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Saturday, September 24, 2016


Album: The Vow
Number of tracks: 6
Year of album: 2016
Produced by: Abiodun Oni
Name of Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola

The Yoruba genre of gospel music had been in dearth of originality in the recent past, however, Ibukun Idowu in the album titled ‘The Vow’ demonstrated her understanding of the gospel using Yoruba culture and language.

The first track opens with a short praise chant which was led by bata drums. Then, the track opened properly in a well orchestrated rhythm. The track is a description of the need to rejoice in the Lord at all times. The dexterity of the singer was shown in her ability to add some English twist to the track and it flowed with ease with the support of the talking drum. The 14 minutes long track is a transition from why God should be praised; to the staunch believe in God and the pleasure derived from consistently worshiping God.

The second track titled ‘Omo Oba’ is of the highlife family that is garnished by the horns as required. The track is an encouragement despite the challenges experienced in the world. The artiste motivated her listeners to rejoice which is a sign of hope by praying to be victorious and successful regardless of the storms. As evident in reality, it is only a motivated person that can stand up to confront the enormous challenges of life.

What is the gospel if there is no call to salvation, Idowu in the third track titled ‘Ireti Ogo’ appealed to people to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ because the Lord’s appearance is fast approaching. With faith and assurance, she affirmed her goal of being with the Lord at his coming. Some of the good things that are experienced in Jesus include heavenly hope, eternal life, eternal joy and eternal rest.

The fourth track titled ‘Ibukunoluwa’ can be called a realisation of her name which means God’s blessing. According to the track, after much toil, God has granted her abundant blessing and victory. People can stare at her because of the blessings that have come her way. There was rap in Yoruba that further reinforces the blessings of God all-around the artiste which was only done by God.

The fifth track titled ‘E darasimi’ can be considered as the aftermath of experiencing the blessing of the Lord which is the resolution of the artiste to tell the world of how good the Lord has been to her. Just like Joshua, she made her vow that, ‘as for Idowu and her household, they would worship the Lord’. She concluded the track by imploring people to rise and join her in praises to God.

After experiencing her love and commitment to God, Seun and Ibukunoluwa Idowu came together to discuss their ‘Vow’ to one another in a duet; the last track is short but insightful. The track is like a conversation between them, the song states the duty of both parties. They reminded themselves of the love, commitment, promise and vow that they have started.  They ended by encouraging one another not to allow a third-party into their relationship.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You can enjoy the lyrics, the rhythm, the encouragement, the love and the firm belief in God, if you get a copy of the album. I recommend it to those interested in pure and original gospel songs that uplift the soul.

Download track here
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Photo credit: Olutayo Irantiola
The heart of the Island is experiencing a culinary difference at the moment. It is the Nok by Alara restaurant, a natural space to enjoy your African fine dining at its best. Nok by Alara is located at 12, Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The ambience of the restaurant is all African and it looks quite rustic at every time of the day. The waitresses are dressed in traditional iro and buba while there are an array of drinks to order and different meals across West Africa from Senegal to Lagos. The wall has different pictures showcasing the metropolitan city of Lagos.

The outdoor area of the restaurant is artistic; the setting is less formal with stools made of iron and wood. The plants on the exterior also make it the ideal place to relax after a day’s job with an ample supply of oxygen. There is also a table top football soccer board game to play with as you await your orders.

Why not give yourself a treat by visiting this restaurant that gives you a memorable day and a desire to visit whenever you have the opportunity. You will dine fine at Nok by Alara!

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Titile of Movie: Ghana Must Go
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Production company: Desamour Productions Limited
Movie Release Date: June 10 2016
Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola

Ghana Must Go is such an interesting romantic comedy about Ama and Chuks, a Ghanaian lady who met a Nigerian man in London while they were both on postgraduate studies. The father of Ama who is a  retired Army Brigadier General, Alex Scanda, vehemently opposed the marriage of the duo who had gone to a registry in London. The General drove him to the airport in Accura in annoyance.

Both Chuks and the Army General discussed the history of the Ghana Must Go.  Chuks explained that the Ghanaian government pushed Nigerians out of the country in 1969 while Nigeria did same in 1983. The army general expressed his  his rage whenever he sees those bags.

Osofia in his usual comic nature got into the scene to appease to the impending in-law in Accura where he called Ankara while his wife corrected him that they are in Akara. He went in hundreds of Ghana Must Go bags, a goat and chicken.

The play changed its course when Osofia and his wives met their father in-law, Alex. The General told his daughter that he was not happy with the turn of events. Chuks appealed to his father in-law about what he has brought on the family.

Ama prepared banku and tilapia soup. Osofia made jest of the food that eventually purged the entire family. That caused an issue between the two fathers who engaged in physical combat while the children came to separate them. After Osofia learnt that the General 's anger was based on his animosity for Nigerians, he also flared up but was appeased by emotions expressed by his daughter in-law.

