Showing posts from December, 2016

Cowboy Snippets: Igoni Barret's childhood reading experiences

Igoni Barret was featured in the Guardian (UK) earlier this year and recalled his childhood reading experiences:

'For many years I only read whatever I found at home: my mother’s romance and detective and cowboy novels, and the motley books my absent father had left behind. Even the few books I borrowed from friends’ houses (and sometimes stole, like ER Braithwaite’s To Sir, With Love – sorry, Remi) usually belonged to their parents.'

Cowboy Snippets: 'He joined a Gang called the "Cowboys" ...'

From a tribute to the actor Wale Ogunyemi (1939-2001)

In Ibadan, Wale was very rascally, he carried over his love for masquerades from his town to Ibadan and he was always following masquerades all over Ibadan.
Wale Ogunyemi started acting plays when he was in Standard One in Agurodo. He played the part of a chorus in the play “Adam and Eve.”
In Ibadan, he joined the Gang called the “Cowboys” and on Easter Mondays they would dress likes Texan cowboys and go to picnics and do all sorts of things that would attract people. They danced and re-enacted scenes they saw in the cinemas. Each time Wale went to see a movie, he would say to himself, “One day I too will become an actor”.
Apart from his activities as a youth and the kind of life he was exposed to by his family, which showed that he had always been involved in everything dramatic in one form or the other; he came into the theatre by accident.

(my emphasis)

Just to help us with the chronology – Ogunyemi attended the University of Ibandan in 1967 to study drama. Therefore, the above paragraph should be referring to the mid- to late-1960s, according to his Wikipedia page.

D.Ch.E. Ugwuegbu (1977): The Stop Sign is for the Other Guy

The other day I stumbled across a study of Nigerian drivers that had been published by a member of the Psychology Department of the University of Ibadan, Denis Chimaeze E. Ugwuegbu. It was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (Vol. 62, Issue 5, 574-77) in 1977 (The side I linked to links through to the journey but the article is behind a paywall).Today I finally got my hands on the hard copy.

I generally don't have much patience for psychological studies – I don't quite know how to properly read the statistical analyses that they present – but I liked the title of this one: 'The Stop Sign is for the Other Guy.' I know, I know. This makes me sound incredibly superficial. In this case, however, the headline kept its promise and I found some well put observations that will probably make it into the working paper on cowboys on Nigerian roads that I must have mentioned before.

Upcoming Publication: Fragile Legacies

The next year looks to be an interesting one for the kinds of publications that I take an interest in. I already mentioned Kenda Mutongi's book on the Matatus of Nairobi (to be published June 2017) and now I just stumbled across another interesting book to be released in 2017. It doesn't seem to be advertised on the publisher's page (or at least, Amazon lists Giles as the publishers) yet but here is its description from Amazon (yes, I know the company is evil but … it's so useful now that I don't live in a major city).

Fragile Legacies: The Photographs of Solomon Osagie Alonge

29. August 2017, by Amy J. Staples (Autor), Flora S. Kaplan (Autor)

Fragile Legacies showcases the fascinating photographs of Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge (1911-1994), Nigeria's premier twentieth-century photographer and the first official photographer to the Royal Court of the Kingdom of Benin. Alonge's historic photographs document the rituals, pageantry, and regalia of the Benin Court for over a half-century, and provide rare insight into the history of Nigeria from an insider's perspective. With important contributions by leading Nigerian writers, this volume examines the transformations of colonialism in Africa, and more specifically Nigeria, within the context of global capitalism in the early to mid-twentieth century.

As far as I can tell Tam Fiofori is one of the contributors – yes, the Tam Fiofori I repeatedly quoted here back in the day of Next Magazine and its art and culture columns. Other contributors are Jide Adenyi-Jones, Daniel Inneh (former minister of Edo State), Kokunre Agbontaen-Eghafona, and George Osodi.

The editors (or at least, I assume that's why they are mentioned above), Amy J. Staples and Flora S. Kaplan are based at the National Museum of African Art and the New York University respectively.

If that doesn't sound promising!