Tuesday, January 26, 2010

it really could happen to any one of us

She woke up the next morning in pain. If you had asked her which hurt more, the physical or the emotional, she would have been hard torn to give a straight and correct answer. It was a bit of both, one she could see, the other she only felt, and yet the scars ran deep.
The previous evening had begun easily enough. Okay, to be honest, it had been full of love and highs! As most evenings with him were. The plan was simple. Go for karaoke, and come home. But the most simple plans sometimes crumble. And the most charming people sometimes become monsters at night.
For if he was anything, it was charming. Her father would invite him in and smoke a cigar with him on the porch. OR at least, they would want to, but with the rate of armed robbery going on in the area, more often than not, they simply watched television together and criticised the leaders.
Her mother would ask when he was coming and make a meal for him. Or to be honest, would want to make a meal for him, and end up getting pizza instead. You see, unlike the ideal woman in that commercial that was on air for a while, her mother was a real woman, who could not do it well, and would not allow people make her feel less human or woman for that.
Her brother loved to shoot the breeze with him, although, he ended up always speaking about some girl or the other he was currently in love with. Her brother loved to fall in love, it was on his list of ‘hobbies’, and if anyone ever wanted to pay him for it, he would gladly take it up as a profession. That evening, her brother had spoken about Julie. Luckily, not the same one Shank had sang about. As far as her brother was concerned, this Julie was the one. Or in this case, the one after the one after the other one that was forethought of as the one.
So, this boy was charming and the family loved him. One more week, a few more dates, and she would likely have been picking out aso-ebi, and possibly wondering where they would live.
But best laid plans...
He had come in the evening bearing gifts. He loved to buy her gifts. Although he would find a way to ruin the gift for her the next week or so. Like that time he had bought her chocolates, then one week later complained that she had put on weight. And when he bought her some c.ds then threw them out the car window because he felt ignored.
You could not say there had not been warning signs. He had told her once, matter-of-factly, that she was stupid and should be grateful he found time for her. This was after she had worn a dress she did not like and had refused to read his mind and change it in time.
There were signs, but she weighed it, and the good and the bad seemed to either be at par, or the good was winning. I mean, how many guys remember silly things like the anniversary of the day i first admired your new haircut?
Yes, there were signs. But signs where signs. Or like Darey sang, Style na Style.

He came to pick her up. Advised her brother to take Julie out with his friends first to see if she would get along with them, watched television with her dad and proclaimed that Nigeria should become a course in the colleges ( i mean, where else does the president rule from another country, a rich boy try to blow himself up, and people queue for fuel when there are refineries), and ate the pizza her mother had ordered even though her mom had forgotten he did not like olives. She knew he would mention it at some point between the first song at karaoke and the drive home. But she could handle that. That’s what love entails, managing and handling.

And the drive was pleasant enough. They listened to some of their favourite songs and sand out loud to each other. The swapped stories about their day, and they fell more in love than they were yesterday.
But then karaoke began, and for some reason, today his voice was not on point, and he seemed to pick the wrongest songs. Who takes on Frank Sinatra unless they are sure? So of course, people giggled. She didn’t, but people did. And that upset him. So he wanted to go somewhere else. But she was sort of having fun. So he stayed.
And then he nagged the whole journey through.
And somewhere between the name calling and the general absurdity of it all, she snapped.
Because she had a fantastic dad who had brought her up with love. And she had a gentle brother who treated ladies well (then let them break his heart). And she had been in loving and respectful relationships in the past!
She wasn’t desperate. She had a good job, loving friends, and other ‘toasters’. So why should she sit in this car and listen to him rant and rave.
So she didn’t. She tried to put the radio on, and that’s when she realised there is always a thin line between verbally abusive and physically so.
It wasn’t even the slap that stunned her. For that came after the twisting of her arm, so she was prepared for it. It was the kick. It was so unscripted and out of place. Who kicks a girl?
And what kind of girl allows herself to be one of those girls that are in abusive relationships?

