Onoshe Nwabuikwu’s Airtime comes to YNaija! Keeping an eye on Nigerian television and radio.
It’s a woman’s world
If a jingle could be attached to this write-up, it would be Beyoncé’s ‘Run the World (Girls)’. I know it doesn’t always feel or appear as if girls are on top of or running anything. And there may be statistics to disprove this ‘girls running the world’ claim. For the purposes of this write-up, girls and women mean the same thing.
I saw three female musicians the other day on TV and I had some happy thoughts. The girls: Omawumi Megbele, Tiwa Savage and Waje (Aituaje-Iruobe) were on MNET’s ‘53 Extra’ dining out with co-presenter Eku Edewor as part of Valentine programming.
Watching and listening to them talk reminded me just how far women have come and how well they appear to be doing musically. There was a time there weren’t these many gifted female singers on the scene. Now, I only mention these three girls to represent other female musicians. And there’s quite a list. Look at the winners of recent (music) talent shows. For instance, the last two or three editions Project Fame West Africa were won by girls.
I’m impressed by the new crop of female singers/performers, with their talent and the seeming effortlessness of their art. I also like the fact that they seem to understand the image/branding, call it the show part of the music business. As we know, it’s not enough to be blessed with talent. In these parts, you have to be (almost) a Jack of all trades just to keep up.
As the world celebrates the International Day for Women (March 8), let’s celebrate our women/girls who are running things in music.
When Cool is not so cool
By Emmanuel Osanedum
All the clichés about the problems of Nigerian Radio came to bear the last time, one week ago, that I found myself on Cool FM one otherwise beautiful evening. You’d have to be one of those weird accidents of nature that actively believe Radio is a medium solely for advertising to have had fun listening, over a period of almost half an hour, to an unrelenting cascade of advertising. Everything, from Star Quest to D’banj’s Live Nation concert; one couldn’t wait for the advertising to end. And when it did, I wish it hadn’t because what followed was the most inane radio conversations I have been unlucky to listen to, and in Nigerian radio, there are so many of those, it’s an achievement to stand out.
Where to start? There was the most inane riff of the ‘Red wine’ UB40 song, there was the awkward conversation about the male presenter’s apology to a friend for missing his birthday and then it turns out that the said story is a parable and it’s not really a birthday he missed and it wasn’t really his friend, and it wasn’t really a man, and when this same presenter used to be young, his father used to give him alcohol to drink. If you are lost, then welcome because you’re in good company.
Between both of them, there was a cacophony of annoying foreign accents to last three mediocre Radio stations. “You gat people”, ‘sayyyyy’ instead of ‘say’ and on and on. The show’s name is either Night Café or the Goodnight Kiss Show, depending on which of the presenters you asked.
And why is it ‘powered by music,’ Cool FM’s new pay off? Hasn’t that been Soundcity’s for almost a decade now?
From PDP’s Edo gubernatorial primaries
When I found myself on AIT Saturday February 25 afternoon, I was drawn by the take-charge- host/emcee of the PDP gubernatorial primaries in Edo State. I heard him saying ‘demo-crassy’ and I thought, ‘no wonder we are so crass’. But I’m told that even some native speakers of the English language pronounce it as ‘demo-crassy’.
As subsequent events showed, neither demo-‘crassy’ nor its (demo) ‘crazy’ cousin has truly taken root in these parts. The emcee insisted on being in charge of every aspect while somewhere in the audience Mr Fix It, Tony Anenih looked on as did many party faithful. I remember another primary, a few years ago when he apologised for the stupendously lackluster Lucky Igbinedion even though four years into his eight year rule, Anenih had declared there was no vacancy in the Edo government house.
A fight almost broke out at some point because a confused (perhaps not literate) delegate turned to a fellow delegate for help with voting instead of the party agents and some people wanted to take matters into their own hands.
The fact, as it later turned out, that the man calling the shots was Nyesom Wike, the minister of state for Education, only added to my ‘wonderment’. Just looking at him, not many would associate him by a long mile with education. With a name that must have ‘spoof-ers’ in seventh heaven (‘nyem something’ comes to mind), the minister of state butchered Edo and Yoruba names mercilessly. Why did he have to do it himself? Ivie became ‘Eevee’. As for Airhiavbere, well… Even I, an Edo State citizen have to dig deep for that one. What about Osariemen Osunbor which appears simple enough? The names got mangled. This must be part of the reason Prof Osunbor reportedly walked out of the venue. I think that instead of ex-aspirants like Imansuagbon and co suing the PDP because of the outcome of the primaries, they should seek some kind of redress for the way their names were ‘Wike-dly’ manhandled.
The winner to face Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole in July is General Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (rtd). One thing is sure, whoever wins, more tongue biting/twisting ahead.
“Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar pleads with federal government to eradicate “Almajiri” scourge in northern Nigeria”.
-AIT news headlines, Wednesday February 29, 2 am-ish
Come Again? Again? Or as ‘Bedel’ people would say: ‘Na today?’ In American speak, you’d have: Really! I’m trying to wrap my head around the idea that ‘almajiris’ scourge or no scourge can be eradicated like polio and malaria. Not that we have even managed to achieve that.
How does eradication begin: More money from the federation account? I see Sanusi Lamido nodding heartily and the chief servant governor agreeing as heartily. Free education? Or strict enforcement of four children per family? How? One is tempted to lament: ‘Poor federal government’. From where I’m seated, the Sultan appears to be in a much better position.
“Ibori and accomplices will still be tried in Nigeria says EFCC”.
-AITNews headlines, Wednesday February 29, 2 am-ish.
Is this a leap year joke? Isn’t it enough that the British justice system (which doesn’t recognise chieftaincy titles, eldership or godfather-ship of certain political parties) has exposed our insincerity at fighting corruption? At the very least, EFCC should pretend it contributed something to the process of Ibori’s arrest and guilty plea. Meanwhile, this statement was preceded by the EFCC saying on account of the Ibori guilty plea that the Nigerian judiciary needed urgent reform. Will this reform come fast enough before a new trial begins?
I see there’s a need for the ‘new’ EFCC to (try to) distance itself from the era of the designer glasses- wearing Farida Waziri. But the way to go is to focus on new cases/charges. After all, Ibori is not the only money-laundering ex-governor. Why not deliver on these ones instead of reminding us of the EFCC’s toothlessness?
If the EFCC really feels a need to do something, let it recover the $250m Ibori has agreed to launder. The London Metropolitan Police has helpfully broken that down to $38 per person that lived in Delta State at that time definitely not including those women who followed Ibori to Kaduna Court half-naked in the name of support. You can be sure that if the Nigerian trial does take place, we’ll have more people ‘showing/baring’ their support.
“Eagles in high spirit ahead of Rwanda game”.
-Channels news headlines, Wednesday February 29, 8. 44 am-ish.
Let’s hope they remain in high spirits after the match.