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Kunle Afolayan

Miriam Makeba Bypasses Nigeria…Goes To Belgium

Miriam Makeba: MAMA AFRICA THE MUSICAL will be back on tour before September 2018. It is official.

The musical, written and directed by Niyi Coker Jr., the Nigerian born professor of Theatre and Cinema Arts at the University of Missouri SL in the United States, will be performed in Belgium and The Netherlands sometime between June and December this year.

“We are wrapping up discussions with all parties to allow this to happen”, Coker said on the sidelines of the IREP Documentary Film Festival, last Wednesday.

Miriam Makeba tells the story of activist and Grammy award-winning musician Miriam Makeba, outlining her role in opposing apartheid, her varied musical career, betrayals, failed marriages and death of her only daughter while in exile.

Set in Africa, the USA and Belgium, the production is in collaboration with (the family) ZM Makeba Trust, and its wholly owned exclusive licensee Siyandisa Music (PTY) Ltd.

It was last performed in Cape Town in February 2017 and was expected to travel to London, United Kingdom in March 2017, en route to venues in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, in May 2017. But London never happened, and the news of the umpteenth xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa annulled the planned Nigerian show.

Thandi Swaartbooi and  Zakes Nkosi choreographed the musical for the maiden show of the 40-man cast with an international crew at The Great Hall, University of Western Cape, South Africa from May 25-29, 2016.

It later proceeded on tour of the USA at The Anhuesser Busch Theatre in the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Centre, University of Missouri Campus, St. Louis (September 15—18,,2016); and Skirball Performing Art Centre, New York City on October 3, 2016.

After these three runs in the academic circuits in South Africa and the USA, the musical was repackaged by Z Mirage for wider public showing, starting with the February 2017 run at the Artscape in Cape Town.

Kitso Lynn Lelliott: Ordering Is Everything

Kitso Lynn Lelliot’s three channel video installation, After The Ships Have Sailed, on view at the 16/16 on Victoria Island, plays games with the sense of sight.

These are surreal pieces of work, where an omniscient image wafts in and out of camera. She emerges from strong currents of water and walks on land. She appears in the courtyard of a slave fort and in microseconds shows up on the terrace of a palatial building.

There are flowers travelling fast in the strong water current. The picture segues to a vivid one of colourful plants fluttering in the wind. There’s no opportunity to listen to the narrative because the sound infrastructure doesn’t work, and the ceaseless chatter of exhibition guests on this opening day of the show hardly allows the concentration that the work deserves.

Lelliot, from Botswana, is half of a two person joint exhibition featuring the final projects undertaken during a three-month residency at the Arthouse Foundation in Lagos.

The curator, Joseph Gergel, describes the woman in the video as a time traveller, “both as a ghost and an ancestor, navigating through time, picking up fragments and traces as she contests the histories of the spaces she inhabits”. 

This is one work for which the curator’s explanation doesn’t matter; as the multiple layering of the images and the seductive sequencing of the photography draw the viewer into an absorbing conversation. In art, ordering is everything.

A Tuesday Evening At Accra’s 233 Jazz

Nowhere in the entire city of Lagos compares with the 233 Jazz Bar and Grill in Accra. Here’s an outdoor venue that features live band performances on at least five out seven days of the week and has a respectable number of guests in attendance every evening.

It has done so for all of five years running. But it’s not so much the periodicity of the live performance as the consistent inclusion of Jazz in the offering.

This is an issue that Lagos City struggles with. There has been no venue that could conveniently provide a Jazz menu all night, without the organisers, or musicians, pandering to the pressure to dilute it. Last Tuesday evening, Frank Kissi’s Five man Electric Band was on duty.

They’ve been playing here every Tuesday evening for five years and this outing was devoted to swing jazz, the strand of jazz music popularised by American soldiers in Europe during the second world war.

Even though a small band, the sparring between the base guitarist Ben Asare and the pianist Nicolas Mettle created a tempo that simulated a rapturous sound of a big band. It was heady stuff.

Calendar: Drum Journalists Meet Brats at Freedom Park, Art Night In Lekki, and other Details

The IREP Documentary Festival rounds up this afternoon with an art stampede on Nollywood at 3.30pm. The conversation includes the launch of Inside Nollywood, a collection of scholarly essays edited by Sola Fosudo and Tunji Azeez. IREP kicked off on Wednesday evening with the screening of Akin Omotosho’s The Colour of Wine.

A standing room only crowd applauded Ayo Adewunmi’s Kalakuta Republic on Friday evening. Rhapsody In White, Pelu Awofeso’s documentary on the Eyo Festival, generated a robust Q&A yesterday (Saturday) afternoon. Today’s schedule of programmes starts with Isiah Pittman’s Froze in My Clothes at 11am.

There are also Larry Tung’s Children of The Drum; The Legacy of Black Journalists in South Africa Under Apartheid at 12.15pm and The Good Ones by Molly Blank at 1.15pm……..

This evening, at the Freedom Park, Toyin Oshinaike and the Park Theatre Group present Brats and The Maid of The White House, a stage play devised and work shopped by Oshinaike himself….

At the Upbeat Centre in Lekki Phase 1, this evening from 7pm, Rele Gallery is presenting 60 works to the general public for the very first time on the platform of Art Box, organizers of Art Night … Kunle Afolayan’s Kulturcentric, an outdoor, poolside programme of live music, dance and drama skits, is scheduled for Friday March 30, from 7pm, at the Airport Hotel in Ikeja ….

At Terrakulture on March 30, is a presentation of Efua Theodora Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa, to mark the World Theatre Day….. The exhibition UNMASKED, by SMO Gallery, featuring the work of seven female artists, continues at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi until May 4, 2018.

The show includes paintings, photography, digital art, ceramic by Nengi Omuku, Koromone Koroye, Nyancho NwaNri, Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Queen Nwaneri, Reha Shishodia and Somi Nwandu, all based in Nigeria…..

From April 7 to 14, 2018, Omenka Gallery will present NOSTALGIA: Glimpses from Diaspora, an exhibition of recent work in mixed media, acrylics and oils on canvas by Kunle Adegborioye …. At MILIKI in Victoria Island, Miabo Enyadike’s exhibition, Inspire, continues until March 29.

Gallery hours are between 3pm and 6pm daily….The painter Rauf Thompson will be exhibiting a collection entitled Beyond Drawing and Painting, at the National Council for Art and Culture, National Theatre, from April 27 to April 30.

• Compiled By Staff of Festac News Press Agency


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