Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hausa weddings...Married Away 2

I have previously done a post about Northern weddings and the many 'commas' and 'question marks' generally associated with them. My last post was Married Away: Read here. Religion and culture predominant in the North permits polygamy so I have not right to criticize since half of my extended family is Muslim so I hope anyone can understand where I'm coming from. I'm talking about politicized weddings with ridiculous dowries, asoebi, henna, and jewelry using money that should have been spent building schools and roads ( instead of weddings that will crash as soon as hubby loses his seat in power).

Today, I read Ebuka Obi-Uchendu's Thisday newspaper column, Contrast, which I absolutely love. I wasn't a huge fan when he was on Big Brother Nigeria (reality show) but since he started writing, I've been hooked to the Glitterati section of the newspaper every Sunday. Now being abroad, with no access to the hard copies, I read his articles online.

The last he wrote was about Yar Adua and Babangida's daughters marrying one governor after the other (two of the ladies left their first husbands to be second or third wives to the polygamous governors and one is currently the fourth wife). He started with Malia and Sasha Obama and went on to make a comparison to Nigeria's version of those cuties. Sorry, only Governors past the age of 45 years stand a chance with our President's daughters. Imagine me marrying my Dad's age mate in the name of politics. Religion is just an excuse- I might be your fourth wife but not with a 25 year age difference.

Ebuka writes, "Still talking about Presidents and their daughters, it seems like there has never been a better time to be a daughter of Nigeria’s first family; the YarAdua’s. Or if you are looking at things from a political angle then it might also be a wonderful time to be a Nigerian governor. I am almost certain that there has never been a similar case anywhere else in the world, of a sitting President of a country giving out two of his daughters in marriage to serving governors or premiers or mayors in that country.In 2007, just a couple of months after the new president and governors were sworn in, Nigerians got the news that one of our new president’s daughters would be getting married to Governor Usman Saidu Nasamu Dakingari of Kebbi State. It was a special occasion as far as most people were concerned and Nigerians were watching to see if she would become the official First Lady of the State. All that was settled when just about a month after the wedding that held on the 30th of June 2007, Hajiya Zainab YarAdua-Dakingari, received her mother, the Nigerian First Lady, Hajiya Turai YarAdua as she came on a one day visit to Birnin Kebbi to flag off the 2007 polio immunization ceremony. It was definitely a unique occasion as Nigerians were definitely witnessing a mother-daughter relationship on a political front for the first time.About a year later, another daughter of an ex Nigerian military president, Ms Aisha Babangida, followed Zainab YarAdua’s lead as she got married to Governor Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi of Zamfara State. It came as a bit of a surprise to many people at the time because she was going into a polygamous marriage at a time when her brother was also about to take a second wife; mostly because they grew up in a monogamous home. But their religion allowed for it and if the parties were okay with it, then no one had the right to question.But if 2007 and 2008 had their own versions of presidential daughter weddings, then 2009 was not about to be left out. Another high profile wedding just held in Katsina State where Bauchi State Governor Malam Isa Yuguda got married to another daughter of Nigeria’s first family; Hajiya Nafisa YarAdua. While a lot of people have gone on to do a research on how many more daughters the YarAdua’s have, and the probability of them marrying other State governors, I am reflecting more on the idea of marriage as a whole and what it really means to me in particular.... I may not get my chance with either Sasha or Malia Obama seeing that the age difference is a lot; plus there is no guarantee that President Obama would want any of his daughters to come back to his ancestral continent. Neither do I think I have a chance with any of the YarAdua’s since judging by precedence, I would have to be a governor to get there."

Read the full article on

Courtesy: Thisday Online.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Problem with MTV Africa (Late post)

Africa is a frigging huge diverse continent is just wrong (as argued by my Afro History Prof) to even use the term "Africa."

This post is inspired by the MAMA- MTV Africa Music Awards. The nominees were mostly Nigerian and South African with random artists thrown into the nomination list. What ever happened to music from the Francophone world. Given, they don't speak English but we all enjoy their music and the world enjoys theirs even more than Anglophone music.

I know that viewers voted with Nigeria's mega populations, Nigerian artists were bound to win but some artists shouldn't have been nominated in the first place. I love 9ice but I've NEVER heard a Hip-hop song from his mouth. I suggest that D'banj be nominated for best Rock-Metal artist, Tuface for best Jazz singer and Jeremiah Gyang for best rapper.

What of Angelique Kidjo, Youssou N'dour, and other classics who have Grammy nominations and wins (and Africans aren't even acknowledging them) shouldn't there at least be a serious category that isn't all about young musicians? Even Tina Turner and Chaka Khan are still getting awards and presenting at awards. Maybe MAMA will on time realize how to make their awards more serious (give them next year!) Add some class and less 'ghettoness' and 'confusion' to make it watchable to other foreign audiences after all we watch AMAs, VMAs and European MTV awards don't we? Why don't we make them watch our without them saying "Damn these Africans didn't learn well after we gave them independence?"

Jeremy Weate's Naija Blog: Why it was Aweful Read the comments too!
Cheta's blog: MTV and Zain Debacle

Everyone knows Gaou (Premier Gaou)- and with the long list of remixes (including Church praise songs), many don't even know the real musicians behind this old song that remains new every time it blasts out of the radio. They are:

Magic System. These guys have been in the business for a while and are not only popular in African but Europe (especially France) as well. You'd notice the use of oyibos in their videos to connect with their diverse fans (unlike Dare's controversial videos that only black Nigerians are watching). Magic System's videos each have more than 1 million hits while so-called MTV Africa's Best acts: Ikechucku, Naeto C, Tuface and Dbanj are still struggling with a few thousand hits on youtube.

Granted, they are new musicians and in the next 10years their videos (shot in South Africa) will finally reach the million viewer mark but the MAMAs should give awards were they are due. Either make the MTV Africa awards about ALL of Africa and be MORE inclusive of ALL of Africa, split the damn awards to Francophone, Luso- and Anglo- Or Nigeria should just have its own MTV awards because other African countries might soon believe we are 419ing the wards to have more than 70% of the nominations. And there are more than 50 other countries in Africa.

I'm posting not as a Nigerian but as an African. I've listened to too much music from outside Nigeria and damn is there some good music. Every time I tell a well-travelled American I'm Nigerian they ask about Fela Kuti and other original 9ja legends not hip-hop Akata wannabe musicians. That's why as soon as Asa came out I heard her songs on a European Blog weeks before any of my 9ja friends heard it. Now my friend in Jamaica is asking me if I know Asa. Imagine?

I've decided to take a break from Storm and Kennis Records and board a musical plane round Africa.

Magic System- Premier Gaou

Longombas from Kenya- Chukua (I love the song and the Kenyan makossa steps)

More Magic System- Ki Dit Mie

Can anyone broaden my African Music Horizon?

Thoughts on MAMA awards?


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