We sometimes sit and stare and talk. We wonder how and why it happens. And how and why they let it happen. But everyone of us is a step away from being an abuser or the abused.

on any given day...

Technology is fantastic. I mean, look at me, not anywhere close to a desk nor even a computer, but still able to get this article to you.
Music in the background, voices in the other background, some soda to drink and a snack from my favourite vendor. Bliss.
But i have spoken too soon. Because now, that gentleman (also known as an ‘area boy’), and that other gentleman (also known as an ‘agbero’) are about to break bottles on each other’s heads because apparently, one of them touched the others’ bottle. The one he picked up to quickly buy more fuel into and sell to that lady whose car has just died and who cannot be bothered to try and queue.
Yes my fellow Nigerians, i am at a petrol station.

There was a time we did not queue for fuel. This time is also known as, ‘in the good old days’. This was the time before Christmas was postponed, and before queuing for fuel became part of your to do list. As in, ‘hey tosyn, what are you doing on Thursday’, and ‘hey Shade, well after the show, i’ll grab a quick lunch, queue for fuel and get a pedicure’.
First we did it reluctantly, but now we blog about it, tweet while we are doing it, and of course, write an article in the Guardian because of it. And if we are not careful, we will actually get used to it. Like how we got used to there never being PHCN-generated power at home.

But while you try to adjust to it, i have moved on to other things, like turning it into a commercial venture! What? Aren’t the ice cream man that i just bought yogo from, and the vendor that i bought gala from also doing it? And what of these touts that i spoke of earlier who have now made up and are jointly bargaining with the stranded lady? (I think they have asked for thrice what they bought it for. I don’t think she cares anymore). Why can’t i create a Survival Guide to Petrol Queues, and make money from it?
I mean, everyone needs to know what they need for a fuel queue.
The most essential thing is an empty bladder. Noone forgives the man who left his car to ease himself, thereby letting others jump the queue when the gate of the petrol station was eventually removed.
You must however stay refreshed and entertained so please have some water and snacks. But if you do not take any with you, do not fear. There will be a steady stream of hawkers urging you to buy everything and anything. And on that note... no ma, i do not need matches, stove and kerosene. I will not be making my dinner at the station.
Your vocabulary might be very good at this point, but you need to incorporate some new words. ‘Please’. ‘Oga’. ‘Comot!’ or ‘Clearout’. Longer phrases like, ‘Turn by Turn’, ‘How Far?’ and ‘You dey craze’, and questions like, ‘Are they selling?’, also come in handy.
Murphy’s law warns you that at any given time, anything that could go wrong usually will. Remember this when you get on a queue that seems to be moving but stops moving when it gets to your turn because the pump is hot. Or when you get to a station that is selling from only one pump, and is giving priority to people with kegs. When a fight breaks out, chances are something will hit you, or your windscreen. Dress accordingly, this is not the day for short dresses, heels or designer shirts.
Look out for our favourite regulars at petrol stations. Mr But-What-Are-You-Doing-Here? who is at the station but is not buying fuel nor selling it. There is always that one guy that is mad at the world, and at you. He spends his time grumbling, and if you spray perfume that he does not like, you will know! People pick their noses all the time, but there is something about a fuel queue that brings out the skills of even the most polished person, and there’s always that one girl applying mascara or blush...it usually is me. Queues go on for hours, so Mr Never-Time-Wasted has asked his colleagues to meet him at the station for a meeting, and love or at least, friendship-at-first-sight occurs here regularly. There is nothing like bonding over petrol fumes and sighs.
Since the directive that petrol should not be sold in kegs any longer, the keg queues have grown even longer, but on a good day, there will be a random guy who has brought his ‘I Better Pass My Neighbour’ generator to the station. Laugh hard. These are the little joys you get at times like this. And Mr If-I-Was-President provides the social commentary. He knows why there is fuel scarcity (although he never says anything strongly nor clearly enough for you to also understand why), and has an opinion on everything, from the Super Eagles (it is the defence), to banks. This guy is your most valued asset at a station, when your battery runs down and you can no longer listen to the radio, or when you are just so starved of human contact that any one would do!
You have been armed with some essential tips for coping with petrol queues. The other tips can be found in my book, complete with a complementary Keg-Disguise bag, for those silly stations that actually comply with instructions not to sell petrol into kegs.
Remember too that anyone can write a book, as it starts with asking the most basic questions
- Why is there fuel scarcity
- When will cars run on urine
- How can i increase my urine output for when question 2 above is answered?
- Why is my car suddenly lighter?
- Where is my spare tyre?

