Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#NigeriaDecides: Political campaigns everywhere

It's Nigeria's general election season and there are huge billboards and posters advertising candidates everywhere you turn.

The presidential and national assembly elections hold on Febuary 14 while the votes for governors and state assemblies will be held two weeks later on February 28.

Nigeria is at another important moment in its history. Who will win this one?

I have covered elections in Ghana and Togo, but none of them have been this tense even before the votes are cast.

In 2008 when Ghana went to the polls, I remember the deadlock between both candidates pushed the battle to the small town on Tain. Even then, Ghana was peaceful.

While in Lome in 2010, even as the opposition failed to defeat the long-term family heir Gnassingbe Eyadema, there was not much disturbance of the peace.

In Nigeria, the opposition All Progressives Congressive hopes to use its growing popularity to unseat the government of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Africa's most populous country has not seen such a keen contest since the return to civilian rule in 1999. Many say it is now or never for the coalition of opposition parties to defeat the ruling party.

Nigeria is set on edge, February's polls will either make or mar her.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Afropolitan Vibes: Victor Olaiya and Keziah Jones in performance

Victor Olaiya
It was a fitting way to end 2014 as highlife music legend Victor Olaiya rode the stage at the December 19 Afropolitan Vibes, which continues to grow into a veritable live music hangout for many young Lagosians.

The success of the AV has made it an event to look forward to every month due to its eclectic atmosphere.

And since the move to the main stage of the Freedom Park, the crowd has seemed to increase and become more diverse than when the show was at the smaller theatre stage.

Blufunk singer and guitarist Keziah Jones also performed on the night. Although I interviewed him sometime in 2011, it was my first time to see him play live.

Though he only did about three songs, his dexterity on the guitar was not lost on crowd as the women called out for him to take off his shirt like he has done in the past mainly with European audiences.

Perhaps not wanting to divert the attention of the crowd from the music or due to the different sensibilities of the Lagos audience, KJ decided to keep the shirt on. I'm glad he did.
Keziah Jones
January's Afropolitan Vibes will take place on January 30 with expected performances from 84-year-old highlife legend Chris Ajilo, neo-soul singer Bez, Afro hiphop artist Ajebutter22 and R&B sing Ruby Gyang hosted by the 13-piece Bantu collective.