P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Art http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:59:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Tatafo Opens Film Academy http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/tatafo-opens-film-academy/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/17/tatafo-opens-film-academy/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:26:55 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=216445 Versatile entertainer, Helen Paul, also known as Tatafo, has opened a multi-million naira films school named Helen Paul Theatre and Films Academy.

The institution is located along College Road, Ogba, Lagos. The Glo ambassador said the opening of the academy is a dream come true, having nurtured the ambition from childhood.

She described the school as a world of total film and theatre productions, while explaining that her effort is geared towards contributing her own quota to the development of the entertainment sector, and education in general.

•Helen Paul

•Helen Paul

“Right from childhood, I have always looked forward to a day like this –when I will float a school that will help build a better society devoid of charlatans. For some years now, this project has been in the making, and I thank God that it has finally come to stay,” Helen said.

Helen, who is currently running her Ph.D programme in Theatre Arts at the University of Lagos, Akoka, said her academy has been fully equipped with modern facilities that will aid easy learning and consequently make her students rub shoulders with their counterparts anywhere in the world.

Some of the courses offers include Cinematography, Acting, Video Editing, Photography, Dance, Basic Presentation, Costuming & Sewing, Hair Styling, Sound Engineering and Graphics Design.  Aside being a co-host of Jara, a popular programme of M-Net’s Africa Magic, Helen currently presents radio show on Naija 102.7 FM and Metro 97.7 FM. She is also a columnist with the New Telegraph newspaper.

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Nobel Literature Prize to be announced Thursday http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/nobel-literature-prize-to-be-announced-thursday/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/06/nobel-literature-prize-to-be-announced-thursday/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 10:57:19 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=214867 Professor Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986

Professor Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986

The winner of the Nobel Literature Prize will be announced on Thursday, October 9, the Swedish Academy said on Monday.

Its permanent secretary Peter Englund will make the much-awaited announcement in Stockholm at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT).

The date for the literature prize is revealed only a few days in advance but is generally the first Thursday of Nobel week, while the dates for the other prizes are known several months ahead of time.

The Nobel season kicked off Monday with the announcement of the medicine prize, and will be followed by the physics prize on Tuesday and chemistry on Wednesday.

The peace prize winner is scheduled to be announced on Friday, and the economics prize on Monday, October 13.

In line with tradition, the Swedish academy gave no indication of its choice for the literature prize.

It never reveals the names it is considering, and its deliberations are sealed for 50 years.

This year’s favourites include often touted Japanese author Haruki Murakami — with betting agent Ladbrokes offering 5/1 odds — and Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich, another regular favourite among Nobel pundits.

Stockholm-based literary critics also suggested it was time for the academy to award an African writer such as Kenyan novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o or the Somali author Nuruddin Farah.

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Thieves steal $7.6 mn Degas painting from Cyprus pensioner http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/thieves-steal-7-6-mn-degas-painting-from-cyprus-pensioner/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/thieves-steal-7-6-mn-degas-painting-from-cyprus-pensioner/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:12:11 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213990 Thieves have stolen a painting by French master Edgar Degas valued at six million euros ($7.6 million) from the home of a 70-year old Greek Cypriot, Cyprus police said on Tuesday.

The painting, entitled “Ballerina adjusting her slipper”, was taken on Monday from the home in the island’s second city Limassol and was not insured, a police spokeswoman told AFP.

Art theft is rare in Cyprus and it is believed to be one of the most valuable paintings ever stolen on the Mediterranean island.

Stolen: 'Ballerina adjusting her slipper' by Edgar Degas in 1885

Stolen: ‘Ballerina adjusting her slipper’ by Edgar Degas in 1885

The thieves also made off with other items — seven gold watches and three gold opera glasses — worth a total of 157,000 euros ($200,000).

Police said they had arrested a 44-year old Greek Cypriot in connection with the case and were seeking two other suspects — a South African and a Russian. It is believed the trio knew the victim.

Degas (1834-1917) is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism.

The French artist is famous for his paintings, sculptures and drawings, more than half of which depict dancers.

The 61 x 47 centimetre (24 x 18.5 inch) painting that the thieves stole is one of a number of studies that Degas made between 1873 and 1874 of dancers adjusting their shoes, shown in different poses and from different angles.

