Why Laycon won Big Brother Naija, Saving the Igbo language – the best Nigerian articles of the week

Each week here at YNaija, we round up the best Nigerian writing on the internet, highlighting the stories, profiles, interviews and in-depth reporting that rise above the daily churn.

Here are the ones that caught our attention:


“Sailors Understand Loneliness” – A Week In The Life Of A Naval Sailor  – Hassan Yahaya

Sailors understand loneliness. The hardest part of this job is feeling isolated. At sea, we’re cut off from the rest of the world because there’s no means of communication outside of the official channel. Sometimes, we go as long as two weeks without hearing from family and friends. It’s not like it gets better when we come back to the shore. Naval bases are located around the coastline, which means we’re anchored in a village or slum with a bad mobile network. We also can’t go more than 100 km from our base; we’re stuck with no form of entertainment both on land and at sea.

Nduka Ebube Dike: Pop Culture is Saving Igbo Language – Nduka Ebube Dike

The discourse of conserving culture is usually relegated to academia. Serious men and women have gathered, for years, in conferences and seminars to pontificate — in English Language — about the dearth of speakers of the Igbo Language among today’s youths, and how to change that. But merely talking about conserving a language does not conserve it. Nothing works better than actually speaking the said language. This is why “Ada Mbano” was important; this is why AfricaMagic Igbo is important. When Flavour sings in Igbo or Phyno raps Igbo lines, they reinforce the fact, especially for the young ones, that the Igbo Language is not a dead language. It is alive today, right now, and not antiquated.

Kenneth Gyang: Nigeria’s First Male Director Of A Netflix Original – Tobi Awodipe

I’ve always been the sort of filmmaker that tells hard-hitting stories inspired by the manifesto of Third Cinema which started from South America. I never wanted to tell stories that are one-dimensional, showcasing the so-called one percent of Nigeria (in the mould of Hollywood’s First Cinema). I have respect for people who tell those stories but, for me, the story has to resonate and I think that’s the whole essence of being a filmmaker.

Uche Chika Elumelu on Virtual Filmmaking and Surviving a Pandemic in Nollywood  – Culture Custodian

For an actor and budding filmmaker like Uche Chika Elumelu, the lockdown triggered unimaginable ingenuity. She collaborated with fellow actors and director Olumense and made the cyber short film Atunmarilaka. With zero physical contact, these young actors and filmmakers were able to produce and direct a film exploring the world of the supernatural on a budget less than $10. However this film has raked accolades in such a short time. It has been selected to screen in two international festivals and was a winner of the Union Bank’s Union Rise Challenge–an Instagram challenge set up to reward young people who had risen above the challenges of the pandemic and the mandated lockdown, and had done outstanding, innovative work in their chosen careers.

The 3 reasons Laycon won Big Brother Naija 2020 – Oris Aigbokhaevbolo

Laycon didn’t win because he was exceptionally gifted; he won because he was exceptional in being unexceptional. He was the ordinary guy in an ordinary country.



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