Now in Nigeria-make your own hype

I think it’s very easy to get caught up in all the hype.  The hype about people, places and things.  As I headed to Nigeria, let me tell ya, there was a lot of hype.  A lot of negative hype.  Most definitely, a lot of the hype was true.  I’m not going to get into what the hype was, you can google it and make your own decisions about Nigeria.

It’s also easy to get caught up in the now.  The now about people, places and things.  Sometimes the now turns into a rut and it’s difficult to get rid of the impression of the now when you don’t even attempt to discover what is the real of where you are.

Thankfully, I have almost always been able to move myself and remove myself from the nows and the hypes of where I am.  Sometimes it takes hours and sometimes it takes months.  I have now been in Nigeria for about five months and both the hype and the now have been very slowly mutating into an interesting and wonderful experience.  Sure, there is still the truth of the hype, and some of the nows will probably never change, but the reality of many of the nows are truly changing my mind and my impression of what the rest of my time in Nigeria will be like.  I have a very good feeling about what is to come.

I have started getting out  a little more and recently attended a showing of a documentary about a group of Yoruba master musicians from Lagos, Nigeria called Faaji Agba.  (trailer) The documentary was simply amazing.  It took Remi Vaughn-Richards about six years to film this group of 68-85 year old musicians who were rediscovered by the owner of Jazzhole Records,  Kunle Tejuosho.  If you get a chance, you should check out all of the above links.  An amazing story.

So back to my story.  Since watching the documentary I have set myself on a casual journey to find this fabled “Jazzhole” establishment that was profiled in the documentary.  Lagos can be a difficult city to get around in and my effort was a bit stymied by my work, traffic congestion, and just all of the normal things that force people to stay saddled in the nows of their lives.

I had a free day yesterday and decided to take a drive around to see if I could find the Jazzhole.  I drove by the location I thought the place was supposed to be according to my Blackberry’s Google map application and of course, there was nothing there but construction.

I drove down a back road, directly off of the main road and ran into this art cafe, restaurant, hotel, craft store called Bogobiri House. (The now of most Nigerians is that if you have some space you should use it wisely and get as much out of it as you possibly can.) Ironically, I had just randomly attended an open mic at this amazing little find two nights before.  Open mic here involves, improv Karaoke with a live band, poetry readings, and a host of musicians that play every type of instrument you can imagine.  I’m hooked.

After spending about an hour walking though this amazing find, I asked if the Jazzhole still existed and sho’ nuff, one of the guys at the Bogobiri House gave me directions.  Ironically, this iconic establishment was about a 10 minute drive from where I stood and only 15 minutes from my very home.


I walked in and it was on the inside exactly what you would expect on the outside only better.

After walking around and seeing the massive amount of vinyl, cds, and books on every topic, I made my 2nd most exciting discovery.  I was standing right in front of the maker of the documentary I had just seen a few months before AND one of the members who had been profiled in this documentary.  The very same guy who is now between 70-80 years old (I think) and STILL playing jazz.  He was going to be playing at Bogobiri House that very evening.

WOW!!! Further, this very evening a little music exhibition was going to be playing at the Jazz Hole. The featured singers would be a young lady named Falana who I had never heard of before and who was simply amazing.  Not only was her voice unique, she was able to add some insight into the instruments she was using and while singing, encouraged the audience to sing along with her.  I was super disappointed that she only sang a few songs.

Her act was quickly followed by the main event, Blackman Akeeb Kareem. This was another musical soul who had become disenchanted with his now and left Nigeria for Europe.  However it happened, he was there and my own now was made incredible and better.  He was, and is at 70-something, an amazing musical story-teller.  He spoke of his time back in the day in the 60s and 70s and explained how Africans know that music is wasted if you are not up and dancing to it.

A man who has the ability to involve you in his story and the resolve to show you the now of his existence.  The now of how he believes Nigeria and the world could become if we would only listen.


I know that just one random day in Lagos altered the now of my existence in Nigeria.  Thanks for stopping by.


Sometimes, we get caught up in nostalgia, future fantasy, or both, and we don’t embrace the “now.” For this week’s challenge, take a moment to notice your present.

  1. Chasing Destino
  2. Through the lenz
  3. Beeblu
  4. Almandyne
  5. Daili
  6. Yichinling
  7. harlequinteaser
  8. joantwarren
  9. toobigabite
  10. Gillm


Dance as an expression


While taking some guests through different areas of Kathmandu we got split up while touring through Patan Durbar Square.  We had agreed that if  we did lose each other on this visit we would meet up in the main entrance of the square.  Of course we got separated.  As I wound my way through the back roads I ran into this two person dance team.  What a treat.  I hope you enjoy.

