagos Island is this fountain called Wings of Liberty. I was about to take a shot when these kids asked me if they could pose. Never say never, so I told them to go ahead.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tinubu Square

Madam Efunroye Tinubu, ancestor of the immediate past governor of the state was a leader of women. The square had been in disrepair for a number of years before it was rebuilt two years ago. It adds a lot of beauty to down town Lagos Island now. Many tourists now visit it on a daily basis. Entry is free.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Used book market

There's a thriving used book market on Lagos Island, at CMS Bus stop close to Broad Street. Been there for many years, at least the man in the shot, Christian, has been trading there for almost 15 years.

I once bought a copy of George Orwell's 1984 from him. It came in handy as I was writing about Nigeria's version of Big Brother back in 2006.

There's threat to their continued stay there though with the recent efforts of the Lagos government to remove all selling and trading activities that have given a bad image to the city over the years.

So the book sellers have had to retreat into a built up motor park where city dwellers hardly get to see them because Lagosians are always in a hurry.

Ironically, newspaper vendors are still allowed to trade along the street. Which is better, newspapers or books?

I still have my 1984 from 2006 but cannot locate the papers I bought on Sunday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The greatest smile

Easter Monday, morning. My niece poses with plates of scrambled eggs, Lagos style with onions, tomatoes and fresh red pepper. She's an ever willing model for my photo shoots. I'm beginning to have feelings that she might take up modeling, if her parents agree. Here she has two chocolate satchets draped across her chest making it look like she's wearing a dress.

And you can never miss her huge gap-toothed smile, signs of growing up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Go Gunners!!!

Took this photo on the window of a bus. It is the logo of London's Arsenal FC. I've been a supporter of the club for almost ten years now. They go into a second leg quarter final match against Spain's Villareal tonight at the Emirates Stadium in North London. I'll be glued to my TV set, watching and praying under my breath for victory.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Divine intervention needed

This sign is advertising the European Champions League quarter final matches taking place tonight and tomorrow. The owner of this viewing centre is obviously a Manchester United fan and a Muslim. He leaves a prayer on the board: "Alah (sic) help Man U".

Man U will need a lot of prayers as they go into their second leg tie against FC Porto in O'Porto, Portugal where no English team has ever won.

Like in many other parts of Africa, European football teams are popular in Lagos and other Nigerian cities.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter at Bunny's!

This is Bunny's, a restaurant located somewhere in Akute, outskirts of Lagos. It's definitely a place to be this Easter. Where better to get Easter bunnies than at Bunny's?

They've got great food, I've tried it.

Happy Easter to everyone out there. Joyeux Pacques!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sterling Towers

Sterling Bank's HQ. One of the many high rises that belong to the mega banks on the Lagos Island. Many of them have seen their share prices plummet on the stock exchange in recent times a result of the global economic crises.

Many people are out of jobs now and many more are afraid what tomorrow will bring. Sometimes you wonder if globalisation isn't a curse after all.