Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rediscovering Music: Lenny Williams

I just got a new stereo and haven't been able to connect my iPod to it yet, because it uses a different cable from the last one.

So, instead of having the luxury of listening to my favourite songs from my iPod, I have been forced to listen to entire albums. I don't do this anymore, except for in the car and when I buy a new album (but then I quickly transfer my favourite songs to my iPod).

The surprising thing is that I have been discovering songs on my albums that I somehow overlooked.

First case in point: I have had Lenny Williams' Spark of Love album for at least 6 years and somehow never managed to make it past 'Cause I Love You and Changes.

Now, I've gotten to really listen to and like Half Past Love, I Still Reach Out, Midnight Girl, Think What We Have, You Got Me Running, Freefall (Into Love) and Shoo Doo Fu Fu Ooh!

This I am embarrassed to say is almost the entire album. That is the thing about the best song being the first song. Sometimes you just don't get to the rest of the album.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Coil Review

A natural hair resource, which I just discovered: the Coil Review.
The Coil Review is your smart and trusted resource for natural coily and
curly textured hair. It offers access to information and inspiration while
putting the spotlight on natural beauty. All this love - for you natural beauties, with natural hair.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blogging: A Tougher Job Than We Think?

The intro blurb to this article about blogging asked why blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants. Hmmm, interesting question, I thought. The article explores the challenges of blogging - including how you deal with blogging even when you think no one is reading i.e. "If no one reads your blog, does it really exist?"

This is a problem that many bloggers will face at some point, or more realistically, will continue to deal with as long as they blog.

Many of us, if we are completely honest with ourselves, start to blog filled with the highest aspirations for our blog and the type of followership we expect to nurture, as well as the ways in which we hope to influence the world. What we don't often bargain with is that almost every other blog starts with the same degree of ambition and setting our blog aside takes a great amount of work. In fact to run a really engaging blog could be tantamount to a full-time job what with time to think of topics to blog about, time to live a little so that you have new experiences to share, time to do some research to make your posts sound a bit more informed, time to actually write these posts, and let's not forget the time to respond to commenters on your blog as well as going round other blogs to drop comments there (the online equivalent of networking).

Let's face it: it's incredibly hard work! I shared my own challenges in this earlier post in Nov 2007.

Many of bloggers start out with enthusiasm, but relatively few bloggers find that they can sustain this effort (a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs revealed a whooping 95 percent of abandoned blogs).

Some bloggers who hang in there for the long haul might find their writing style evolving over time (this will almost certainly happen) and maybe choose to reveal less about themselves (I blogged about this in Dec 2006 when I started to be aware of my changing blog personality).

I love how the article ends with the blogger confessing to her continued high expectations from her blog. Frankly, I don't see how you can blog without having bucket-loads of optimism and hope.

Twittering: An Update

I started Twittering close to a year ago and reported at the time that that I didn't really see what the point was. I sensed it might make more sense doing it from a mobile device, rather than having to go online via my computer.

Then this February, I signed up for, which allowed me to received direct messages on my mobile phone from my twitter friends. This brought the whole experience a little bit closer to me, although I was slightly frustrated at not being able to sent 'tweets' from my phone. Although there is a UK number listed on the Twitter website that users in Africa can apparently send their tweets to, this has so far not worked for me. Maybe, Nigerians are not welcome for this service ......

Then, finally yesterday I downloaded TwitterBerry, which is a BlackBerry application that enables users to sent tweets from their BlackBerry. At last, this seems like it might start to work for me.

To help make more sense of the micro-blogging tool and especially to understand how it can be used for activism and advocacy, check out DigiActive's Guide to Twitter for Activists.

Then to top things off, we have our own Nigerian version, NaijaPulse, which is great because you get to connect with Nigerian twitterers?/tweeters? In addition you can update your Twitter and Facebook profiles from NaijaPulse.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Different Path to Love

Graphic by Christopher Silas Nea
In a twist on the popular concept of "First comes love, then comes marriage.....", this is an essay on an arranged marriage in the New York Times.

Photo credit: Christopher Silas Neal

Rebecca Walker: How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart

The women's rights movement and feminism has brought many positive changes over the last 100 years in varying degrees around the world, however it's had its fair share of criticsm.

Here, Rebecca Walker, daughter of acclaimed writer and women's rights activist Alice Walker shares her story of growing up with a 'rabid feminist' as a mother.

Exhibiting You

Do you want to share something special about yourself with the world? If you do, then perhaps you'll consider submitting something for the International Museum of Women (IMOW)'s Exhibiting You online exhibition.

Read more:
From January to September 2009, I.M.O.W. is Exhibiting You! As the museum prepares to debut a new online exhibition in October 2009, the I.M.O.W. Web site is showcasing the talents of our global online community.