Dance is the hidden language

of the soul

of the body. ~~Martha Graham

The dance can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music, and it has the additional merit of being human and palpable. Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.  ~~Charles Baudelaire

Other posts that represent dance from Where’s your Backpack’s weekly travel theme:  Dance and Daily Post Theme : Moved by Music

  1. Miami Vice: Definitely Miami and ‘Cry’ | It Rains… You Get Wet
  2. dance | photo theme hop
  3. Kicking up your heels. | Chronicles of Illusions
  4. Wake Me Up | Stacy’s Flutterings
  5. Travel theme: Dance | So where’s the snow?
  6. WWC: Moved by Music | Under the Monkey Tree
  7. Travel Theme: Dance | LoganBruin–An Unauthorized Autobiography
  8. Driving Through a Hurricane | Mary J Melange
  9. Travel Theme: Dance | Its In The Picture – 365
  10. Moved by Music | The Urban Dr. Mom
  11. Travel theme: Dance | Figments of a DuTchess
  12. Weekly Travel theme: Dance « Leya
  13. moved by music | band of color
  14. Travel Theme: Dance | Wind Against Current
  15. Dancing with abandon in Sedona | Travel with Intent
  16. Travel Theme: Dancing | Canadiantravelbugs’s Blog
  17. Adolescence | K beezy is viral
  18. Ailsa’s Theme: Dance | Travel Monkey
  19. Travel Theme: Dance | Healthcare Updates
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge- Moved By music | sassy&classy
  21. Weekly Travel Theme: Dance | Northwest Frame of Mind
  22. 5-3-13 Travel Theme: Dance | The Quotidian Hudson
  23. sonic tonic | nanopod: hybrid studio
  24. Save the last dance for me | Le Drake Noir
  25. TRAVEL THEME – DANCE | Dear Bliary
  26. Travel Theme: Dance | A Gringos life in Cusco
  27. I Hope You Dance | The Retiring Sort
  28. Weekly Writing Challenge: Moonlight Serenade | Spiritual Biscuits
  29. Travel Theme: Dance | patriciaddrury
  30. travel theme: dance | whatever a moon has always meant
  31. Moved by Music Memories | Kansa Muse
  32. Travel Theme: Dance | Transplanted Tatar
  33. the power of inspiration | ramblings
  34. Travel theme: Dance | no step too loose
  35. Dance Three Ways | dadirridreaming
  36. Travel Theme: Dance | a hectic life
  37. Moved by Music: DPChallenge | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  38. Travel Theme: Dance | MythRider
  39. 5 Songs That Can Get You Through The Dark Days | dark circles, etc
  40. Travel theme: Dance | Stefano Scheda
  41. WWC: How I Have Been Moved By Music
  42. Travel Theme: Dance | Edge of the Forest
  43. Dream With Your Feet! | The Urge To Wander
  44. Travel Theme: Dance | Paths Unwritten
  45. Dance (Travel theme) | pdjpix
  46. TRAVEL THEME: DANCE | Francine In Retirement
  47. Travel Theme: Dance | Something for Pok
  48. Travel theme: DANCE of the FLOWERS | Serendipity 13
  49. Travel Theme: Dance | A shot of espresso.
  50. Travel Theme: Dance | American Gypsy Gibberish…
  51. Travel Theme: Dance | Postcards from
  52. Travel theme: Dance | Ain’t Mine No More
  53. Travel Theme: Dance | Pictures for Froghopper

timro man mero lagi ghar ho

You can never tell what you might see when you are on a hash in Nepal.  At the mid-point of the first hash I have been on in several months I was very surprised and delighted to run into this group of boys sitting on top of a hill and playing their guitars and singing.  They actually offered to sing this song to our group.  Very pleased indeed.  I hope you enjoy.


Other pretty things on this unexpected hash.

Other posts I have recently enjoyed about zigging and zagging.

  1. ZigZags – Daily Post
  2. Ungemaltes – Zigs
  3. Autopict – Zags
  4. Albatz – ZigZag Stairways
  5. Monochrome – zigs n zags
  6. Wolverson – Sharp zags
  7. Twisted lines
  8. I follow islands
  9. ZigZag Mountains – Geophilia
  10. Beautiful zigs n zags
  11. Zigzagging

It’s Not All Dust and Dirt…

It dawned on me the other day that nearly all of the photos I have been showing have been covered in dirt and dust and I’m probably painting a very grimy picture of Kathmandu.  In all honesty, dirt and dust is just about all I’ve seen since I’ve been here.

HOWEVER,  this past weekend I went up to a great little cottage in Shivapuri which is only about a 20-30 minute escape from the dust of the city.  Nepal is now in the season of celebration and blessings are given for everything.  Dogs were blessed on one day, cows on another, men, women, and children on others.  It’s really amazing to be in an area where virtually EVERYTHING and everyone is given a special blessed day. People celebrate here like they do everywhere, eating and drinking and enjoying each other’s company.  Bamboo swings set up throughout the city, dancers and musicians young and old celebrate this time of year.

It’s a delicate balance of happiness and celebrating life as it is handed to you mixed with extreme poverty and a daily standard of living that encompasses very hard work and sometimes barely scraping by.

Along with the the standard holiday festivities I was able to fit in some hiking and just a beautiful relaxing 2 days in a very cool location.

Laxmi Puja at Shivapuri Heights Cottage
The evening of November 3rd is a very special evening in Kathmandu with the celebration of Laxmi Puja – part of the Tihar Festival also known as the Festival of Lights.   The Shivapuri Heights Cottage provides a great venue to witness the festival and is also the perfect vantage point to view the spectacular display of lights down in the Kathmandu Valley.
Tihar, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. During the festival all the houses in the city and villages are decorated with lit oil lamps. Thus, during the night the entire village or city looks like a sparkling diamond. This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October.

So many I loved but couldn’t include from the last few themes: