Sunday, November 30, 2008

World AIDS Day Film Screening

Another event.

Film director and producer, Lisa Russell invites to the online screening of a film of hers that profiles AIDS activists from Burkina Faso, Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia. It has a well received run on U.S. T.V. network PBS this past summer.

To watch, tune into SnagFilms anytime on Monday, December 1.

For more info, visit her Facebook Invite:


Lisa's latest project, Myth of the Motherland, is described by her as follows:

"MYTH OF THE MOTHERLAND is intended to address myths and stereotypes about Africa and Africans. Following the creative writing journey of young spoken word poets from NYC--who are armed with notebooks and video cameras--MYTH OF THE MOTHERLAND intends to give "the mic" to African scholars, writers, poets/griots, entrepreneurs and others in order for them to tell their own stories, in their own words."

You can also visit her blog:

World AIDS Day Live Chat

To commemorate World AIDS Day, Rising Voices will be hosting a live chat on Wednesday, December 3rd at 3 p.m. Nairobi time (which I believe is 1pm, Nigerian time):

Read more:

The chat will be facilitated by Serina Kalande and Daudi Were and the discussion will build on a similar chat that Serina and Daudi organized back in April of this year which asked the following question: "how can citizen media be used to supplement and improve the mainstream media's coverage of the AIDS epidemic?

This chat will start out focusing on two Rising Voices grantee projects, REPACTED in Nakuru, Kenya and AIDS Rights Congo based in Brazzaville. We will learn how both organizations have implemented blogging and video outreach programs to spread awareness about their initiatives in AIDS prevention and advocating for the rights of HIV-positive individuals.

Other discussion topics include: What are the factors to weigh when HIV-positive bloggers go public about their status? How can blogging support networks form online? What about online forums? What are other new media tools, such as mapping mashups, that can be used effectively?

If there are other topics that you would like to discuss during the chat, please respond with your ideas. I hope that as many of you as possible can make it.

As a primer to the conversation I encourage you all to take a look at a recent post written by Juliana Rincón on Global Voices about AIDS awareness through video. Especially fascinating is a video podcast produced by QAFBeijing, which interviews South African grand justice Edwin Cameron, the country's only government official who has gone public about his HIV status.

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Finds!!!

See Jane Compute, a blog by an assistant professor in a computing field. So far, so funny. Was I a clueless student, like some of hers? I don't think so!!!

Jhumpa Lahiri on NPR talking about her struggle to feel American. Like the Americans would say, "I love me some Jhumpa Lahiri".

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ushahidi - Tech in the hands of the people

As we continue to explore the role of ICT - and the Internet, in particular - in fighting against violence against women, it's interesting to read about a woman who is using these tools to report violence.

Ory Okolloh, one of the co-founders of Ushahidi, a mash-up used by Kenyans to report the post-election violence and which has since been used in the DRC, is featured in this Forbes article.

Day 1 - 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women

Take Back The Tech

Day 1 of the 16 days of activism against VAW. Take Back the Tech is running their annual campaign, with activities planned for each day. They are fairly easy to do. Please join in.

Visit TBTT for more information on today's action.

Let me use this opportunity to showcase a project I learnt about at last week's AWID Forum: the Cyber-Quilting Experiment.

What is cyber-quilting? It's a creative way to use internet-based technologies to network social justice organisations, to enable them share resources and work together. This is something that is taking place quite frequently by many groups and individuals already, but I liked the term 'cyber-quilting.' It really seemed to symbolise the symbiotic process of learning, teaching and cooperation that takes place online. Let's see how we can use our email, blogs, websites and social networking site accounts to speak out or do something about violence against women.

technorati tags:

Sunday, November 23, 2008


- I'm back home and enjoying catching up on sleep.

- I can't believe that we're so close to Christmas and the end of the year. I went to Ikota Shopping Complex on Friday and was momentarily taken aback by the number of shops with Christmas decorations and selling Christmas cards. I can feel harmattan in the air, with the heat and dust. Also, I noticed that there are more ants towards the end of the year. And they're usually trying to climb all over me.

- I took out my recent kinky twists (my signature do) and thinking about my 'Christmas do.' The Christmas do is a fairly new concept for me; never having distinguished between hair styles at any other time of the year. It's time for something completely different.

- I'll be getting the latest season of my beloved favourite show The Wire. And to get ready, I'm re-watching season 4. I'm giddy with anticipation.

- I've been very dedicated with my return to book-reading. I recently finished an anthology of stories about women written by men called We-men (edited by Nduka Otiono and E.C. Osondu), and started Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai. It's a collection of stories set in Sri Lanka, a country that hasn't featured in much of my reading.