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Lucky Esene Shines in Malaysia http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/21/lucky-esene-shines-in-malaysia/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/21/lucky-esene-shines-in-malaysia/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:42:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207959 Daniels Ekugo

Nigerian scriptwriter, Lucky Esene has emerged category winner at the just concluded Malaysia Film Feathers Awards, MFF Awards.

•Lucky Esene

•Lucky Esene

Lucky won ‘The Best Local Scriptwriter Award’ and thanked God for the inspiration. He was also full of praises for King Asu, his mentor who tutored him in creative art.

“I’m proudly Nigerian with love for the Yoruba culture. I so much respect, honour and appreciate this culture which influences my aspirations and experience. I believe I can express myself better in telling our stories through that medium. It took me two years of research and writing to get my scripts ready,” said Lucky who also claim that growing up in Lagos also influences his work.

MFF Awards holds July every year as part of the series of events leading to 31 August Independence holiday in Malaysia.

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2,000 young Nigerians trained in German Language http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/28/2000-young-nigerians-trained-in-german-language/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/28/2000-young-nigerians-trained-in-german-language/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:24:44 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204877 Marc-Andre Schmachtel Photo: Google+

Marc-Andre Schmachtel
Photo: Google+

The Director of Goethe Institute in Nigeria, Marc-Andre Schmachtel, on Monday said the institute has trained 2, 000 young Nigerians in German Language since its inception in 2011.

Schmachtel told the NAN in Lagos that there had also been a growing interest of Nigerians in learning the language.

“Between year 2011 and 2013, there has been an increase in the number of young Nigerians that sought training in the speaking of German Language from the institute.

“Within this period, there was an increase in their number from a 10 to 15 per cent.

“There are already more indications from state governments and parents wanting their children to come to the institute to learn German Language,” he said.

Schmactel said Nigerians’ knowledge of the language would assist them in studying and working in Germany.

He noted that the institute would introduce the learning of German language to some secondary schools in Lagos State in September as a pilot project.

He attributed the growing interest in learning the Language to the present free education opportunities in Germany.

“These young Nigerians and their parents seem to have realised the high cost of getting education in the US and UK today.

“They have started going to places where their education financial requirements are low compared with what presently obtains in the US and UK,” he said.

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Tributes from friends and foes as Soyinka turns 80 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/tributes-from-friends-and-foes-as-soyinka-turns-80/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/tributes-from-friends-and-foes-as-soyinka-turns-80/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:08:27 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202773 Nigeria’s literary icon Wole Soyinka turned 80 on Sunday, with friends and foes alike paying tribute to the first African to win the Nobel literature prize.

Dozens of literary and artistic events have been staged across the country over 80 days leading up to the birthday of the poet, novelist, playwright and social activist, whose works often satirised Nigeria’s society and harshly criticised corrupt and inept leaders.

But such is Soyinka’s popularity and stature that many of the targets of his criticism put aside past differences to honour the man who, with his trademark white afro and matching bushy goatee, is a beloved figure in Africa’s most populous nation.

Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

President Goodluck Jonathan praised his ardent critic in a statement on Saturday, hailing Soyinka’s “life-long dedication and indefatigable commitment to using his acclaimed genius and talents, not only in the service of the arts, but also for the promotion of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights in Nigeria, Africa and beyond”.

Former dictator General Yakubu Gowon, who jailed Soyinka for some two years during Nigeria’s 1967-70 civil war, paid respect by attending a lecture in Soyinka’s hometown of Abeokuta on Friday.

Soyinka, who looks several decades younger than his age, sprang to his feet and warmly embraced his former jailer as soon as he entered the lecture hall, sparking applause from the audience.

“I have come to Abeokuta for the sake of this particular man, to honour him,” said Gowon, who imprisoned the writer on suspicion of support for his rival in the 1967 standoff that eventually led Nigeria to a 30-month civil war in which an estimated one million people died, mostly of disease and starvation.

The birthday events honouring Soyinka are due to culminate on Monday with a visit to his secluded forest residence in Abeokuta, the capital of southwestern Ogun State, and a presentation of one of his plays.

Born into an Anglican family on 13 July 1934, in Abeokuta, Soyinka cut his literary teeth in the 1950s at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university, where he studied English literature.

