Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Idanre Hills - 660 steps up to heaven

Entering Idanre town

It's been so many months since I last blogged on here. It was due to a packed schedule of events in my life in the last year. I went back to school to get a Masters degree in Literature at the University of Lagos while continuing my work full time. There's only so many things a man can do at the same time.

I have also recently gotten engaged!
Lawale doing the Usain thunder-Bolt move

Amazing view from the top

Lots of things to be done on top

Posing with Laide

Seun poses while descending the hill
So Christmas time my fiancee and I have traveled to Akure to be with my parents. On Christmas eve we drove down to Idanre with my brother and two cousins, a town just 30 minutes from Akure to climb the famous hills that were part of the subject of Wole Soyinka's 1968 volume Idanre and Other Poems.

There are 660 steps on the way up the hill. Lacking physical conditioning, we all panted as we climbed except for my brother who ran, jogged and looked so strong climbing.

Due to our late arrival, we couldn't explore so much of the features but it was still a breathtaking view from the top - even it's my second trip there. It's always a thing of great beauty to behold the majesty of those hills.

I joked to my fiancee that the hills are the droppings of an extinct race of giants. We all had a good laugh.

Idanre is a great place to visit for anyone looking for great mountain climbing adventure. There's lots of history locked away in that town.

I just wish that the local people and government would take it upon themselves to promote the resource better. First, we could start with a good restaurant and refreshment shop at the bottom for tourists who need to unwind after a long climb.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Femi Kuti performs on stage with his children

Femi Kuti performing with sons Ayomide and Tunmise and daughter Demilade
 Femi Kuti has been playing at the New Afrika Shrine with his young children. Just like his first son Omorinmade (a.k.a Made) who is now studying classical music in the UK, when he was much younger, Ayomide, Tunmise and his daughter Demilade have been going on stage with their father in recent times.

During his Thursday evening rehearsals at the Shrine, the boys mimic every move that their legendary father makes; they sing along with him on make-believe microphones, tap on the keyboard alongside and also pick up imaginary trumpets when he blows.

Femi described Ayomide as "just like Fela, too troublesome" in my interview with him last year. He also said Tunmise is learning to be "a rascal" from Ayomide. From what I've seen so far, these are two kids who look up to their father so much and are already looking to step into his shoes.

The kids are already warming into the celebrity role that their father enjoys as they regularly have to greet revelers and admirers with fist bumps just like their father does. The Kuti family looks assured of another generation of musical torch bearers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unilag Lagoon Front

 The University of Lagos is bordered by the Lagoon. Along its bank has been built a park where students usually spend time having fun, reading, discussing and plain just admiring the view. One can watch the Third Mainland Bridge economic rat race from the peaceful lagoon front.

I made these images a few weeks ago and only just found them out again to share.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In language class with Femi Kuti

Femi Kuti speaking to Lolade: Photo by Wale Falola

I have had some interesting interactions with musicians over the course of my journalism career but this one with Afrobeat star Femi Kuti trumps all. During my recent interview with him following his third Grammy Awards nomination, we talked about the concept of ‘knowing’. He made a point about the fact that I couldn’t have known his father Fela which I responded in the affirmative. Then he went on to lecture me about the rudiments of English grammar. And the following argument ensued: 