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Entertainment Report! Avatar, Spice Girls, Timi Dakolo, Truspot, and more!

- Awards Season continues!
Awards Season continues, with the organisers of the Future Awards, releasing a shortlist of nominees for their Awards Show which comes up in February.
Shortlisted nominees include, Omoni Oboli, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Ike Orizu (mytruspot.com), Uche Eze (bellanaija.com), Debola Lewis (yvent couture), Onyeka Nwelue, Jumoke Verissimo, Omawumi, Jesse Jags, Denrele Edun, Yinka Obebe, and Tosyn Bucknor.
For more information on the Future Awards, plus, the pre-awards conference, please check, www.thefuturenigeria.com

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAS) awards, holds shortly with ‘Avatar’ picking up nominations in eight different categories, including, Best Film. Other nominees include, Up in the Air, Hangover, Coco before Chanel, Audrey Tatou, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron and District 9.

- Rihanna! John Mayer! Spice Girls!
Rihanna is in the news! And this time, for supporting an important cause- to help Seun Adebiyi get a donor!
Seun Adebiyi is a 26 year old Nigeria who has been diagnosed with Leukamia, meaning he will need a bone-marrow transplant. Seun is an athlete and is well on his way to being the first Nigerian to compete in the Winter Olmpics so just like the people of Haiti and Jos, he needs all the prayers and help he can get.
Here is the link to his Youtube Video Appeal!

As for John Mayer, the latest gist is that he is still pining for Jennifer Aniston, or at least, he missed her!
He was reportedly quoted as saying, when asked about the break up, ‘I've never really gotten over it.... It was one of the worst times of my life”.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston’s other ex, Brad Pitt, is also in the news. Well, let’s face it, he is ALWAYS in the news!
This time around though, an unofficial biography which alleges that Brad cheats on Angelina Jolie, and has cheated with a Somalian model, and also that their relationship cannot survive the next few years, has been published!
Tory Tory!

Break ups. Break ups. Break ups.
The Spice Girls might have broken up years ago, but you might still see them, or at least, versions of them soon! No, not another reunion concert, but this time, on stage, as a Spice Girls Musical has finally been approved and commisioned!
‘VIVA FOREVER’ will bring Victoria, Emma, Mel C, Mel B and Geri, live to us on stage!
We hear the musical won’t actually be ABOUT the girls, but will feature their songs...

- So what’s happening this weekend?
The weekend is here!
Exciting isn’t it?
Catch asa on the Green on Friday, with opening acts, Ibiyemi and Bez Idakula.
You can also catch Beautiful Nubia at Sparkle Hall this Sunday, as he launches his new album! YAY!
Top Radio will of course, keep you entertained with Uche! Wyse! Azaria! DJ GQ! Damirez! Korebrown! Stranger! They all hold the forte this weekend, till another Monday swings by!
- Jedward? Timi!
The duo formerly known as contestants on the British reality show, X FACTOR, may have been voted out, but since they have now signed a deal with Sony Music, i guess they laugh last!
Their new single, ‘Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby), featuring Vannila Ice, will soon be out
(yay? Nay? Yee? Pa?)

