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Keeping up with the Joneses

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Queen of Katwe. PHOTO: ew.com

Queen of Katwe. PHOTO: ew.com

Ignore the title, it just seemed like as good a way as any to get your attention, after all we are all obsessed with that idea: Whether it’s to pat ourselves on the back in congratulations because we have evolved to a place where we don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks or because we are so ahead of the Joneses, that they need to re-work the phrase to reflect our names and statuses appropriately.

The temptation when the weekend comes around, is to strive to out-do the next person. This happens to me on a very subconscious level resulting in a very edited version of what my weekend was really like when i tell the story to my colleagues.  It’s ok to not have an earth-shattering revelation every weekend, or to not have travelled to the most exotic places or eaten the most decadent meals. In fact, more often than not, the best weekends are about life’s simple pleasures, so this weekend here’s a guide as to what those might (or might not) be.

From now till the end of the year, the box office is heating up, and with new options in cinema experiences popping up all over the country, it’s a good idea to head out and watch something which may move, inspire or simply entertain you.

In the cinemas this week are the films: Inferno and Queen of Katwe which I already checked out and because I am proudly African (and a woman), we will start with the Queen. The Idea of a Disney movie starring Lupita N’yongo both excited and worried me, because on some level I do not believe that a non-African film company can (or will) make a film that accurately details the nuances of everyday life on my continent. Think about it: the sharp contrast of abject poverty and modern conveniences; the sounds, smells, laughter, and tears. Add to that, the colourful and textured vibrancy of life you are likely to find in any and every neighbourhood which still has pot-holed, dusty roads that have not yet acquired the dull grey finesse of westernisation.

Queen of Katwe proved me wrong in the most pleasant way. Heartfelt and authentic performances were delivered by an entirely African cast resulting in a movie that takes you on a well planned journey through worry, discovery, joy, determination misadventure and success. All the appropriate emotional stops in a film, Quuen of Katwe scales it and ends on such a beautifully poignant note that you’re left thanking the good Lord for your Parents and all they have done and continue to do for you. My advice is you take your kids, neighbours kids and any child you can grab hold of to go and see this film which is a story of courage, love and perseverance.

Still talking movies, Inferno is a movie on a different tangent entirely and like its name implies, it’s got lots of flames and raised pulses. This Dan Brown book turned film is appropriately pacey but might leave you behind after the 100th twist and turn. A compelling story told with lots of suspense and chases. However, if it’s ground-breaking, mind-boggling stuff you are looking for, this is not the film for you. If you need something to watch on a Sunday afternoon where you just want to take your mind off reality and watch some people get shot at and blown up along the way, then consider Inferno.

For the couch potatoes looking to get up and go, don’t worry I have got recommendations for you too. This Saturday, Jonathan Butler, Mi Casa and Arese are all going to be jamming together. (It’s ok, you can Google them) And they are all performing at A Night At The Kazbah brought to you by Smooth98.1. If you are a fan of African music and hate spending money on loud, noisy concerts where artistes with their jeans around their ankles run back and forth on a stage, lip syncing badly to songs you can barely comprehend the lyrics, then I recommend you attend this show. It promises to be an incredibly classy affair and would take place at the Federal Palace Hotel, VI. I can tell you that it’s going to be arguably the concert of the year (and yes, I remember that ASA also had her concert this year and she was a guest last year at this concert) So don’t say I don’t hint you on the coolest gigs in town. Check out the site (http://smooth981.fm/anightatthekazbah/) or buy your tickets at the door on the night if there would be any left. Good luck!

Just in case you are too late and all the tickets for that event are gone, don’t worry there’s something very cool taking place at the Lagos City Hall on the 30th of October 2016, and that is Falana Unconver’d- The Finale. Do you remember a few months back when I mentioned the artiste Falana would be throwing pop-up concerts all over town? Well this is the last one and it will be big, grand and iconic at the same time, I guarantee you. Diminutive in stature but blessed with a voice that echoes as though through mountains, her performances are always a delightful discovery and her music so compelling, it might result in a dependency of the most agreeable sort. Feel free to find her online(http://www.falanamusic.com/uncoverd/index.php) and enjoy this musical discovery in the heart of Lagos.

It’s not just going to be about music this weekend though, I had a chance to check out a food spot which someone recommended. The place is called MINT. Located on Grace Anjous Street in Lekki Phase 1, it has the sort of elegant single name that makes you subconsciously straighten your clothes. When you walk in, its certainly not as daunting and crisp as the name implies but it is clean and has a simple lay out. Their music choice is slightly out of sync with the décor. On the day I visited, Sisqo’s infamous “Thong song” was blaring through the speakers at 2pm while waiting for my warm couscous salad to appear. After waiting a respectable 20 minutes for my meal, it arrived without the added shrimp i requested. It’s one of the more annoying aspects of service, when waiting staff are in such a hurry to take your order, that they actually forget it. Eventually, the shrimp part of my order arrives and after munching on some, I realized the meal was not bad after all. Certainly not a gastronomical revelation but not a disappointment either. Just a lot of couscous and not as much salad or shrimp. Still worth a try as another meal might have been more ideal.

But don’t worry i won’t leave you on such drab note: for the night crawlers and wannabe bar-hoppers, you should definitely check out Bar Bar in Lekki Phase one. The aptly named Barbershop and Bar (as in drinks and food bar) plays an eclectic selection of music till late on Saturday nights and offers amazing margaritas all night for N1, 000. It’s a pretty decent way to round off a Saturday night and even if its all you do with your weekend, it will earn you cool points and give you a story to tell when Monday rolls around again.

So as usual, remember to Carpe that diem until next time! Have a brilliant weekend!



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