Monday, December 07, 2015

NEW OONI OF IFE CROWNED





Today was the formal coronation of the 51st Ooni of Ife; Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.  The splendorous ceremony was held at the Palace Square in the ancient city of Ife, Osun State and attended by Nigeria’s elite, which included the Vice President of Nigeria; Vice president Yemi Osinbanjo, the Sultan of Sokoto, Amirul Mumineen Sultan Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar IV; Governor Akinwunmi Amode- current governor of Lagos- former governor of Lagos state; Bola Ahmed Tinubu and several Nigerian artistes.
The new Ooni, looking regal in his royal robes, made a speech after giving the staff of Office by the Osun State Governor; Governor Aregbesola and watching him speak with so much sincerity and charm, it’s no wonder he was chosen as late Oba Sijuade’s successor. Sincerity and commitment are two main virtues of any ruler and that is what his majesty has. Like he said, this is a new dawn for Ife and I wish him a long and prosperous reign. 



Built in 1930 by the 49th Ooni - Oba Aderemi, will be the new home of the 51st Ooni - Oba Ogunwusi. #Oonicoronation pic.twitter.com/ANmyNWkBt6



Friday, December 04, 2015

ACTOR ANTHONY VALENTINE PASSES ON



On the 2nd of December, 2015; English actor Anthony Valentine passed away after living with Parkinson’s disease for several years. He was 76. The news shocked me because on that very day I was watching a few videos of a show he starred in many years ago and afterwards researched the cast members to see what they’ve been up to since then.

Valentine played a notable antagonist in the 1980s British T.V series Robin of Sherwood, the sinister sorcerer and devil worshipper Baron De Belleme; who sought Lady Marion’s (Judi Trott) hand in marriage from her guardians but in actually wanted to sacrifice her. My brothers and I loved that series as children so we remember just how scared we were of that particular character from the moment we saw him. But that’s just to show what a brilliant actor Valentine was; I believe it takes more hard work and effort to play a villain than a hero and Valentine played it very well.
In Robin of Sherwood, Valentine had a presence from his  very first scene, slowly moving across the room like a serpent as he listened to a bewitched Little John’s (Clive Mantle)  prophecy of “the hooded man, Herne’s son” seeking the silver’s arrow and the “Master”  demanding the sacrifice of a young virgin (Marion). He spoke in a quiet, cold voice; only raising his voice occasionally; even the hot tempered Sheriff of Nottingham(Nikolas Grace), his brother Hugo (Phillip Jackson) and Sir Gisburne (late Robert Addie) were intimidated by him. 
 And the part where Robin Hood (Michael Praed) stabs him in the stomach, he let out the most terrifying scream we ever heard; I  can never forget that scream in a million years! It was so realistic we even had to cover our ears as we watched that death scene; I’m yet to see another actor scream like that
Valentine starred in other T.V shows which included the World War II drama series Colditz

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

"MUST SEE" MOVIES IN 2016

Nia Vardalos and John Corbett starred in the 2002 romantic comedy; My Big Fat Greek Wedding about a  Greek woman who fell in love with a handsome American school teacher, much to the dismay of her father (Michael Constantine) as Ian Miller was not the full blooded Greek boy he hoped Toula would marry someday. Ian's determination to be accepted by Toula's family and the cultural clash between the Millers and the Portokalos made the movie even more hilarious. My favorite scene was when Toula's brother Nick and their cousin Angelo tricked Ian into saying something very funny: 





However all well that ends well; the movie ending on a happy note for Toula and Ian after all. Which was a relief because Toula's family drove the couple so crazy I envisioned Ian eventually running away screaming! But no, the wedding went well and the last scene- in a several years later jump- showed Toula and Ian escorting their little daughter Paris to Greek school. 
In 2003, there was a T.V continuation of the movie; the  CBS sitcom; My Big Fat Greek Life; but sadly short-lived  as it was cancelled after 7 episodes. As it opened with Toula (actually her name was changed to Nia, the actress' real name) and Ian (changed to Thomas and now played by Steven Eckholdt) coming back from their honeymoon, their daughter Paris was not featured. However, there were a few notable guest stars while it lasted- veteran actor John Aniston  and International composer, Yanni. And personally, while I liked the sitcom, the movie was a lot better and I really don't see why Toula and Ian's names were changed and why Toula remained working at the restaurant instead of Aunt Voula's travel agency like in the movie. 

Now on March 25 next year, we are going to be treated to My Big Fat Greek Life 2; hence we are to brace ourselves for another wedding, besides witnessing Paris Miller's own struggles with her loud and interfering (but well meaning) family. OH... we must definitely brace ourselves!