But from John and Edward Grimes, to Timi Dakolo!
Wednesday the 20th was a three in one (not the weave-on) combination for TIMI DAKOLO!
It was his birthday! (happy birthday! Thanks for the cake!)
It was the premiere of his video for hit single, ‘I Love You’ featuring Jesse Jags (with a cameo by Ice Prince and Zara)
It was his album listening party at Swe Bar! Hosted by Tosyn Bucknor, it featured performances by Rooftop M.Cs, Gbolahan and Hakym the Dream, and appearances by Lami, Ibiyemi, ObJazz, Obi Asika, Julius Agwu, Djinee, and more!

- Music .v. Movie Stars take two! Two sites move into further gear!
It turns out that when the movie stars go up against the music stars, they dance better!
Well at least, on Celebrity Takes Two, they do!
Fred Amata, Stella Damasus and Yinka Blag are the final three on Celebrity Takes Two, and this weekend, a winner emerges!
Me i am sha sad that Yinka Davies was voted off. She was fantastic!

And in closing, let us say, two of our favourite websites take things to another level!
First off, SWITCHEDONNAIJA which has always provided us with music, opinion articles and features, has published the first edition of RE’LOAD!
The cover is fab, the pictures look great, and it is definitely a collectors item!

And MYTRUSPOT.COM which is a favourite for music downloads, charts and fan pages, has given Africa its first application for Blackberry... the TRUSPOT APPLICATION FOR BLACKBERRY!
Users have tried it, and they love it! So go ahead and get it now!
Think about it!
You read Re’Load and Speechgirl blog when you queue for fuel, then listen to the Top 40 playlist on Truspot as you drive
We thaank tha LORD

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Miss CON.tra.diction

We just want to say thank you for the love and support so far!
CON.tra.diction released her singles barely a few days ago on radio, and longer than that online, and the buzz has been mad!
Please check the online links out, listen, leave comments, and SPREAD THE WORD!
We appreciate that you have been there for a long time; it is time to get more foot soldiers!

CON.tra.diction on NOTJUSTOK

CON.tra.dictions singles getting a review on WEPLUGGOODMUSIC

CON.tra.diction on REVERBNATION (she is number 2 on the alternative charts for Nigerian artistes!)

If you are on facebook, check her fan page out
Or join her group

and follow her on twitter


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hey! I got to interview asa and Dj Jimmy Jatt!

It was one of those interviews you dream about. When you get to interview people you think are cool, people you admire, and people you hope will be a laugh and a half when you do get right to it!!!
OF course, it was also always going to be a scary interview. Would they show up? One is a self-confessed late riser, the other is... well, she is asa! I mean, i had never interviewed her before. But grapevine wise, i had also not heard anything about cancelled interviews or no shows. So knock on wood, i prayed about it, and let tomorrow come!
Tomorrow came on Wednesday the 13th of January and i kept saying, well thank GOD its not Friday the 13th!
I had sent text messages to both Dj Jimmy Jatt’s p.a and asa’s manager, to ensure they woke up, at 6am when i was already at the studio!
I kicked the show off unceremoniously but hinted at two important guests coming soon, to the listeners. People began to guess even before i asked them to! Was it PSquare? I wish! Was it Don Jazzy (again) and DBanj? Oh i really wish! But still i wouldn’t say for i was too excited, and possibly too superstitious! Was not about to mention those names on air and then have them not show due to a flat tire! This was afterall, a live show, and would wrap at 11am!
But both parties kept me updated concerning their current location, and it seemed we would get a good show!
Let me confess, i get nervous interviewing certain people ( i almost stammered through the 9ice interview and gushed through the Darey one), but interviewing two people at the same time? Most times it leaves me feeling empty, like i missed something or didn’t do either of them justice! So i prayed again!
Dj Jimmy Jatt got here first while asa and her manager got lost and had to turn back and look for the station again!