Femi Kuti: How old are you?
Lolade Adewuyi: 31
FK: You couldn’t have known Fela.
LA: Well I knew him even though I didn’t grow up in Lagos.
FK: You knew him; you don’t even speak English well. Knew? How did you know him? You met him? Knew means you must have met him, you’re familiar. Knew him in terms of you have heard his album, abi?
LA: Before he died. I grew up with my dad playing his songs.
FK: So from your dad is how you got to know his music.
LA: Yes.
FK: Even before he died, you were not privileged to even come to Lagos to watch him perform. Patapata [at most] you would have seen him on TV and the footage they have of Fela on TV is when he was old, over 50.
LA: No that was Egypt 80 performing in, was it that Egypt show?
FK: He never performed in Egypt, either Berlin.
LA: There was a big show. It was really the biggest I’ve seen.
FK: Where?
LA: I can’t remember the city, but it was really big and I saw it on Ondo State TV because I grew up in Akure.
FK: You have to tell me because they don’t have much footage of my father when he was young, except you Google him now. There is some footage that people are putting on the internet when he was in his 30s, when he was at his peak.
LA: I think he was in his 40s in this video.
FK: You still did not “knew” the man.
LA: But I’ve read his biographies.
FK: It’s like me saying that I know Kwame Nkrumah. I’ve read his book, I’ve read his philosophies.
LA: You don’t have to meet someone before you know them.
FK: It’s good to still meet, you have met me now; you can tell another generation that you met me. It says a lot in 20 years time when, if I’m still alive or dead, that you have met me than to know or read about me.
LA: Yes, true.
FK: So “knew”, I’m only going about the English you’re speaking, “knew” is different. You do not know the man; you have heard about him, you have read about him...
LA: Stop trying to intimidate me!
FK: I’m not trying to intimidate you, I’m trying to make you understand the English that we’re speaking as African people is such a problem and a burden on our lives that if we don’t understand what we’re writing, when a journalist takes his pen and writes that Femi Kuti is mad, it’s a big deal because 100,000 people will read, and they will tell their friends and then Femi does not have the power to counter that story or fight back this journalist, or journalists.

Needless to say, I left that interview a whole lot wiser and became a friend of Femi Kuti. The interview that was scheduled for an hour ran into almost two hours as we exchanged banters. Perhaps like Femi said, I can tell my children that I met him, therefore I know him. However, since I enjoy Fela’s music and identify with some of his messages, having interviewed his sons, read his story and philosophy, I would like to maintain that I KNOW him. Jesus Christ said, blessed are those who have not seen, yet believed. I have researched enough to assume a level of knowledge that many people who met him physically can say about knowing him. I do believe that I know Fela. After all, he’s no longer a man but a concept.     

A more 'serious-minded' part of the interview was published in TELL last week

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Passion of Christ

Captured this Passion of Christ procession on Good Friday along Agidingbi Road as I drove out in the morning. I'd always seen scenes like this on TV and in the papers but it was my first live view. So I parked by the kerb and shot a few images as the procession by St Leo's Catholic Church moved along the road towards Coca Cola Junction.

By the way, did you notice the hair? Wonder how well coiffed Christ's hair was as he was led like a lamb to the slaughter on Calvary.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Goal.com Nigeria launch party

L-r: Dan Price, Business Development Manager Perform, Lolade Adewuyi, Chief Editor Goal.com Nigeria, Deacon Ayo Ositelu, Editorial Board member The Guardian, Daryn Wober, Managing Director Global Business Development Perform, Tokunbo Adodo, Marketing Manager Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Nigeria Breweries, Ita Bassey, Senior Brand Manager Gulder, and Olayiwola Onafowokan, Head of Value Added Service, Etisalat Nigeria at the launch of Goal.com Nigeria, Oriental Hotel, Lagos on Friday March 30.
Daryn Wober, MD Global Business Development, Perform Media
 The world's biggest football website Goal.com launched its Nigeria edition on Friday March 30 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island. Here are some photos from the event. Read an article on the website
Goal.com Nigeria Chief Editor Lolade Adewuyi

Lolade Adewuyi, Thisday's Kunle and Dan Price

Goal.com Nigeria writers Babajide Alaka, Bode Oguntuyi and Emeka Nwani

Sports broadcaster Mitchell Obi, Osa Unwede of 70th Precinct, Daryn Wober

MC Bimbo Adeola

Perform's Stewart, Lolade, Dan, Daryn and Goal.com columnist Bode Oguntuyi

Goal.com hostesses

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arise Magazine Lagos Fashion Week - KIKI Clothing

I was invited by my friend Titi Ademola of KIKI Clothing to her show at the recent Arise Magazine Lagos Fashion Week on Sunday. Here are a few shots from the event. I sadly could not wait till the end to see Ozwald Boateng's designs but it was a delight to see super model Oluchi walk the ruway, my first time of seeing her.It's my first time of taking photos on the runway, didn't prepare for it as I sat in a tight corner of the hall but I hope you get an idea of the show through these shots.
KIKI Clothing models
Designer Titi Ademola of KIKI Clothing Accra, Ghana
Super model Oluchi

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Red carpet photos from Soul Diaspora's premiere in Lagos

