Saturday, August 30, 2008

The ANITA BAKER show that never was


On Saturday the 30th of August, I dressed up eagerly, applied lip gloss quickly, grabbed my bag and camera, and went for a concert that felt to me like a dream of a lifetime come true.
I listen to Anita Baker’s songs everyday; she is on my ipod and I think that she is a true diva with class, who paved the way for so many other artistes.

Excited I was, and I sat through the jokes, music, and dinner, expectant and ready to sing along to ‘Same Ol Love’ and ‘Rapture’.

Alas, that did not happen for IK, the host for the day had to come and convey serious and sad news- Anita Baker was refusing to perform and would not perform. Tickets would be refunded, and the food and the drinks were now on the house.
A lady who came all the way from Abuja just for Anita, broke into tears. Something in me went quiet, and as I write this, it is still not awake. We had paid 450, 900, and 9000 dollars to see her perform, but that was not to be. People got up in shock. No anger, just a lot of sadness and disappointment. As IK had said, Anita Baker had been shown nothing but the best of Nigerian hospitality (best hotel, chauffeur driven cars with police escorts, riders accepted and so on).

What were the facts of the case?
Here is what I pieced together.
- When Anita Baker was contracted, she had been informed that some guests would pay for tables.
- The hall was set banquet style with tables, and dinner and drinks were to be sold.
- Tickets cost 450, 900 and 9000 dollars and these came with dinner promised.
- Anita Baker came into the hall at 6pm, and said she would not perform because it was a show and the hall had been arranged banquet style.
- The organisers removed half of the tables and arranged them theatre style, then explained to Anita and her crew that some people had actually bought tables.
- Anita Baker still refused to perform.
- The organisers then pleaded with her to let them serve dinner, then remove the tables and arrange all the chairs theatre style.
- Dinner was quickly served while the Nigerian acts performed.
- Unfortunately, Anita Baker still refused to perform.

Please note that Nigeria is one of the African countries that sees a steady influx of international performers! We have had, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Wyclef, Sean Paul, Lynden David Hall, Fat Joe and Mary J Blige, amongst a whole host of others. Infact, even Usher who had to cancel his first performance in Nigeria, gave us a second chance this year and performed in Abuja.
Perhaps Anita Baker saw this and wanted what they had- a hall packed full of screaming fans, standing from evening to morning.
However, there are different types of shows, and it is up to show organisers to package these shows as they wish. Anita Baker was actually given the exclusive show type- where the tickets are very expensive (almost ten times the going rate for tickets to other shows with international acts. And that was the cheapest ticket!), dinner is served, and the guests are of the highest cadre! Several international acts have performed at such events in Nigeria, including Lionel Richie, Shalamar, Michael Bolton, Kenny Latimore, Joe, and Angie Stone.

Anita Baker should have been angry with the organisers! She should have punished them by asking for more money, or performing a set that was briefer than usual. What she should not have done, was take it out on the fans! She should not have taken it out on the fans who came there ready to enjoy an evening with their favourite artist. Here in Nigeria, we have a hair cut named after her! People know all the lyrics to her songs! And for an event that was not even highly publicised, she still pulled a crowd that filled the hall!
The least she could have done was say hello to the fans!

I hate that she did that to us. I feel she did it, and ‘knew’ she would get away with it because we are an African country, a third world country in her eyes! I am sad that she feels justified to treat us like this.
I hope the international press will carry this story. I cannot wait to hear her side. I cannot wait to see her on ‘OPRAH’, defending herself.

I feel for the organisers who have surely now made a loss.
I feel for the fans who have lost some of their passion for their star.
I feel for those who she is setting a terrible example for.
I wish her all the best, but I know that she owes us an apology.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Here's what i don't get

How you can love someone so bad but not be with them

How you can hang on to their every word

Watch over their every step,

And time your heart to beat with theirs,






Then you meet someone else

But still you're afraid

Afraid to live, Afraid to be happy

To feel, to breathe.

Here's what i don't get.

How you don't get that this is life

And it goes on with or without your smile

You're not responsible for other peoples' happiness

What is important is that you're fufilled

No, here is what i don't get

That you can think of me,

Want to be with me

Even dream of me

And that i can feel the same

But you would rather hesitate

And let love slip away

Here's what i don't get

Friday, August 15, 2008


It's my birthday!

