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

 

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

SUNDAY POST : Captivating


Jakesprinter’s newest weekly theme is “captivating” to say the least.

The first thing I am very captivated by is a candle glowing in a dark room.  The light and shadow play is so mesmerizing.  Soft music in the background, no tech, no gadgets, no tv. Just myself, a room, music and dancing shadows.  Best way to end a day.

Other things that captivate me are things like:

Amazing architecture against a brilliant blue sky:

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the photo’s of others:

Certain visions embedded into music:

70’s music in general

I’m not a religious person and I don’t go to church usually, but I do love certain Christian songs and the imagery connected with them.

For more Captivating Sunday Posts visit Jake’s page.

It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear…


I’m in to my 4th day of learning Nepali (नेपाली) and before I get all stressed out and start thinking I will not be able to do it I am re-visiting my October 30, post 31 days of randomness to remind myself to “brush myself off” and keep trying.  It was a post I had actually Re-blogged from another very intelligent person.

Please wish me luck. (कृपया मुझे शुभकामनाएँ) Namaste (नमस्ते)

वैसे, 3 दिन पर मैं कोई भी इस बात का नेपाली में नहीं लिखा था.यह गूगल अनुवाद किया है तो मुझे माफ कर अगर लिप्यंतरण समझ नहीं पड़ता है.तुमने क्या उम्मीद ..मैं केवल 3 दिन पर हूँ.

By the way, on day 3 I did not write any of this in Nepali.  It is google translated so forgive me if the transliteration does not make sense.  What did you expect.. I’m only on day 3.

For anyone else who is learning a language.. the below instructions are awesome advice for language learners.  Enjoy.

Looney Toon-y Advice for Speaking a New Language

Learning a new language can be tough, and learning how to get comfortable using that language is even harder!   After you learn how to properly pluralize toilet paper, you still have to gear yourself up to ask a stranger where the bathroom is.  Most of my relatives speak English as a second language, and it didn’t take me long to realize that Looney Tunes teaches you everything you need to know about being comfortable using a newly-learned language.  So here it goes, Advice from the Toons:

Porky Says :  Don’t Panic — If you can’t say it one way, say it another.

Porky the Pig is known for his stutter, but he compensates by replacing words that are hard for him to say with words that are easier.   It’s a simple technique, but an effective one.  Often times, new language learners get so focused on saying one word properly that they don’t just try to complete their thought in a new way.

For example: If you want to find the library, but don’t know the right word for library or don’t feel comfortable saying it, try asking where you can get or borrow a book.

Sylvester Says :  Over Pronounce — Don’t be afraid to over do it.

Sylvester the Cat is known for his spitty, overly pronounced word usage.  The truth is, most languages involve an emphasis that doesn’t come naturally to most new learners.  So whether it’s rolling an R, distinguishing between a B and V, or pronouncing a sound that you’ve never had to make before — just over-do it.  People will understand!

For example: Where I grew up, it’s common for people to drop the H from words that start with an H.  Like “heat” instead of “eat”.  But since you wouldn’t want someone to EAT THE PIE that you just asked them to HEAT, it’s important to over emphasize the sound you know you struggle with.

Bugs Says :  Get Visual — Use props and body language.

Bugs Bunny is known for references that his demographic most certainly does not understand, and using words incorrectly.  Instead of fretting over the incorrect word choice, though, Bugs just points to things around him, pulls out handy reference items, and uses body language to make sure the point gets across.  New language learners often forget to use the world around them as a tool!

For example: If you want to know if a dish on a menu is spicy, but don’t know how to ask– point at the menu and then make the universal gesture for “I just ate something hot!”.  (You know, wave your hand in front of your open mouth and bulge your eyes out a bit.)

Tweety Says :  Repeat — Repeat, repeat, and then say it again

Tweety speaks Birdy as a first language, so when he speaks in English, he often has to repeat what he said.  Sometimes in different ways!  Many new language learners feel embarrassed when someone asks them to repeat something — but remember that quite often, they just didn’t hear you, or maybe didn’t understand that particular phrasing.  Try asking the question in a way that repeats your questions as much as possible.

For example:  If you need directions to the supermarket say the equivalent of, “Can you help me find my way? I’m trying to get directions to the supermarket.  If I go left, will I arrive at the supermarket?”  rather than just “How do I get to the supermarket?”

Daffy Says :  Get Loud — Mumbling is for Natives.

Daffy has a lisp, but it doesn’t stop people from understanding him because he speaks loudly and clearly.  If you’re patient with your speech, assertive in your delivery, and loud enough in volume, you have much greater odds of being understood.  Many new language learners mumble because they’re afraid of making a mistake, but the safest bet is to speak loud enough for people to hear you.

For example: If you’re looking at your feet and mumbling when you ask where the bathroom is, people will probably rely on your body language to fill in the blanks that they didn’t hear.  They’ll assume they’re talking about your shoes, and you will get very confusing advice!

Pepé Says :  Be Proud of your Multilingual Abilities — Language is a beautiful gift.

Pepé is French, and isn’t trying to hide it.  If he doesn’t know the word in English, he says it in French. If he can say it best in French, then he does and explains why.  Language is about communication, and communication is a two-way street.  People are open to learning more about your language if your language gets the point across better.

For example: The French phrase “je ne sais quoi” has been nearly fully adapted into English because it’s simply the best way to say it.

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In summary– don’t be so hard on yourself, and take it easy.

Travel theme: Bridges


Ailsa from “Where’s My Backpack” travel themes is “bridges” this week and her personal inspiration was the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Click here to see what everyone else has come up with.