The other movie to watch out for is RISEN, directed by Kevin Reynolds, a movie about Jesus Christ but with a different approach; instead of another screen reenactment of   his birth  or the crucifixion ; the move depicts the aftermath of the Resurrection. 
Joseph Fiennes  (Shakespeare In Love, Elizabeth)  and Tom Felton (Harry Potter 1-7, Belle)  play Clavius and Lucius- a Roman centurion and his aide who are ordered by Pilate to  find Yeshua's (Jesus Christ) body after it disappeared from the tomb and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.  As this story is told in the perspective of a non believer for once; this is sure to be a gripping movie, for once it deals with the later events instead of events before the crucifixion and centered on a main character whose outlook will be changed forever. 

 RISEN will be released on January 2016.



Monday, November 30, 2015

IN LOVING MEMORY: PAUL WALKER REMEMBERED



Two years ago today, the world received a terrible shock at the news of Paul Walker's death from a ghastly car crash. The American actor who was 40 at the time of his death was notable for appearing alongside Vin Diesel and then later Tyrese Gibson as the character Brian Conner in The Fast & The Furious and  its sequels (except for The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift).
Walker also appeared  in the 1999 teen movie- She's All That- and several other movies including The Skulls, Flags of Our Fathers, The Lazarus Project and Vehicle 19. Furious 7 was his final movie.



Paul Walker is greatly missed; not only for his versatile acting skills on the big screen but  for his charity work; he was the founder of the charity organisation "Reach Out World Wide" (ROWW) which provides relief  efforts for areas struck by natural disasters. His family, past colleagues and fans of course will always remember him at his best.
May he continue to rest in peace.

ADELE DOES IT AGAIN!



Again English pop singer  Adele has proven she's a  force to be reckoned with as her new album  reaches Number 1. '25' was released on the 20th of this month, 2015; hence for it to make reach the very top within just a week of its release is an astounding achievement.
And why not, from the moment 25's first track 'Hello' flows from the speakers, the listeners are no doubt spellbound by her powerful, soulful  voice,the soft piano chords  and words of the song which has a deeply moving nostalgic tone.
I've always felt that Adele sings from the heart and her music definitely speaks to me. From the moment I first heard her version of Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love from her debut album '19'  and later, the James Bond movie soundtrack, Skyfall- I became an Adele fan.  'Set Fire To The Rain' from her previous album '21' (which won 6 Grammy Awards in 2012) is constantly played in my smartphone because she's simply a very talented singer, her songs besides aforementioned beautiful and filled with meaning.
Will there be another album after this one? If there's going to be, I've no doubt Adele will again shine even more than she's done with 19, 21 and now 25.
 So to Adele, a very hearty and well deserved congratulations!

Friday, November 27, 2015

NIGERIA PLUS SIZE BEAUTIES PROJECT: PLUS SIZE STILL IN!!!

Speaking with Adebowale Victor Ojo a.k.a Mr G’Clef d Impresario; Model, Wardrobe Adviser, Poise Coach and football analyst- he discussed his current venture, The Nigeria Plus Size Beauties Project.


“The project entails creating job opportunities for plus size women, organising a booth camp, creating a tourist club and a thousand march for plus size females. I want plus size females to get their groove, job, marriage, etc. back and appreciate who they are more ‘cause beauty doesn’t have a particular shape. African women are blessed with amazing curvy shape which is globally envied.”  He explained.

 With this venture, plus size ladies out there should emerge self-confident and assured that they are beautiful after all and say, ‘I’m curvy and I love myself!’ 
To see more details of G' Clef's project, "like" his page on Facebook. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