Award winning film Soul Diaspora had its Nigerian premiere at the Ozone Cinemas, Yaba on Saturday January 28. Odera Ozoka's story about the troubled life of a Nigerian immigrant in Los Angeles days before the 9/11 attacks won the 2009 African Movie Academy Awards for best film from a director in the Diaspora. Lead actor Saidu Abu also got a nomination for his gritty performance in the best actor category. On Saturday, the Lagos audience got a look at the film sthat has garnered so much praise at many festivals worldwide. Personally, I wasn't disappointed. Can't speak for others who came in expecting a regular Nollywood melodrama. Director Odera had warned me ahead of time that this was not "a date movie" when I asked if I could come with a friend. It's a noirish story of loneliness in a foreign land, stereotypes, hate, culture shock and the anger and suspicion that followed the attacks on America in September 2001. No plot spoilers here because the movie will open to audiences later this year and I would like for everyone to get shocked by the tragedy of the movie. Here are a few photos from the red carpet event.
Nollywood actress Steph-Nora Okereke

Nollywood actor Emeka Ike

Director Odera Ozoka with his Mother

The film's star Sadiq Abu

"Chuks" and "Ene" of Tinsel

Journalist Lolade Adewuyi, film producer Clotilde Delavennat and actor Sadiq Abu

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Women of #OccupyNigeria

Waka music singer Salawa Abeni joined voices with the people at the Gani Fawehinmi Park on Tuesday. Beside her is Joe-Okei Odumakin, a fiery civil society leader who in her own right has become a rallying point for the masses.
 The OccupyNigeria protests have continued into the second day and my attention has been drawn to the role of women in the demonstrations. They have played big roles as much as men in the struggle against tyranny against the Nigerian people by their government. Here are a few of the women I captured during these protests.

Journalist Lolade Sowoolu tweets on her mobile phone during protests at the Gani Fawehinmi Park

Star actress Bimbo Akintola showed up at the OccupyNigeria protests in Ojota to denounce the government

Activist Chioma Ogwuegbu displays her Nigeria colours at the OccupyNigeria protests in Ojota

This young lady joined the protests against fuel subsidy removal at Ojodu.

With a smile, this young lady asks the government to rescind its decision.

Monday, January 9, 2012

#OccupyNigeria: The birth of a neighbourhood protest

Dayo Fadugba leads a handful of young men at the start of the protest in Ojodu
 I was privileged to be part of the beginning of a protest in my neigbourhood as the #OccupyNigeria protests against the removal of government subsidy on petroleum commenced today. Dayo Fadugba, former publicity officer of the Obafemi Awolowo University students union, called a group of young men together on Sunday night to sensitise them about the issues on ground. I got wind of it and attended. The stage was set for protests on Monday morning and I was duly woken up by Fadugba's phone call at 7:16am informing me that they were about to commence.

Without as much as a shower, I jumped out onto the streets, camera in hand, to meet about seven young men, Fadugba inclusive, as they sang around the Ishaga Ojodu-Abiodun area denouncing the government position. We moved from house to house, street to street urging parents to release their young people to join in the protests that affects one and all.

Fadugba said: "You provide water for yourselves, you subsidise your own electricity, you send your children to private schools, they graduate but cannot get jobs and the government wants you to keep quiet, what has the government done for you? If you fight you may win but if you don’t fight you have definitely lost".

From a handful of people, the crowd grew into almost a thousand signifying the anger of many Nigerians at their government's anti-human policies. We moved towards the Ojodu-Abiodun Police Post where Emeka Nwonyi, the divisional police officer, asked the young men and women to protest peacefully even as he acknowledged the fact that policemen also feel the pinch of the policy.

The procession then moved to the Berger Roundabout where it occupied before moving on towards Omole and onwards to Ojota where the larger #OccupyNigeria party was being held.

From seven people to more than a thousand, there is power in the peoples' anger.
A banner says: We no fit shout

Writing the signs

Protesting for his future

Bring an end to corruption

No to fuel subsidy removal

Fadugba addresses Emeka Nwonyi, divisional police officer of the Ojodu-Abiodun Police post

Young people are angry at their government

Emeka Nwonyi, DPO Ojodu-Abiodun Police post addresses the protesting crowd 

Nothing that goes up ever comes down in Nigeria

From a small beginning, the crowd grows into a mammoth and moves to Berger Roundabout

Clapping against government tyranny

Fuel price hike portends hell for many Nigerians