He also studied literature at the University of Leeds.

The poet, novelist and playwright has around 30 published works to his name, most of which satirise Nigerian society and which have made him a darling of the critics.

“Soyinka, a literary giant, is God’s gift to Nigeria in particular, Africa and the world at large. His style is inimitable,” Dare Ademola, a literary critic, told AFP.

Chima Anyadike, head of the English department at the Obafemi Awolowo University where Soyinka last taught in Nigeria, said: “Soyinka is a great writer of his time.”

In announcing his Nobel in 1986, the Swedish Academy praised Soyinka for “your versatile writings (in which) you have been able to synthesise a very rich heritage from your own country, ancient myths and old traditions, with literary legacies and traditions of European culture”.

It also hailed him for “your own genuine and impressive creativity as an artist, a master of language, and your commitment as a dramatist and writer of poetry and prose to problems of general and deep significance for man, modern or ancient”.

A harsh critic of military, corrupt or inept governments, Soyinka fled Nigeria during the regime of General Sani Abacha in the 1990s when the government hounded critics including journalists and academics.

A hunter, connoisseur of wines and notoriously private, Soyinka hasn’t let his advanced age dull his social activism. In January 2012, he joined activists in street protests against President Jonathan after the government hiked the pump price of fuel.

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Exclusive: Wole Soyinka reflects on his life at 80 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/exclusive-wole-soyinka-reflects-on-his-life-at-80/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/13/exclusive-wole-soyinka-reflects-on-his-life-at-80/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 09:33:41 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202763 Prof. Wole Soyinka

Prof. Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka gives a broader view of his life at 80 in a scintillating interview with the TheNEWS. It’s a must watch and must see! The Nobel Laureate speaks on death, his view about life and the future.

He also speaks on how his childhood in Ake Abeokuta moulded his life in this interview with TheNEWS magazine team led by Kunle Ajibade.

Click here to see it all:

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Campaigners push for Japan to win Nobel Peace Prize http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/12/campaigners-push-for-japan-to-win-nobel-peace-prize/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/12/campaigners-push-for-japan-to-win-nobel-peace-prize/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 06:43:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202654 Japanese

Campaigners are pushing for Japan’s population to win this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in a nod to the country’s long-held pacifism, even as Tokyo controversially expands the scope of the military in a move that has sparked protests at home.

By Friday, the group had amassed a support petition with more than 150,000 names, and organisers say Japan’s 128-million residents are now among the possible candidates for the prestigious award.

But even if the odds are slim — there are hundreds of candidates — the message is just as important, said 37-year-old housewife Naoko Takasu, who came up with the plan.

It was not possible to nominate Japan’s pacifist constitution — put in place after the end of World War II — so activists moved to get the peace-loving population on the prize list instead.

“The idea came to me when I was watching a TV report about the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union,” she told AFP.

“Good initiatives can win the prize — that’s what I learned from the news. And that made me think about Article 9 (of the constitution)… If we succeed and win the prize, that would be a great way to share its ideals.”

Japan’s constitution — specifically Article 9 — renounces war and abandons the use of force to settle international disputes, a point embraced by many Japanese and a symbol of the country’s peaceful image in much of the world.

But last week, Tokyo loosened the bonds on its powerful military, proclaiming the right to go into battle in defence of allies, in a highly controversial shift.

Conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet formally endorsed a reinterpretation of the rules that have banned the use of armed force except in very narrowly-defined circumstances.

Abe has sought to play down fears the move could ultimately see Japan dragged into battle to defend allies, or wage war itself.

But it has sparked a backlash at home and drawn angry missives from neighbouring China, which regularly criticises Tokyo’s militaristic past.

“It is thanks to Article 9 that Japan has never been in a war for over 69 years,” said Yoshiaki Ishigaki, a member of the committee behind the push.

“This decision is totally against our constitution, we should maintain the article and share it with all nations to achieve world peace.”

Ishigaki and other activists gathered recommendation letters from dozens of academics at home and abroad to submit to the Nobel committee.

At least half Japan’s population opposes a more aggressive military stance, according to recent newspaper polls.

Hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of people have turned out to protest against the change at various demonstrations over recent weeks.