Just wanted to post that!

Will be back to talk about it a little more indepth!

Thanks for the calls, text messages and prayers

Love you all!

Tell me what YOUR birthday means / signifies!

Let's s.h.a.r.e!

Monday, August 11, 2008

60 Questions!

I got this from HARD GUY 101's blog!

Love doing things like this so let's go there!

1.What time did you get up this morning?

I haven't slept yet.

2. Diamonds or pearls?

It's a toss up really.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?


Yes Boss!

And i reviewed it so read it after this note!

4. What is your favorite TV show?



Maybe HOUSE?

5. What did you have for breakfast?

Nothing yet.

6. What is your middle name?


7. What is your favorite cuisine/meal?

A toss again between JOLLOF RICE, and Portuguese Salads

I apologise in advance about the salad, but i really do like them

8. What foods do you dislike?

Where i grew up, you ate everything your mother gave you.

I doubt there is anything i can't eat

And there's nothing i dislike, but i dont like to eat food when it's hot.

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?


11. What kind of car do you drive?

If you wan insult me, insult me. But sha, it depends.

12. Favorite sandwich?

Tuna probably.

13. What characteristics do you despise?



14. Favorite item of clothing?

My favourite pair of jeans!

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?


16. What color is your bathroom?


17. Favorite brand of clothing?




18. Where would you want to retire?

Nigeria lagbara Oloun.

19. Favorite time of day?


20. Where were you born?

In a taxi.

21. Favorite sport(s) to watch?


22. Who do you least expect to respond to this?

Harrison Ford

23. Person you expect to respond first?


24. What laundry scent do you use?

You see, the thing is, it is like, as in,

25. Coke or Pepsi?

Always Coca-Cola

26. Are you a morning person or night owl?

Night Owl.

. What size shoe do you wear?



Buy me shoes now!

28. Do you have pets?

5 dogs.

Aim to have an Elephant and a Chimp latron in life

29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone?


30. What did you want to be when you were little?

A Star.

. Favorite Candy Bar?


32. What is your best childhood memory?




33. What are the different jobs you have had in your life?


Back up singer.

Event Assistant.


Admin Officer.

34. What color/type underwear are you wearing?






36. Piercings?


37. Eye color?


Usually yellow anyways

38a) Ever been to Africa?



38b) Ever been to South Australia?

No sir

39. Ever been toilet papering or rolling?


40. Love someone so much it made you cry?

Yes boss.

41. Been in a car accident?

Yes. If accident means you are driving down and some drunk hits you

42. Croutons or bacon bits?


43.Favorite day of the week?

Probably Sunday. But also Thursday.

44. Favorite restaurant?


45. Favorite flower?

I no know o o o

46. Favorite ice cream?

I no know o o o

. How many times did you fail your driver's test?


48. What color is your bedroom carpet?

Shades of brown.

49. How many times did you fail your driver's test?

You never ask before?

50. Before this one, from whom did you get your last email?

Can't remember

51. Which stores would you choose to max out your credit card?

Forever 21.

Any jeans or accessory store.

And believe it or not, the DOLLAR STORE; just cos i love knick knacks

52. What do you do most often when you are bored?


53. Bedtime?


54. Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire?

Shia LeBeouf

.55. Last person you went to dinner with?


Thats long tin o

56. What are you listening to right now?

Technically, CNN cos im not watching it, but can hear most of what is being said.

57. What is your favorite color?


58. Lake, Ocean or river?


I no know oh!

59. How many tattoos do you have?


60. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The chicken sir

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How DARK does a KNIGHT need to be?

So i finally saw it.
After wondering if i would be able to see the late, great Heath Ledger in the last movie he acted in before his death without bawling my eyes out in the cinema, i finally saw the movie.

It was a casual day.
Just randomly wandered into the cinema, and then randomly bought a ticket, and randomly entered the cinema, and then randomly sat down and randomly... you get it.
There i was, on my own, at the Silverbird Galleria, popcorn in one hand, always Coca-cola in the other, and settled in.

