I am woman.. hear me…


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You.Are.Amazing.

As. you. are.
Stronger than you know.
More beautiful than you think.
Worthier than you believe.
More loved than you can ever imagine.
Passionate about making a difference.
Fiery when protecting those you love.
Learning. Growing. Not alone.
Warm. Giving. Generous.
Quirky. Sexy. Funny. Smart.
Flawed. Whole. Scared. Brave.
And so, so, so.much.more.

Be Strong. Be Confident. Be You. ~ Copyright: Tia Sparkles Singh, 2011

I have been living and working in Lagos, Nigeria now for 18 months.  One of my favorite things about this country is how vibrant and strong the people are.  Specifically the women.  Talk about inspiring folks.  Every day there is a new surprise that faces me down.  In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017, my friend and I visited the Nike Centre for Art and Culture.

Every time I visit this gallery I find about 200 pieces I would love to buy.  The work covers everything from photography, to bead work, statutes of wood and metal, oils, fabrics, and really just everything you can imagine.  Well, this installation was possibly my favorite as it covered all of the artistic genres mentioned with a focus on the strong women who create the work.

What I love even more is the owner of the gallery.  Nike Davies-Okundaye – Nike Davies-Okundaye a.k.a. “‘Nike Davies'” a.k.a. “‘Nike Twin Seven Seven'” a.k.a. “‘Nike Olaniyi'” a.k.a. “‘Mummy Nike'”  – Wikipedia

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Talk about a strong woman.  I. LOVE. HER.  She is Nigerian.  She is strong. She is intelligent. She is kind.  She is an art piece all by herself.  What an amazing person.  So generous with her time and her ability to explain every piece of art in her gallery.  If you make it to Lagos, Nigeria and do not stop in to her gallery, you are missing a treat!!

The art presented that was specifically on display for Women’s Day was spectacular.  Created by women about women.  I did not take enough photos to really give it due respect.

My favorite pieces were so amazing!! They were huge though.  If I only had a place big enough to house them.

All of the other work was equally impressive and to be fair, there were many more “favorites”.  Even the work not specifically on display for Women’s Day, had a flair that I could not stop going back to.

For more Nigerian artwork that focuses on the Nigerian woman’s perspective, this book would be an excellent choice to get started.  I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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Travel theme: Woman

Other woman links:

Woman! Women of Cuba A daily stroll through Bucharest ; Roaming Urban Gypsy2017/03/12/athlete/Woman | Ladyleemanila;

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.

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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.

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

Now

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

 

Save our Self Esteem – artistic renderings in Nepal


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Another great Hash in Nepal under my belt.  Several photos from this trip and an additional hash really caught my eye and fell right in line with the Daily Post’s weekly theme of work of art. The following are my top picks for the theme.  Water and people walking away from me seem to be the most beau-tee-ful thing.

During a recent hash we visited the Changu Narayan Temple area.  Aside from ending this particular hash lost and walking through a variety of farms with a raging hail and lightening storm it was one of my favorites. Seriously.  Except for the frozen fingers, hail and lightening.  Oh and our leader kept saying, “we really aren’t lost.”

These are some of the people we stopped to get directions from and some random men dancing.

An area directly around the temple.

The Changu Narayan Temple is a World Heritage Site and what was great about it is that it is a lesser known and more out of the way temple to visit. This is great because you can actually walk through the area and really look at things without being jostled by crowds of tourists.

Even the small city entrance to the two-tiered pagoda style temple was quite lovely.  Steep steps with little shops along the way where you can watch local people gather their water, shop for trinkets or just watch people walk by.

All around the shrine there were lions, elephants and other animals I didn’t recognize guarding the intricately designed structure.

There was a statute inside that shows Vishnu as Narayan, the creator of all life.  There are so many beautiful and ornate decorations that I plan on going back to get a better look at the area.

I consider many things in life works of art.  My favorite is that of nature and smiles.  The following photos fit nicely into this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of art.  Even the area outside of the temple was quite beautiful.  I hope you enjoy the photos.  I’ve included some photos from one other hash that really show how beautiful many areas outside of the city here can be.

Taking it to the Streets – Peruvian Style Street Art


POR FIN!! I know this will be a shock to some in locations that are more technologically stable, but it took literally 3 days to upload these few pictures.  That’s the thing about technology.. when it works it’s amazing and when it doesn’t we all begin to feel a little doomed.  I know, I know.. a bit dramatic.

Speaking of dramatic.. (nice lead in right).. Some of the street art / graffiti in Peru did in fact carry that title quite proficiently.  As you might have noted from one of my past blogs regarding street art I am a bit fixated on random artistic street art.  Some of the following pictures are definitely typical graffiti and some of the pictures show how amazing and beautiful this type of expression can be.  I think even some of the most basic graffiti can look amazing when presented in a different language.  Same when someone says something to you with an accent right? Tell me I’m wrong.. go ahead..  Enjoy..

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