Friday, August 24, 2007

Random ramblings, going away, Felabration

In a hurry as it's my last day at work for a while and there are a million and one things to do. I'm going away for work and hoping to catch some holiday and to be honest, I can't wait. I'll try to blog on my wanderings as internet connectivity permits...

On the train this morning a bunch of giggling teenagers in multicoloured wellington boots, carrying backpacks the sizes of small mountains, occupied most of the train. They keep up an urgent rapid-fire chatter which distracts me from the work I'm trying to do. Their conversation ranges over the drugs they've taken and the ones that they will take at the festival that they are headed to, the sex that they have had and will have and so on. I am no prude but can't help being gobsmacked at the casual way in which they broadcast this information through the carriage. I look up from my papers, catching the eye of one of them who has the good grace to blush and gestures to the others to tone it down. As their conversation descend to loud whispers, I am acutely conscious of my age....



Much talk in the last week of Britain's fractured society particularly with the horrific gangland style killing of an 11-year old boy in Liverpool. Everyone seems to agree that society is fractured, but there is disagreement on what to do to heal it. There is much talk about the role of "the community" which makes me irritable. Unlike Mrs Thatcher I do believe that society exists, but am unconvinced that many of the pundits actually know how to mobilize a community. Jack Straw says "lads need dads", suggesting that the black community needs to acknowledge this and promote it, yet I wonder how you actually put that into practice, beyond rhetoric. David Cameron abandons his hug-a-hoodie approach and suggests that offenders should be banged up in prison. Doing a U-turn so soon after his faux pas over hospital closures (he had claimed a number of hospitals were going to lose their accident and emergency departments, only to apologise to a few and then retracting the apology) certainly did nothing to strengthen his public image....

Excerpts from a press release sent to me from Storm Nigeria

"The event which has been tagged "FELABRATION 10" is a 5-daycelebration of Fela's life, music and spirit holds from the 9th-16thof October 2007. The events scheduled include:? Tue October 9th: World Movie Premiere of the previously unreleasedspecial movie of Fela ?Shuffering and Shmiling? and Kick Off Partyfeaturing celebrity DJ, Koffi? Wed October10th: Ladies Night. A day dedicated to the ladies tocelebrate Fela featuring special performances by frontline Nigerianfemale artists such as Zeal, Sasha, Niyola, Asa and many more.? Thursday October 11th: Classics and Yabis night featuring Veteranartists like Fatai Rolling Dollars and Victor Olaiya with acecomedians, Basket Mouth, Tee A and Julius Agwu handling the Yabisspecial. (Don?t forget Baba inspired most of the frontline comediansas a grand Yabis Master himself)? Friday October12th: Fela is Hip Hop featuring International hip hopartist, Nas as well as top Nigerian hip hop stars such as Mode 9,Ikechukwu, Naeto C, Thoroughbreds and Lord of Ajasa have already beenconfirmed to celebrate Fela, the hip hop way! (More to come)? Saturday October 13th: Block Party. All roads lead to the Shrine fora Street Party featuring Damian Marley and most of the big names inNigeria?s music industry.? Sunday October 14th: Fashion for Fela by award winning designer,Deola Sagoe featuring International models Oluchi, Agbani and Nnennaamongst many others. This will be followed by special performances byFemi and Seun Kuti.? Monday October 15th: All day Free feeding at the Shrine by theUnited Nations World Food Project (UNWFP)? Tuesday October 16th: Music Business Conference. The conference willbe held in honor of Fela with an aim to elevate the Nigerian musicindustry. The event will join major businesses, major players in theindustry as well as International resource people. Issues such aspiracy, distribution, broadcast, new technologies, internationalmarkets, regional markets, corporate support, the power of music to drive youth marketing and brands will be dealt with."

I've just finished Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie, a wander through the North of England by a Northerner living in the South. There's lots of good writing and priceless nuggets of information but it's all mired in a mash of references to music and bands that I know little about which spoilt it a bit for me. Learning that there was a large Yemeni Arab community that settled in South Shields in the North of England in the 19th century was an eye opener for me. I'll be taking Bandele's Burma Boy, Oyeyemi's The Opposite House and Abani's The Virgin of Flames with me on my travels....

Now back to the desk clearing....

10 comments:

Nyemoni said...

Felaboration sounds like so much fun! About the youngies, I have no words....the world as we knew it has changed....Society really is fractured and crime is getting worse with children comitting worse crimes than one can imagine...Anyway, just dropped in to say happy weekend!

Talatu-Carmen said...

I don't like to think of myself as an "oldie," so much, (though I do find myself quite cranky at foolishness these days) but I must admit that I am sometimes shocked, even, by what I read on the blogs of the "youngies" and how easily such intimate details are broadcast. And teaching again next semester: most of my students seem to have a fundamentally different outlook on life than I do/did at that age--admittedly I was probably much more innocent than most at that age, but still...

Have a lovely vacation.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Have a good break dude. I trust that you will come back with some very rich blogging material

Jaja said...

well, so how old are you?

..eh that you r going away?
well, dont be too far from blogsville...
and you keep teasing me with all these choice books you read... Anyway have a great time with your travel and vacation.

raven chukwu said...

What usually shocks me about most of these young people is not their casual attitude towards discussing sex (which I actually applaud, even if it does make me a bit uncomfortable) but the way in which drug-taking seems to have become an integral part of youth culture. A young respectable-looking girl the other day told a friend (while I was within earshot) that she was working only because she needed money for "booze and drugs". And her friend nodded as if to say "what other reason could there be?"

Snuffleupagus said...

Ha ha! Yes, I so know what you mean about age...

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Felabration!!!! yay! I'm so jealous, I wish we were havin one over here....

catwalq said...

Your blog is always like a tall cool drink of sweet lemonade as I bask in the balmy evening breeze that sways my outdoor hammock...

Ok, yeah, so I am reading a book that talks about one, so sue me

Abuja Walkabout said...

Holiday is no excuse for not blogging....

uknaija said...

@nyemoni- Happy weekend to you too
@talatu- I don't think I was innocent at that age and am still shocked...I suppose middle age comes to us all
@atutu- thanks, will let you be the judge
@jaja- Old enough to be shocked by explicit talk of sex and drugs
@raven- good to see you back. Booze and drugs, not in Naija I hope?
@snuffy- it's no joke
@solomonsydelle- organize one? :-)
@araceli- no I agree it's not. Just that internet access is often dodgy depending on where
@catwalq- Thank you...