Archive for the africa Category

Nollywood, Lolliwood, Ghallywood

Posted in africa, film on December 28, 2010 by John

The films’ plots too have strong pan-African appeal. They often revolve around the travails of new arrivals in big cities—an experience familiar across the continent. The epic film “One God One Nation” portrays a Muslim man and a Christian woman who struggle to marry. “Caught in the Act” shows a wife who is wrongly accused by her own mother-in-law of abducting a child. Nollywood films depict families whose faith has been shattered, whose certainties have been undermined. They show ordinary people struggling to make sense of a fast-changing, unkind world. Aspirations are dashed. Trust is forsaken. The overarching theme of Nollywood films is Africa’s troubled journey to modernity. Because Hollywood films tend to show people at the other end of that journey, they fail to resonate.

Nigeria’s rapidly growing film industry.


Warmer Days #2 Rhumba & Juju

Posted in 2010, A Put It Up Summer, africa, milkshakes, music on August 19, 2010 by John

A busy, lazy summer has left me with little time for music. I was at least happy to find these two albums.

A Retrospective, Vol.1 is Congolese soukous/rhumba, once again borrowing a lot from Cuban music. Franco is a phenomenal guitar player. He wanders around the song with slick, clever riffs he just seems to come up with. Perfect summer jams.

Adé is a little stranger. He and Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey were the two main Juju acts in Nigeria in the 70s and the rivalry between them led to push some boundries, and Juju Music is a great example of that.

Sadly not enough time to learn and dig. I need to get some Chief Commander. I feel like I’m only skimming the surface here with a couple “essential” albums. They are both very good though…  I’ll check back when I find something good.

Two albums for your late summer heatwave:


King Sunny Adé – JUJU MUSIC

Little Fela

Posted in africa, Guns, music, the past with tags on July 13, 2010 by John

This piece does a good job capturing a little bit of the magic that was Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Ghariokwu Lemi, the artist that created the covers for many of Fela’s albums, talks about the man. Lemi seems like a pretty normal guy and to me at least, it’s interesting to hear his take on a “personality” like Fela.


Wie schön das ist!

Posted in africa, America, california, EAST COAST, Iraq, italy, japan, mexico, New York, san francisco, the ocean, UK, WEST COAST, world on May 30, 2010 by saramurray

Motown Around the World (on NPR)

The World Cup Invades

Posted in 2010, africa, beer, soccer, world with tags , , , on May 24, 2010 by John

A really smart article by NYT about how corporations that tend to dominate an event like the World Cup are having an awkward time in South Africa, where globalized capitalism hasn’t taken a strong hold yet and where the memories of having to fight for independence are still fresh.

Budweiser, the “OFFICIAL BEER OF THE WORLD CUP,” isn’t even trying to sell beer to South Africans.  It’s only sponsoring the event for the TV rights says the WSJ.

I would feel used too.