- After the FTX workshop, I'm really psyched about learning more about free and open source software, particularly Drupal and Linux. So I guess that will be on my to-do list for 2009.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ghetto Radio

Ghetto Radio (which consists of the Ghetto Radio station in Nairobi and through the website) set up to reveal the fuller picture of ghetto life and culture by being a channel through which ghetto inhabitants, artists as well as regular inhabitants of slums and ghettos, can tell their own stories (through music, graffiti, blogs, comments, news items, stories, poetry, etc.).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tack Back the Tech Blogathon

Join the Take Back the Tech campaign against violence against women.

"We want to take over the blogosphere for 16 days.

ka-BLOG! is a 16-day blog fest for the Take Back the Tech Campaign. It is open to anyone and everyone - girls, boys, everyone beyond and more -- who wants to share their thoughts, write poetry and prose, post graphics / pictures, rant, rave, heckle, make snide remarks, stick their tongue out at violence against women, and how online communications can exacerbate or help eliminate VAW.

If you are blogging, don't forget to tag your posts so we can aggregate them on this site, and amplify your voice!"

Learn more about the campaign.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Tech-Savvy Obama Presidency

Everyone loves Obama, it seems. In particular, everyone it seems is impressed by the tech-savviness of his campaign. I think I've heard it mentioned in every single plenary here at the AWID Forum.

Guardian explores his use of information technology on his campaign and in his presidency - starting with the launch of his weekly broadcast via YouTube to the American public.


It's been a little while. But the last 10 days have been rather busy. I feel so lame saying that, because it feels like I'm *always* saying that. Okay, well they have. I've been away at 2 events; the first being the Feminist Technology Exchange and the second being the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) Forum, both in Cape Town.

FTX was a 3-day workshop exploring feminist practices and politics of using technology. So what does that mean in plain English? You can think of it as ways to use existing tools to further women's rights. Yours truly was a trainer on the social networking track and that was fun and inspiring. Since it was an exchange, the model was not so much as a lecture-type format but a sharing of experiences, resources and practices all round.

AWID has been a wonderful experience. I've been wanting to attend it for the last 6 years and finally I'm excited to be here. It's been a packed 3 days, so far. And as with some conferences I've been to, there's a lot to pick from. My one grouse is that the really fabulous sessions are all packed in the mornings and I have to struggle to choose which one to go to. Then in the afternoon, there's nothing I want to go to. Since I am not a trainer, I have been able to relax a bit. My presentation is tomorrow morning, so hoping that goes well. It's the last day of the conference, which could be good or not. People will be tired and 'conferenced out.' Many will want to sleep in or even better go shopping or sight-seeing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Update: Uzoma Okere

An update on Uzoma Okere, the lady beaten by the naval ratings. Read the article in Punch.

Other bloggers have taken up this story, including No Limit and Funmi Iyanda.

There's also a Facebook group set-up to seek redress, Petition for Justice: Uzoma Okere. There's another one, New Naija, to discuss steps for a better Nigeria, including the Uzoma Okere incident.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

So who will protect us from the people who should be protecting us?

A friend, I, called me yesterday and sent me a text about a colleague of her family member being beaten and stripped naked. I didn't have any more information. However today, she sent me a text to Google the name "Harry Arogundade." In the meantime, another friend, A, called me to ask if I had heard about the lady who was beaten up. I could only think back to the info from I.

So, I checked online and found the story on the Punch website. The victim, a lady Uzoma Okere, was dragged out of her car by the "boys" of naval rear admiral Arogundade, beaten and her clothes torn for allegedly not moving fast enough out of the way of the rear admiral's convoy.

This is one of the aspects of life in Nigeria that irks and angers one: this "big-man" syndrome and flexing of muscles. The police and military convoys, which demand that cars manned by civilians leap out of the path, are an utter bane in the life of Lagosians, where the endless traffic jams with cars lines in tight succession on all sides makes this inconvenient, not to mention impossible many times.

Apparently the lady Uzoma was blamed for holding on to the men as they beat her with a horse whip and the butts of their guns.

More info on The Village Square and a video on CNN iReport.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Theatre in Lagos

It's good to see more people taking an interest in the arts. I went to see The Lion and the Jewel at Terra Kulture today. And it was refreshing to see more than 10 people in the audience. Theatre@Terra has gradually gained in momentum since its inception a little over a year ago. However, I remember the early days when there could be 5 people in the audience. I guess what we lacked in numbers, we tried to make-up in terms of audience reaction.