The second time i saw it (cos i always knew i would see it again), it was in my birthday week, and was also unplanned; guess that's why it fell in so beautifully!
Once more, hotdog, popcorn and coke in hand, and the movie began!

I am sure half of Nigeria has seen the movie already, but you know the story.. or maybe you don't.
Batman is not an easy movie to summarise, and you should see it at least twice!

I will tell you this though. The JOKER makes the first entrance and he was deceptive (something that would run through the course of the movie) and funny, but BATMAN's first entrance is pure magic! Thrilling, Humourous, and completely Unmissable!
I was like, yay Christian Bale! Show them what you are made of!

Michael Caine once again plays the dedicated, long-suffering butler, man-servant and friend- irreverent but ever diffident. Yes boss indeed!

No more Dawson-Creeked Katie Holmes for the part of Rachel; instead we get a much better delivery from Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is thankfully, now getting the mainstream roles she deserves! Go Maggie! In her hands, Rachel is multi-dimensional, strong but vulnerable, and unconventionally pretty.

Now back to my man HEATH LEDGER. Yes, i promised you guys tears, and i did shed a few. But HEATH was so irrecognisable (I MADE THIS WORD UP) in the role, that i couldn't cry. Couldn't. I was too enthralled and wrapped up in the charming evil and pure genius that was the Joker.

However, the second time i did see the movie, i cried a little more.
The first time you see it, you never really see Heath; you are caught up in the Joker. But see it again (as you have to), and then it hits you- that is Heath

The Joker never does what others can do for him, and he always seems to be able to find minions to do his bidding. Watch carefully and you will know how he gets them! He doesn't lift a finger, because he doesn't have to, and is at once, SCHEMING, MISCHEIVOUS, INTELLIGENT, DARK, EVIL. No, this Joker, unlike some other Batman Jokers, won't get the girls, at least not willingly. This Joker is not about the usual charm we know. You know he is evil and he knows that you know; he isn't sugar-coating it. What he is doing though is presenting it to you and making you an offer you can't refuse- hate it or join in, but one way or the other, he's gonna get what he wants!

This second instalment of BATMAN which features CHRISTIAN BALE as the caped crusader, is my favourite. No bias. Honest. The villians are villians, the twists are twists, and the dialogue is off the chains.

THe movie is however too long!
TOO. TOO long! Seriously.
And then it is like a roller-coaster. It starts with a High, then it Peaks, then it dips to a Mid-Level point, and then goes High again, then Peaks, then dips (but never has LOWS), until it ends on a High!

How can a movie about a grown man who wears a mask (however well-constructed the mask is), drives the fastest cars, fights the baddest villians and loves a woman he can never have, inspire you and get you waxing philosophical?
Somehow, BATMAN; THE DARK KNIGHT manages to not only entertain, but actually also teach and preach! Yes Boss! SERIOUSLY!!! I walked away from the cinema with so many lessons, but the one sentence that kept ringing in my head was, "If you are good at something, why do it for free?", and then when i saw it again, i fell in love with, "That which does not kill you only makes you stronger". Both statements by the joker.
But the third that i love was "You either die a hero, or live long enough to see people turn against you" (I might have paraphrased but get the general idea- heroes only have short on screent ime; any longer, and you become a villain! For the most part, this is true in life)

BAtman definitely gets the TOSYN STAMP!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A very CAPABLE album

Some albums you have to listen to three times.
The first time, your ears are tuned to the singles you heard before and the other songs just sound like fillers.
The second time, you start to find one or two other songs that you really like.
And by the third time, you have got really into the album.


While ‘MR CAPABLE’ is not Banky W’s first album, it is certainly his most highly anticipated, and back home, a first of sorts. Like most Nigerians, I first heard him on the radio, on a version of Rihanna’s ‘UMBRELLA’.
Now the thing is, most of those re-versions are lame attempts at being funny, or getting attention, but with ‘EBUTE METTA’, what started by fooling around in a studio with friends, became a song most Nigerians could relate to. I am incidentally, kind of, sort of from Ebute Metta (okay fine! My family house sits on the boundary between Yaba and Ebute MEtta!), and Iiked what I heard- a beautiful voice, and smart lyrics!
I then ‘YouTubed’ (the You Tube search version of ‘Google’) his name, and found videos of random performances at shows in America, and that was when I heard what then became his first real single of the album- Capable.