We're looking for submissions that relate to I.M.O.W.'s mission to value the lives of women around the world.

Submit your work for consideration and share your art, creative writing, journalism, music, audio, photography, video and animation with a global audience.

We'll post new stories on a regular basis and announce Museum Picks in our email newsletter. Submissions that receive the highest star ratings and the most views will also be listed as the most popular stories.

Check the IMOW website for more info.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Job Opportunity: Co-ordinator, Nigerian Feminist Forum

The Nigerian Feminist Forum is looking to hire a capable Co-ordinator Intern to work in the NFF secretariat. Read below for more info:

The co-ordinator will begin the process of chasing up all the things we are supposed to do but have fallen by the wayside, also begin our preparation for the 2010 conference. Must be able to WRITE.

Interested candidates, please send CV's to me. Pass this to your networks. Must be willing to learn, laugh and work all at the same time and very willing to mentor a young one. Must live in Lagos. No issues please. Okay.


Iheoma Obibi
Executive Director (Alliance for Africa) & ASHOKA Fellow

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The 3rd Annual Season of Wole Soyinka

As Wole Soyinka turns 75, Theatre@Terra presents its 3rd Annual Season of Wole Soyinka.

When: Every Sunday in June and July
Time: 3pm & 6pm
Cost: N2000
Where: Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage St, Victoria Island, Lagos

- The Lion and The Jewel- June 7 & June 14
- Death and The King's Horsemen- June 21 & June 28
- Madmen and Specialists - July 5 & July 12
- Kongi's Harvest - July 19 & 26

Produced by Wole Oguntokun

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Revolutionary Road

As an ardent film lover, I thank God for Silverbird and Genesis Deluxe Cinemas. However, their film selections tend to cling firmly to the mainstream. So when I travel I try to watch the types of films that I know won’t be on offer here.

One of the films that I’ve enjoyed the most this year definitely has to be Revolutionary Road. Even if you haven’t seen it, you must surely have heard about it. Yes, that same Revolutionary Road from which actress Kate Winslet generated so much buzz this year, not to mention a slew of award nominations.

Revolutionary Road chronicles the journey into despair of April Wheeler, an aspiring actress who ends up as a dissatisfied housewife in suburban Connecticut. At the start of their relationship, she and her husband Frank share so many dreams of how exciting and different their lives will be. In the end, they realise that they are just like everyone else.

This is definitely a universal story, because I remember when I was much younger and dreaming about how radical my life would be. As people grow older, they start to ask themselves “So, is this it? Is this what the rest of my life will be like?”

For Frank, he goes to work (albeit to a job he’s bored by) and has career advancement prospects to distract him and give him hope of a better life. For April, she has the house, her two children and her husband to take care of, but (due to a combination of a lack of talent and consensual focus of priorities) no career. And she feels that for all her grand dreams and plans, her life has become empty and typical.

I remember thinking at the time I watched it that the film’s ending was theatrical and over the top, but at the end of the day, this story captures the quiet desperation of many women in 1950s U.S.A (and I’m sure today) as they sought to reconcile their unhappiness with their empty days while living out what is considered to be the ‘dream life.’

Read a review of the film on Women and Hollywood.

Tolu Ogunlesi wins Guardian Orange First Words Competition

Congrats to writer Tolu Ogunlesi for winning the Guardian Orange First Words Compeition.

Read more about the award from the Guardian website and learn what judge Kate Mosse had to say about his piece.

Great job, Tolu!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Nigerian Woman: Modern, Empowered and Unequal

Every once in a while I read a very insightful or inspiring article in the Nigerian media.

In his column last week - Modern, empowered and unequal - Babatunde Ahonsi puzzled over the fact that although Nigerian women have come a long way in terms of education, exposure and career, they do not all seem to be aware of the power that this brings them and thus encouraging the idea of female inferiority. He writes:

Conscious of her failure to provide leadership to the womenfolk as a whole, she often blames her tolerance of men’s unjust and irresponsible behaviours towards her on tradition, religion, and the need to protect her children’s welfare.

But how else is social change initiated if not through positive deviance? It is when a determined few among the oppressed stake all their privileges within the status quo by working actively to undermine it, that the group as a whole eventually enjoys a better life.

Ahonsi urges educated and economically empowered women to make a stronger push for the rights of all women, especially on behalf of her less empowered female counterpart.

I thoroughly agree with this and this does not mean carrying placards and marching to Alausa. We can find alternative methods to keep these issues at the forefront of people's minds like discussing them in our personal networks, identifying ways to challenge cases of discrimination against women, blogging about it, calling in to relevant radio programs, writing to newspapers and joining advocacy groups.