At today's 3PM performance there were about 33 people (yes, I counted) and I am sure there were even more people at the 6PM showing because I think that tends to get more of a crowd.

Although the numbers might not appear worth jumping over the moon for; particularly for the director and producer who have slaved to pull the production together, I think it is somewhat encouraging. Especially considering the numbers of people I know who have any interest in the theatre.

Last Sunday I went to see Aluta & Osusu Owo, a dance-drama production by the Crown Troupe of Africa at Studio 868. Crowne Troupe used to perform the Bukateria series every 3rd Sunday of the month at Terra Kulture, before Theatre@Terra took over. I wasn't sure what happened to them, but a friend told me that they have been performing at the National Theatre for a while. Now they are extending their performances for the island crowd at Studio 868 (on Bishop Aboyade Street, VI). This takes place every last Sunday of the month (I believe) at 3PM and 5PM.

I really enjoyed it last week. Although both featuring strong elements of music and dance, the Crowne Troupe's production is very different from what you will see at Theatre@Terra. CT features skits and shorter pieces as opposed to one story. The pieces are intended to be a witty and sometimes sarcastic commentary on life in Nigeria. The performances also featured the folk music group Nefertiti, as well as a troupe of children dancers and drummers called Footprints.

There were not many people at the show though - maybe 10 (and I have a feeling most were family and friends of the performers). I suppose it takes time to build up some momentum. Word-of-mouth seems to be the most powerful way to draw people to a show, so I'm telling you to go if you can. I'll put up the dates of the next shows.

Arts Events

This is for the art lovers ....

New works by Moyo Ogundipe @ Terra Kulture Art Gallery, Tiamiyu Savage Street, VI, Lagos
Date: Nov 1-6 2008

MUSON 2008 Festival

The Divorce (a play)
Date: Sat, Nov 8 2008
Venue: AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos
Time: 3:00PM, 6:00PM
Gate Fee: N500 (students), N1,000 (everyone else)

Choral Concert
The MUSON Festival Choir, conducted by Emeka Nwokedi, will be performing excerpts from Mass in B minor by J.S. Bach and Choral Africana
Date: Sun, Nov 16 2008
Venue: AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos
Time: 6:00PM
Gate Fee: N500 (students), N1,000 (everyone else)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Reading Updates

I finished a book today!!!! You don't know what a big deal that is for me these days. For me, it's blogworthy! Although, now that I think about it, I do feel like I recently completed another book..... What was that?

Okay, I remember now. It was The 'Girl Entrepreneurs' by Ibukun Awosika. I'll write about that soon. A few minutes ago I finished Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Although I'm a fan of her work, I hesitated before buying this book, because I thought "Short stories! Again?

I thoroughly enjoyed The Namesake and was hoping that her next book would be a novel. However, some of the stories in UE were almost novel-like in scale and atmosphere - if that makes any sense; especially Hema and Kaushik, which makes up half the book. I'll write more about it later.

I attended a book reading today, though I should say "attended" with inverted commas, because really I arrived at the end of what appeared to be a vigorous discussion. However, I was just in time to talk with the author of the day, Ekene Onu, who wrote the book The Mrs. Club. I met her once back-in-the-day in Boston. I also used to read her e-zine, Nouveau Africana, which I looked forward to with almost the same degree of anticipation that I awaited my monthly Essence.

She recognised my face and I told her that we had met in Boston. Then, she asked me if I was Ore of Ore's Notes? I love it when that happens, because it's always so unexpected. She told me that she loves my blog and reads it regularly. Well, well, that was rather nice, because I tend to forget that a few people check in on this blog from time to time. I typically feel like I'm talking to myself. Anyway, she wrote a cool note in my copy of The Mrs. Club, which will be the next book on my list.

National ICT Youth Rally – Nov 7, 2008

The 2008 edition of the National ICT Youth Rally is scheduled to hold on Friday, November 7, 2008, at the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos. The theme is "Nigerian Youth: Plugging into the ICT Revolution".

The National ICT Youth Rally is the principal gathering by and for the Nigerian youths for the purpose of bridging the digital divide. It offers a unique opportunity for brainstorming, sharing of ideas, interaction, mentoring and display of ICT projects/works by young people in the country.

Activities at the National ICT Youth Rally 2008 include the finals of the ICT Quiz Contest, ICT debate, SMS competition, workshop/special project exhibition, scholarship/sponsorship opportunities and special guest appearance from Nollywood and the music industry.

Ernest Ndukwe, executive Vice Chairman, NCC, is billed to deliver the keynote address while Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele, commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Lagos State, a seasoned technocrat and youth development enthusiast would serve as chief host.

Read more about the event.