“War destroys everything, that’s what I have believed since 1945,” said 80-year-old Tsuneo Hoshino, who lost an uncle in World War II.

“I am the head of nursery school — these children should never be soldiers.”

The names of the 2014 Nobel Laureates will be announced in October.

Last year the peace prize went to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

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UFUK Foundation honours Prince Yemisi Shyllon, others http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/ufuk-foundation-honours-prince-yemisi-shyllon-others/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/11/ufuk-foundation-honours-prince-yemisi-shyllon-others/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:19:53 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=202487 PRINCE YEMI SHYLON


Quintessential art collector, Prince Yemisi Shyllon was among nine Nigerians honoured by the UFUK Dialogue Foundation at the 2014 edition of the organisation’s Peace and Dialogue Award which was held on Thursday evening at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

The art collector who is the founder of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), a non-profit organisation established in 2007 to promote the appreciation and study of Nigerian arts and artists, making the collection available to museums, educational institutions, and scholars was presented with Culture Award. The UFUK Foundation recognised Shyllon for using art as a platform for promoting peace and international relations.

Specifically, the Turkish Foundation gave the award to Prince Shyllon for facilitating and packaging 10 Nigerian artists to exhibit with their Turkish counterparts in the last African Union summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



The exhibition was part of one year touring exhibition of the artistes to Turkey and three cities in the United States of America. Also honoured by the Foundation was Femi Adesina, President, Nigeria Guild of Editors.

He was honoured for using his columns to ventilate wide perspective of opinions which, according to the Foundation, promotes unity and serve as a platform of dialogue between the north, south, east and western part of the country.

Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, President, Conference of Catholic Bishop of Nigeria and Professor Isaq Oloyede, Secretary General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs were also honored.



The two religious leaders were honoured for their contributions in fostering dialogue in religious societies and encouraging their followers to work on dialogue and peace.

Others presented with award at the ceremony included Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Fund; Dr. Joseph Golwa, Secretary General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and the President of Federation of Muslim Women Societies of Nigeria among others.

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Strike stops opening of ‘world’s biggest’ theatre fest http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/04/strike-stops-opening-of-worlds-biggest-theatre-fest/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/04/strike-stops-opening-of-worlds-biggest-theatre-fest/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 10:39:08 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=201560 -

The two opening shows of France’s prestigious Avignon Festival — one of the world’s biggest theatre showcases — meant to be held Friday have been cancelled after strike action by actors and technicians.

The festival, which attracts 128,000 theatre-goers to the southern French city, has been under threat from a long-running dispute over planned government cutbacks to their status of “intermittents”: artists and cultural workers who are allowed to combine periods of work with paid unemployment.

Festival director Olivier Py told a press conference on Friday that the premieres of “The Prince of Hamburg” by Heinrich von Kleist and the ballet “Fatal Blow” would now not go ahead.

A similar dispute in 2003 forced the organisers to cancel a large swathe of the programme. The Avignon Festival is regarded as one of the biggest theatre festivals in the world, a title hotly disputed with the annual Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.

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Wole Soyinka Prize: Literary icons to inspire secondary students http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/02/wole-soyinka-prize-literary-icons-to-inspire-secondary-students/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/02/wole-soyinka-prize-literary-icons-to-inspire-secondary-students/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 05:37:31 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=201257 Professor Wole Soyinka

Select pupils from secondary schools in Nigeria with keen interest in literary arts will have a golden opportunity to meet and interact with literary icons attending the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. The award is sponsored by the Nigerian national telecommunication carrier, Globacom.

Literary icons such as the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and renowned Ghanaian author who was also a former Ghanaian Education Minister, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, among other distinguished writers, will be available to speak with the students at an event slated for 5 July at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Some of the schools pencilled to bring select pupils are Unique Heights Senior and Junior School, Halifield College, First Harvard School, Dowen College, Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, and Kuramo Senior Secondary School, all in Lagos.

In a joint statement by Globacom, the main sponsor of the Prize and Lumina Foundation, the organisers of the award, it was stated that the idea of inviting students to the grand finale is to enable the students meet their literary idols so that their imagination can be fired and they can be inspired to seek and attain greatness.

In contention for the $20,000 grand prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun. The three finalists will also be available to interact with the students.

The finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, Wumi Raji and Akin Adejumo. They were drawn from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria. Globacom also sponsored the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2012.

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Rhodes Voices, Bez, for Soyinka Prize grand finale http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/rhodes-voices-bez-for-soyinka-prize-grand-finale/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/29/rhodes-voices-bez-for-soyinka-prize-grand-finale/#comments Sun, 29 Jun 2014 06:19:45 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200927 Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

Evergreen music orchestra, Steve Rhodes Orchestra and Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter, Bez, have confirmed attendance for the grand finale of the fifth edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

The award, being sponsored by the national carrier, Globacom, coincides with the 80th birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Steve Rhodes Orchestra is a creation of the late music impresario, Elder Steve Rhodes, who once bestrode the artistic world like a colossus. Since his demise, the orchestra has continued to hold the torch of the great music composer aloft, thrilling discerning music audiences across the country to the best of all genres of music.

Multiple award winner and Globacom brand ambassador, Bez will bring contemporary touch to the much anticipated event slated for July 5 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Bez is currently making waves in the Nigerian music scene with his brand of music dubbed “alternative soul”, a hybrid of soul, rock, jazz and R&B.

The two acts slated for the event have vowed to treat guests to their best performances ever at the grand finale where one of the three shortlisted authors will be crowned the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

In contention for the $20,000 Grand Prize are three authors: Othuke Ominibohs, Akin Bello and Toyin Abiodun”.

The three finalists were selected from a longlist of 10 African authors including, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, and Wumi Raji.

They were picked from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The award is a biennial event staged to recognize the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 to promote literary excellence in Africa and has since become the African equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The panel of five judges for the Prize is drawn from Uganda, South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Algeria.

Three heads of state have also given their commitment to be part of the series of events scheduled to round off the fifth edition of the award. Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana have indicated interest to be in Accra, Ghana on July 8 at the presentation of a book in honour of the Nobel Laureate three days after the announcement of the Prize winner in Lagos.

Other distinguished individuals expected at the activities include Former President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and renowned Ghanaian author and former Education Minister in the Ghana government, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo.

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Wole Soyinka’s Tribute to Maya Angelou http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/wole-soyinkas-tribute-to-maya-angelou/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/wole-soyinkas-tribute-to-maya-angelou/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 21:05:07 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=196787 The late Maya Angelou

The late Maya Angelou

Maya’s ‘AFRICA’ was more than a mere literary metaphor and reference point – it went beyond race identification. To obtain a glimmering of what the continent meant to her, one would have to think in terms of a mystic nostalgia.

That could be because she was so markedly black-regal both in bearing and pronouncements, she made one feel that, in some distant time past, she had been a queen – a philosopher queen – over some part of the black continent.

If indeed she was, Maya was the down-to-earth kind who felt her subjects keenly, a philosopher queen without the aloofness.

Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

It took just one lunch meeting with her, and Queen Angelou tightened her sash like a market mamma, mobilized emergency forces, and personally led the charge to beat down the doors of a lethargic – and/or ambiguous – US administration during the Sanni Abacha murderous dictatorship.

She kept her finger on the nation’s pulse throughout a people’s travails.

Long before that however, what a personal memory to cherish! I learnt the following at an American university where I had gone to lecture, and Maya confirmed the details to me after we had finally met.

Publishers of a prestigious literary journal, the college was also sponsor of a bi-annual international literary prize. She had nominated me for that prize but, finally, it was a German writer who carried it off – I think it was Gunther Grass, but am no longer sure.

Well, at the formal event of the announcement, Maya Angelou was so disappointed, she burst into tears. Our sole contact till then was through our writing.

During reception afterwards, when she was being teased/consoled or whatever, she said something like: “No, it’s all right, I know he’ll win a bigger one”. A year later, I was accorded the Nobel Prize.

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Literary society, authors to honour late Prof. Acholonu http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/literary-society-authors-to-honour-late-prof-acholonu/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/31/literary-society-authors-to-honour-late-prof-acholonu/#comments Sat, 31 May 2014 06:51:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=196665 Prof. Catherine Acholonu

Prof. Catherine Acholonu

An Evening of Tribute has been scheduled to hold in Abuja on 12 June in honour of the late literary scholar and activist, Professor Catherine Acholonu.

