Sunday, June 25, 2006

Was racing down from my office to the Femi Osofisan event at the National Arts Theatre when this house caught my eye on Queens Street, Alagomeji, Yaba-Lagos. Probably built when the Portuguese influence was still strong, (which must be close to a hundred years now), it is patterned after a style that is obsolete in the city. Most families that have lived in Lagos for more than 2 generations owned or inhabited houses in the Alagomeji/Montgomery/Yaba axis. Posted by Picasa
The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) alongside Friends Of the Arts, Lagos (FOAL) organized a forum at the National Arts Theatre in honour of Professor Femi Osofisan, where Directors of Osofisan's works met with the Dramatist himself. Among the Directors called to speak and ask questions of him were (from left) Dr. Ahmed Yerima, the actor and university lecturer Sola Fosudo, Tunde Azeez and myself (not in the picture). The Moderator was Ropo Ewenla (with the microphone). Elder Steve Rhodes, Professor Biodun Jeyifo, Israel Ebo and Jane Bryce Ph.D. were also on the panel. Posted by Picasa
Footprints- The name of the youngest dance troupe I've ever had the pleasure of watching perform. Posted by Picasa
Chatting before the event, Elder Steve Rhodes (left) and Professor Osofisan. Leaning over from the back is Kaye Whiteman, editor of the journal, West Africa, for more than three decades, a post he has now relinquished. He stands talking to Jane Bryce (in the red skirt), Culture Journalist and Ph.D. Graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 19, 2006

Last Man Standing. A national tournament for all aspiring Stand Up comedians and funny men. Entry and Audition Forms available now for a thousand naira at the Metro FM offices, FRCN Broadcasting House, Ikoyi, Lagos or at Jasonvision Ltd, 294 Herbert Macaulay Way, 4th Floor, Sabo-Yaba,Lagos.

The Grand Finale is at the Muson Centre on Sunday, the 30th of July 2006. The Winner gets N250, 000. Only those successful at the auditions will make the grand finale.

For further details, please call 234-(0) 806 317 9796, 234-1-897 1691 or 234-1-813 6229. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The greatest fun at Femi Osofisan's University of Ibadan residence on Saturday as guests chatted at the luncheon celebrating his 60th birthday, was the gathering of theatre arts students at a table. About 15 of them "gyrated", singing songs and using tables as well as the bottles of fanta and forks for percussion. The music was beautiful and from time to time, Femi Osofisan, an African legend in his own right, would leave the other guests and join his students to sing a song or two, many full of hilarious innuendoes, the students roaring in approval. Folu Agoi, the Chairman of the Lagos Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors sat by my side as we enjoyed the impromptu jamz. The world of theatre is different, and for those who might not understand the magic of the students' celebration, nothing more can be said. Posted by Picasa
The Poet, Odia Ofeimun (left), and the Historian, Professor Akinwunmi Ishola, at Femi Osofisan's residence- Ibadan, Saturday. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Professor Femi Osofisan at 60. Here he stands, being interviewed by a Nigerian Television Authority Reporter. "Okinba Launko" as he is called by the initiated will be in attendance as the Committee for Relevant Art (C.O.R.A.) organizes another edition of the Arthouse Forum with "Directors in conversation with the Dramatist" as the theme. Directors of Osofisan's works, including myself, will engage him on Friday, June 23 2006 at 1pm. Venue is the Cinema Hall II, National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
There will also be poetry readings, drama skits and music.
 Posted by Picasa
Professor Femi Osofisan, "Okinba Launko", turned 60 on the 16th of June. The Nigerian Literati turned out to celebrate this mile-stone in the life of one of their most prolific (and talented) playwrights regarded by many to be second only to Professor Wole Soyinka. The dramatist, poet, essayist and University Don was feted at The Jazz Hole on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi. Among those in attendance were Professor Biodun Jeyifo, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, Dr. Promise Okekwe, Ohi Elegbe, Kunle Ajibade, Folu Agoi, Akeem Lasisi, Chuks Ohai, Odia Ofeimun as well as the new Director of the Goethe Institute.

In the centre of the picture is the lawyer and playwright, Fred Agbeyegbe, who smiles at something a speaker is saying as Femi Osofisan, (right) ponders on accomplished feats and on the future. Posted by Picasa
Professor Femi Osofisan expresses his appreciation to the guests at the Jazz Hole event. Posted by Picasa
Joke Silva, foremost Nigerian Actress, catches up with Jahman Oladejo Anikulapo, Editor of the Sunday Guardian, at the event. Joke Silva will be appearing in Ahmed Yerima's Sisters, at the Hackney Empire in London. Date: 6th, 7th & 8th July 2006. Time- 7.30 pm Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The King and I. Here I (on the left) sit by Professor Soyinka outside his Abeokuta branch/retreat listening to a student ask questions of him. Posted by Picasa
Professor Wole Soyinka's new book is out. Titled "You must set forth at Dawn", the book opens with his return from exile a few years ago and gives insight to the manner of man he is and his opinion on many issues.

Went with Funmi Iyanda, the presenter and producer of New Dawn on the NTA Network television to be part of an interview with the Professor. It was a mind-broadening experience.
Funmi transported more than 20 people (students mostly) to the Professor's retreat/Writers Resort somewhere in Abeokuta as well as her crew.

I'm a Soyinka groupie till the day I die. What would you call the writer of a stage drama titled "Who's Afraid of Wole Soyinka?" even if the story was a farcical satire of the military led by Sanni Abacha?

In the picture taken outside his home and as the cameras rolled, Soyinka talks to his audience flanked by me (left) and Funmilola Iyanda (right). Posted by Picasa
Inside Professor Soyinka's retreat; a place he has a spiritual bond with and the vicinity of which he would like to be buried when the time comes. Seated from left during the TV recording- laspapi, Professor Wole Soyinka, Funmilola Iyanda and Niyi Ige, son of the slain former Attorney General of Nigeria, Bola Ige. Posted by Picasa
Roughening up the Nobel Peace Prize Winner? Here I adjust the pin-microphone on Professor Soyinka's shirt.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Was at Metro FM 97.6, today, with the radio presenter, Cordelia Okpei. Multi-faceted and widely-travelled Cordelia, known for playing music obtained from all around Africa, also presents a TV show, Tropical Rhythms, on Television. Posted by Picasa