The humour is great, the love between Ama & Chuks is obvious, the acrimonious relationship between the fathers and the historical antecedent cannot be overlooked. Visit the cinemas in Nigeria from June 10 2016 to have a feel of this intriguing movie.

Herein are pictures from the Lagos media screening

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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o Short Story Becomes the Single Most Translated Work in the History of African Writing

The Kenyan author’s story The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright is ‘the single most transla
ted short story in the history of African writing’

A fable by the major Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has been translated into over 30 languages, making it “the single most translated short story in the history of African writing”, according to its publisher.
Pan-African writers’ collective Jalada Africa released its latest issue, focusing on translation, last week. It includes Ngũgĩ’s story Ituĩka Rĩa Mũrũngarũ: Kana Kĩrĩa Gĩtũmaga Andũ Mathiĩ Marũngiĩ, which the award-winning author originally wrote in Kikuyu, a Kenyan language, and then translated himself into English asThe Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright. The fable tells the story of how “a long time ago humans used to walk on legs and arms, just like all the other four limbed creatures”, but how “their rhythm and seamless coordination made the other parts [of the body] green with envy”, and “they started plotting against the two pairs”.
Jalada says it worked with translators of “all levels of experience, from a recent high school graduate to distinguished professors”, to pull together its huge range of translations of Ngũgĩ’s story, which is available in Amharic, Dholuo, Kamba, Lwisukha (Luhya), Kipsigis, Kinyarwanda, French, Arabic, Luganda, Kiswahili, Afrikaans, Hausa, Meru, Lingala, IsiZulu, Igbo, Ibibio, isiNdebele, XiTsonga, Nandi (Kalenjin), Rukiga, Bamanankan, Lugbara, Lubukusu, Kimaragoli, Giriama, Sheng, Ewe, and Naija Langwej. It is now looking for writers and volunteers to volunteer translations in further languages.
Ngũgĩ said the project would “empower Africa by making Africans own their resources from languages – making dreams with our languages – to other natural resources – making things with them, consuming some, exchanging some.”

“The moment we lost our languages was also the moment we lost our bodies, our gold, diamonds, copper, coffee, tea. The moment we accepted (or being made to accept) that we could not do things with our languages was the moment we accepted that we could not make things with our vast resources,” said the novelist and playwright.
Jalada is now planning to periodically publish a Translation Issue featuring a previously unpublished story, which it will ask writers and translators to translate into their own African language. Its ultimate goal is to translate each story into 2,000 African languages.
“Despite long-running conversations on the need for publishing in indigenous languages on the African continent over the past five decades, writing and translations remain minimal and the little that exists continues to rapidly decline,” said the writers’ collective. “There are millions of speakers in African languages and not many writers in African languages. Why? Can this be changed?”

Managing editor Moses Kilolo, in an introduction to the issue, said that Ngũgĩ was “uniquely placed to be the first distinguished author and intellectual featured in our periodical Translations Issue” as he “has, for many years, been the most vocal proponent in publishing in African languages”. Kilolo said that the story itself was “a reminder that we are one, and that in our togetherness we have the power to transform the future that we hope for ourselves”.
“For many of these translations, Jalada was very fortunate to find willing editors with considerable orthographical knowledge of their language’s textual application. In most cases, translations were further read by native speakers to ensure fidelity to the original piece. Although deeply rewarding, none of this was easy, and this Translation Issue is the fruit of many months of hard work and collaboration, multiple deadlines and setbacks,” Kilolo writes.
“Like all art, there will be growth from these humble contributions in which we take immense pride, to a future literary landscape of beautiful constructions that will be definitive of each African language. Jalada has come to be Africa’s literary melting pot where we meet in a blend of the Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone expectations over a distinctively African base.”

Culled from the The Guardian
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Playwright: Lanre Quadri
Published: 2013
Page: 40 pages
Title: The Indictment
Publisher: iGod Books
Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola

The opening of this book is with a poem by the poet-playwright, Lanre Quadri, who defined stealing and governance according to the happenings within Nigeria and Africa at large. According to the playwright, stealing is a crime committed by ‘no-man’ but governance is when political officeholders take from the ‘Commonwealth’. As for me the critic, I am opening this review with a commendation that this play is written like a script ready for a screenplay. Many a times, playwright does not publish like this.

This play is a one-scene satire interspersed with drum to signify change in direction of the play. The play is modelled after the Epic Theatre proposed by Bertolt Brecht. The play opened up by the director who spoke the evident spate of corruption in the nation but seeking for volunteers who were the cast in the play. However, this play touches on all areas of governance in Nigeria and Africa.
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Designed By Olutayo Irantiola