And that brings us back to the album, one with 12 full tracks and 2 skits.


The first song is ‘Do It Like This’, which has a hip-hop vibe to it, and I really like the message behind the song- it’s a Naija boy living in Yankee, straddling the two worlds, vibes and cultures, but always keeping it real. And I especially like when he says, ‘..the beat is so hard, it’s about to press charges’.
I like!
I like!

‘Capable’ is next and it is groovy; I especially like his delivery on the hook and chorus, and can always imagine dancing to it.

Then comes ‘Ebute Metta’ and you must know the song by now right?
Banky might get a lot of flack for covering this song, but I think that’s just people not taking time to discover the artiste. The song is really good, what’s wrong with covers people? And it’s not like he couldn’t deliver the goods on the other songs, so to borrow a phrase…kini big deal?
One thing is for sure tho, no one can resist nodding their heads along when the song comes on!

‘Work You Out’ is a collabo with Sauce Kid and while I am okay listening to Banky without any collabos, this one works. It’s a great party track and Sauce Kid adds more fun and a little edge.

I love ‘Capable’ so when I heard there was a remix, I was worried; why mess with perfection? But this remix by the remarkable ID CABASSA, turns a groovy track to a club banger.

The next track is another collabo, this time with Adewale Ayuba.
Okay, I might have to call Ayuba out here cos he samples a lot of his lyrics from other songs when he is working on collabos (case in point, the collabo with Bantu), but let’s not take anything away from this nice hybrid.
You might not be into Fuji, but Adewale Ayuba is one of the best vocalists of that genre, and I guess that’s why he can get on an R ‘n B track and still make it a cool, simple, smooth listen.
(The song is ‘A Ti De’ by the way)

By Track 8, Banky is done with singing for everyone, and begins to concentrate on the ladies!
‘Know Your Name’ is simple and slow, and yes, we do like.

‘Till My Dying Day’ began as a song based based on his personal experiences, and then went on to become a song written for his sister on her wedding day. (Yes ladies, you may now begin to swoon). It features TYNIE, whose voice and delivery is nothing like her name implies! I especially like the reggae vibe that it has.

A lot of people know ‘My Regret’ already as well because it was actually first released way before this album was! It is a song that speaks of a longing for what was and we would recommend that if you are taking a break from a relationship, then you skip this track till you are a little stronger cos you WILL be dialling numbers you had previously deleted from your phone!

‘You Really Don’t Know Me’ is another one of my favourites because it has that big band feel with the heavy, steady drums and the horns! I can just see Banky dressed like he is in one of the pictures on the album (not the cover), in front of a live band, performing it.
Nice. Nice. Nice!

The last song on the album is ‘Long Time’ which has just a hint of calypso / salsa to it. Hey! You fans of salsa can dance to it whenever you want abi?!
Love the chorus as well, ‘I love you LONG TIME! Tipe Tipe!’
I dare you to hear this song and not move to it sha! And I will pay if you can prove it.

Now that we have dealt with the other lovely songs on the album, may I, ladies and gentlemen, introduce MY song on the album?

Imagine you are so in love with this person, and they are your everything, but for whatever reason, they don’t believe it, or maybe they just can’t handle that much love and so you say to them, “You’re the only one for me, why can’t you see? I knew it from the start… DON’T BREAK what’s left of MY HEART”
Oh I love this song! And in case you didn’t get that yet, it’s ‘DON’T BREAK MY HEART’, and it is slow and deeply touching. But what completely slays me is the fact that he doesn’t actually say ‘Don’t break my heart…’, he says, ‘Don’t break WHAT’S LEFT of my heart…’!

I have pulled myself together enough to say, there you have it folks! Mr Capable… a very capable album (pardon the very dry pun!), an album with NO fillers!
Banky’s strength lies in three things- his vocals which are powerful yet soft and light and need no jara, his lyrics which are beautiful and deep, and his delivery which is on point on each track he tackles.

Should you buy the album?

Seriously though, you should.
Get a copy, NOW, and then get another one for your friend!