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Showing posts from October, 2017

Tragedy in Ile Oba Alaafin

Opeyemi has driven his blue AX-100 okada (motorcycle) all the way from a nearby village to take part in the festivities dedicated to Oba, the spirit of the river, in the village of Ile Oba Alaafin. Oba was the wife of Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder, who was also married to Osun. A dispute between Osun and Oba led to the transformation of Oba into a river that was named after her and still flows next to the village of Ile Oba Alaafin. Since that tragic event, local residents of Ile Oba and their lineage are paying their homage every year to Oba by performing rituals during a particular night and, the next day, a procession to the river to bring food offerings and then proceed with dances. All the while the children of the Oba clan will play in the water.
Ile-Oba's children are familiar with the changing nature of the river and are good swimmers. First as babies, they have to stand the test of lineage belonging. If a mother of the clan has conceived a child whose father is an out…

2017 Lagos Biennial - Living on the edge

Ebutte Metta, Apapa road, Saturday afternoon 2PM. Residents go about their business as usual. Road-side shops are waiting for their customers, mamas sell fish, tomatoes, pepper, and so on. An empty bus breaks down in front of us. Its driver attempts to push it by himself but to no avail. None of the walkers-by offer assistance, actually they have got their own business to mind and the sight of a bus breaking down is nothing extraordinary. Considering that we are standing and not about to move, my driver decides to go and help him push the vehicle on the side of the road. We are now able to restart our progression and we turn into the road leading to the railway compound which is closed by a large two way gate. Vehicles have to alternate through one of the lane for security reason.
The railway compound is a residential area abundantly provided with buildings that used to serve the railway industry back in the days. A firemen place, the headquarters of the railway company, warehouses, …

Tyres never retire

Indomie was waiting for me on the street in the shade of the guard's hut. As I came out to look for him I first could not guess who he was, I called his phone and noticed someone looking like a young professional wearing a navy blue and white-striped polo shirt with red trousers with a pair of brown-framed glasses picking-up his smartphone next to me.
As the frequency of punctures on the back tyres of my car had increased like sneezing during a cold, I resorted to replace them. I was recommended to contact Indomie on behalf of the General, the nickname of a friend of mine given to him by the boys doing car parts business on the Mainland because of his military manners.
Indomie had travelled from Mainland to Victoria Island at the back of an okada holding two tyres under wrap, to deliver them to me. Indomie is the name of the most popular food brand in Nigeria, which makes instant noodles that are affordable to a vast majority of Nigerian. Indomie noodles are usually served with e…

looking forward to a better future

She sits every morning on the pier. This is the only pier accessible to anyone on Queensdrive, Ikoyi. She is peering eastward over the water. She is a women, whose age I could not tell, Somewhere between 20 and 40 year old. She sits on the pier with her backpack, her flip-flops and a white plastic bag lying behind her back. Her legs leisurely hang above the water. She contemplates the surface of the muddy water. Recent rains have loaded the water of rivers from the hinterland with red soil. The blue of the sky hardly reflects on that water. She wears simple clothes, a black headscarf, a grey t-shirt and a purple skirt. She seems to have time on her hand, Nowhere to go, no-one to expect her at that particular moment She peers into the horizon hoping for something good to crop-up. Perhaps a boat could come and take her away Her gaze caresses the shiny surface of the water. Her ears listen to the distant bustle of traffic on the opposite shore. Ozumba Mbadimbwe, Lekki Expressway where c…