So we began the interview!
At first he sat, and i asked the most basic questions! Did he ever think he would be this big (taking a cue from Nas and R Kelly). He said way back when, he never thought music would be his main and only thing! But now, he can’t even think of what else he could possibly have done instead of music. When i asked him to think about it, he said, even if he had not been a DJ, he would still have been lurking somewhere in the music shadows. Possibly as a producer? He does have an album out, and does not sing nor rap! But yes, ‘THA DEFINITION’ which felt like a first of its kind when it came out and had twenty two songs with mostly upcoming artiste, most of whom are now known, went on to get several nominations, and win awards, with singles like ‘Stylee’ (with Tu Face and Mode Nine), and ‘Too Much’ (with Sasha, Bouqui, Kemistry and Blaise), still enjoying maximum airplay!
He also said for him, there is always the need to take the next step, and one of the reasons he started Jimmy’s Jump Off, was so he could bring something refreshing to the table, while still helping to give upcoming artistes a platform. It began as a video mix, but now has live performances, and since it has become a much twitted, and boasted about show, it would seem it has sunk into Naija popular culture!
I was indeed curious to know what a Dj who has access to a million songs at his disposal, listen to, and how he decides what to play at any show. He said he grew up with a father that listened to James Brown and Ebenezer Obey, and a mother that listened to Boney M and Abba! His brothers also had diverse taste, and what he plays at a show, is usually different from what he listens to in his car. His mixes at a club are usually a blend of what he thinks the audience should listen to, and what they want! And since he has been forced to play a song at gun-point before, i suppose he sure is a man that listens to the people!
What other fun things did i discover about Dj Jimmy Jatt?
He is more comfortable standing up, even when the interviewer is sitting ( and he did the rest of the interview on his feet)
He is more in love with his wife (whom he met at a club) now, than when he first met her!
He truly is a sweetheart and a great man!

Don’t worry folks! Dj Jimmy Jatt and i did not leave asa outside for too long! She joined us and Dj Jimmy Jatt (real name JIMMY AMOO), became the interviewer for a few minutes!!!

If you listen to her music, you might have already guessed what asa would come across as in person.
I cant say this was my first time of meeting her, but it was in a different way, and as she sat down, i thought to myself, “better not mess this one up”!
It was easy interviewing her though! If you ask, she will answer. Straightforward, no punches pulled!

We began with the easy ones first! Her album which was released in .. is still making a massive impact now and even still getting her nominations! What did she think about that!
She says at the time of making the album, all she wondered was if people would like it, but she thinks in the end, it comes down to the fact that when she made/makes music, her focus in the music itself, telling her stories and discovering herself, and not ulterior motives like fame or music. She also admitted that she is a very shy and quiet person who gets surprised when people recognise her.
We do hope she is ready for a lot of surprises then because she is one of the most visually recognised artistes from Nigeria!

A quick music break had Top Radio’s in-house deejay (DJ GQ) playing, while Dj Jimmy, asa, Janet (her manager) and myself had a lot of fun with off air gist! We mainly kept grilling Jimmy Jatt about love, and knowing ‘The One’
Once we went back on air, it was time to tackle those rumours!
The most recent story on asa was that she had been arrested at Heathrow for being in possession of cocaine.
Her presence in Nigeria (and in Nigeria at the time of the news breaking) was proof enough that that was false, but she categorically denied those rumours, saying she was at home, having a relaxed time with her family, when the calls started coming in. She said she was hurt and angry, and clarified while she was at it, that she was not a lesbian, and was just a quiet person who truly liked to keep her life private. She said when she did get married and have children, she would love to keep even that, private! I love the way she expresses herself, and the way she pronounces certain words with both an emphasis and a clipped tone! I love that she is all about the music, for even when we were off air, she would get lost in it, and i love that after all is said and done, it all boils down to an artiste who is truly truly, all about the art itself.
She has performed on various stages around the world, mainly because she loves to travel and loves to perform! But she says the Lagos/Nigerian crown connect to the music, and the Paris crowd demands high standards of you! She asked Dj Jimmy Jatt about the seeming monotony in Nigerian music, saying we are respected worldwide, but there will be a burn out if the deejays are not experimental, and if we do not have different genres of music. Dj Jimmy and herself also treated the listeners to proverbs in their own language with Jimmy going simple, and asa singing a line from her collaboration with 9ice on ‘Pete Pete’