REVIEW: THE SECRET LIVES OF BABA SEGI'S WIVES





Lola Shoneyin’s (daughter in law of Nigerian Nobel Laurete, Professor Wole Soyinka) debut novel is an example of social realism and I was taken in by the story from page one. I’ve read enough novels that depict polygamy but this one was different; like the writer was an invisible, silent observer of the rather dysfunctional household of Baba Segi; which consists of his four wives and several children. Baba Segi was not a man I liked at all, actually I despised him. Marrying three more wives and siring children from them was to prove he was a virile “all man” male; most of the time in the novel, he couldn’t stop talking about it or them, like it was a real achievement. The wives are his property and they cook and clean and of course carry out their matrimonial duties when it gets to their turn. They are proud to be his wives and mothers of his children.
We find out that the household was thrown into disarray when Baba Segi suddenly took a fourth wife. The wives are immediately angry and jealous because the fourth wife- Bolanle- unlike them is a University graduate; a young woman Baba Segi met through a customer at his building store. The reader will immediately wonder why an educated girl like Bolanle would throw her life away by marrying a middle aged pompous illiterate like Baba Segi; and who already has three wives and several kids already. It appeared later that the enigmatic Bolanle was harbouring a secret and got the misguided idea that she would find refuge in Baba Segi’s household. Which in fact she didn’t, the wives are hostile and unfriendly towards her.  Mama Tope- the second wife- however was friendly towards her, but she was in the minority and rather weak spirited. The children are instructed not to have much to do with her and Baba Segi- seemly oblivious to Bolanle’s problem- treats her like a trophy. Worse still, it’s obvious that Bolanle married Baba Segi for the wrong reasons and the reader is eager to know what exactly she’s hiding.
After two years of marriage and no child from Bolanle, Baba Segi’s ‘trophy wife’ is suddenly tarnished in his eyes and he feels she’s not so perfect after all. When he proposed they get to the root of the matter, the wives- well at least the first and third, seem even more hostile towards Bolanle until we realise their behaviour towards Bolanle isn’t just mere jealousy but a secret they were terrified would come out.
Shoneyin paints a very grim and unglamourous picture of polygamy; where the new wife is treated like an outsider. Also, she depicts the emphasis of having children since in African society; a woman’s crowning moment is when she becomes a mother- the more children she has for her husband, the higher her status. As the reader turns each page, they see the story through the eyes of several characters; their back stories and their point of view of the present situation and slowly the readers learn Bolanle’s secret and what the wives don’t want their husband to find out. In the end Bolanle finds herself reconciling with her estranged family and reevaluating her life after revealing her painful secret and the wives find themselves at a very tight corner after theirs is exposed.
“The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” wasn’t the least bit disappointing. I wasn’t fond of some of the characters but it was filled with intrigue and emotion and rich in African tradition. I’ve read it several times over now and it’s still as gripping as when I first opened it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

CHILDREN FOREVER: NIGERIAN PARENTS' INABILITY TO LET GO OF THEIR CHILDREN





This subject was addressed by a very good friend of mine on Facebook. In her post, she indignantly expressed her view on how African parents' keep such a tight rein on their children that even when they are past 18; they still feel they have the right to tell them what to do and constantly interfere with their lives.
So true, especially here in Nigeria. Culture dictates that children should respect, listen and obey their parents because being their parents; they are older and wiser. Children are brought up to take their parents' guidance and as the years go by, they find themselves continually doing as they are told and decisions made for them... after their own decisions are tossed aside and ignored.
"Mummy and Daddy" are always right and we are the ignorant children who must listen to them because Culture (which is held over our heads like a gun) dictates it. If in the situation where the grown child stands up to them, they are dubbed 'disrespectful', 'stubborn, and sometimes even 'ungrateful'.
 "After all," so goes the usual tirade meant to manipulate and guilt, "we are your parents, we raised you, clothed you, sent you to school and you think you know better?" In the eyes of Nigerian parents, children are still children and don’t seem to notice they’ve grown at all.
 In more developed countries, children go off to begin their lives away from their parents when they get to 18 or 21. Here, such a thing is pretty much impossible.
One reason is economy, with the staggering cost of rents and hard-to-find jobs; what 18 or 21 year olds will be able to get their own place?
The other is  parents; who adamantly refuse to let their children move out of the safety of the family house, either  in a misguided sense of over protectiveness or they simply want to keep their children under their control.
When my friend talked about how a young woman she knew was forced to quit her job and move to the village because her tyrannical father ‘said so’; I felt very sorry for her, especially since she had her life planned out only to be ignored and shoved aside because Daddy for some reason wanted her to move to the village. It’s more about control, than knowing what’s best for her.
That’s all we hear in Nigeria; ‘Mummy and Daddy knows what’s best for us’; in almost every aspect of our lives; from what we were to what course to study in the University. They do all they can to guide us, except on  how to be independent and they are seldom given the chance to stand on their own. In the end, the children’s lives are ruined because they cannot stand on their own, after such a long period of dominance and dependence.
I know a woman in her thirties who still lives with her mother.  Even if she had enough money to rent a place of her own, her mother has already warned her she will not allowed it. 
Her reason? “Letting you live on your own will be like putting a curse on you.” I’ve gone over that weird sentence and till now, I still don’t know what that means.
Nigerian parents would say that parents in the Western world spoil their children and don’t discipline their children enough and spoil them. But it’s not like Nigerian children are better off under their parents’ dominating control either. How do they expect their children to grow if they won’t let them grow?
There’s a major emphasis of having children in this country, if you don’t have children, you’re nothing. Yet children most times are treated like property, not human beings. Their needs are met yes, but what about their emotional needs?   
They say they know what’s best. I say they are  being damn selfish.