Speaking of collabos, i wanted to know how she decides whom to collaborate with. She usually has to like the person, and there has to be a message. When asked by a fan if she would collaborate with Terry G or Timaya, she said why not, if the message is one they need to get out. She also admitted she needs to collaborate with more female artistes, and she lamented that when it comes to the music scene, more had to be done in terms of female presence.
It was a nice simple chat from start to finish, and by the time we literally had to run out of the studio, the listeners and i had come away knowing a lot more about Dj Jimmy Jatt and the eagle, asa. For me, the interview helped me love and appreciate them more, and since Jimmy is working on Tha Definition part deux, and since asa has said she is looking towards a summer release for her new album which will of course have Cobhams producing some tracks though she is open to working with other producers, i’ll be holding my breath!

Till then, i will have ‘Too Much’ and ‘Bibanke’ on repeat!

By the way, asa likes CON.tra.diction!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Love is...

Some love quickly
They hardly take time to breathe before they sail
Some love hard
Its all or nothings, have or have nots
Some love fast
One minute they are sane, and then they are not
But with all, love never lasts

Love comes softly
It does not ask why, now from whence you came
Love is safe and secure, calm and reassuring
Love loves even when it couldn’t
Love hurts even when it shouldn’t

Love is the sum of all fears
Its light, life and karma

Monday, January 4, 2010

We Think You Should Know!

Hi guys!
Welcome to the New Year... that is, if you haven’t got tired of it already!

So 2010 promises to be fun, and we thought we should run some things by you!

THESE GENES sickle-cell project which has been doing work in the background quietly in 2009, will be making noise in 2010! Please click on the link below to join the group on facebook for regular updates!
First event March, noise starts now!

All you coca-cola addicts out there can join the facebook group here!
Its all about the love for that drink mehn!

With three singles released just as 2009 wrapped up, CON.tra.diction is poised to make 2010 her own!
Please join her facebook group!
Listen out for her singles on any of the radio stations, but if you can listen online, or would like to read a review of the singles, then please check this link out!
She is also on twitter
And on Reverbnation!

Dont say we did not tell you o!

s.h.a.r.e fans, this is your year!
Please join the facebook group to catch updates on facebook!
You can also check the blog from time to time
The calendar for 2010 is up, and there are at least two events a month this year!
To make things easier for you, you could register to get updates straight to your phone! There is a service charge for this and to find out more, please send a text to 08023066252!

So what else have we missed?
We are still up for charity
and we love Zapphaire Events!
and please check out our blogs!

s.h.a.r.e monday movies!

Hey guys!
Hope you are not too grumpy and ticked off that the holidays are over?!
It was a semi-long one, haba!

Well, you can keep that holiday feel by joining s.h.a.r.e for a movie today!
Its s.h.a.r.e Monday Movies, and we do this evey first monday!

Meeting time is 5pm (helep us try not to do naija time, u hear!), and meet point is the galleria!Where specifically? depends on tiem you come
ha ha ha

Ill be the girl in the pink s.h.a.r.e tshirt!

Our movie options are
AVATAR for 5.10pm
2012 for 7.30pm

I know where we are leaning, but it depends on all of us!!!

So please send us a text to the official s.h.a.r.e line to confirm so we know whom to look out for!

Movie tickets for Mondays at the Galleria - N1000
You also get popcorn and a drink

The good news is, if you wear a s.h.a.r.e teeshirt, we will pay for your ticket!!!

So let us know!