The event, holding at the Korean Cultural Centre in Abuja, is being organised by Christopher Okigbo Literary Society and members of the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA).

Acholonu, who was a founding member of ANA, died in Abuja on 18 March.

A statement issued by Patrick Oguejiofor, the coordinator of the event, said Prof. Chimalum Nwakwo and Ahmed Maiwada are among the literary scholars expected to present papers at the event.

The distinguished scholar was one of the most influential voices in the Nigerian literary scene, the statement noted.

It added that the deceased was a prolific writer, gender activist, politician, poet, consummate researcher who advocated for women equality.

Her works includes The Afrocentric Alternative to Feminism, The Earth Unchained, A Quantum Leap in Consciousness, Women in Environmental Development Programme and Trial of the Beautiful Ones.

She was also a Fulbright scholar who lectured in several universities in the United States, and contributed immensely to promoting African literature.

She founded the Catherine Acholonu Research Centre in Abuja and served as Senior Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Arts and Culture between 1999 and 2002.

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10 authors make Glo-sponsored Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/11/10-authors-make-glo-sponsored-wole-soyinka-prize-for-literature/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/05/11/10-authors-make-glo-sponsored-wole-soyinka-prize-for-literature/#comments Sun, 11 May 2014 12:43:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=194177 Professor Wole Soyinka

Professor Wole Soyinka

Ten African authors made the long-list for the 2014 edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. This year’s award is the fifth edition and it coincides with the 80th birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

Authors listed for the award sponsored by Nigeria’s national telecommunication company, Globacom, are: Othuke Ominiaboha, Akin Bello, Soji Cole, Comfort Adesuwa Ero, Toyin Abiodun, Isaac Attah Ogezi, Moshood Oba, Mayowa Saja, Wumi Raji and Akin Adejumo.

The long list was made from a total of 163 entries submitted from 17 African countries in the genre of Drama, which is the focus of the 2014 edition.

The shortlist will be announced by the judges of the prize in June 2014 and the ultimate winner will emerge and be presented with a prize on 5 July at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa is a biennial award for the best literary work produced by an African. It was established by the Lumina Foundation in 2005 and has since been serving as an African equivalent of the Nobel Prize, particularly in recognizing and encouraging professional and personal excellence.

Entries were invited from authors of any published play or collection of plays by the same author of African descent, published within the last two years (that is, a play published between 2012 and 2013).

The first edition of Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa was held on August 5, 2006 at the MUSON Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.

The aim of the award includes propagating the dynamics of self enhancement, celebrating excellence, patriotism, integrity, heroism, intellectualism and selfless service epitomized by the man, Wole Soyinka and generating excellent books (both in content and packaging) authored by Africans.

The award will also foster global harmony through the provision of opportunities for appreciation of cross cultural perspectives and promoting the authors and their works, according to the recognition they deserve among renowned authors across the world.

Globacom sponsored the award in 2012. The ultimate prize money is $20,000USD (over N3 million).

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2Face, Omotola Others For Entertainment Confab http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/23/2face-omotola-others-for-entertainment-confab/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/23/2face-omotola-others-for-entertainment-confab/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:36:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=192305 Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni

Some of Africa’s biggest acts are to speak at this year’s Nigerian Entertainment Conference organised by Nigeria Entertainment Today, NET.

The event with the theme, ‘Creating Pathways To The Future’, takes place today at the Grand Ball Room, Eko Hotel & Suites.

Nigeria’s sensational singer, 2Face Idibia would be speaking on the topic ‘Music: Slaying The Collective Rights Monster’.


Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde would also speak on ‘Social Responsibility: Why We Should Care’.

Also billed to speak is former presidential aspirant under African Democratic Congress Party, Prof. Pat Utomi, who would speak on ‘Business: Solving The Distribution Problem Once And For All’, while Emeka Mba would be speaking on ‘Nollywood: The Desired Future’.

The Founder/ Publisher of Nigerian Entertainment Today (NET), Ayeni Adekunle would declare the conference open.

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Farewell To The Magic Muse http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/22/gabriel-garcia-marquez-farewell-to-the-magic-muse/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/22/gabriel-garcia-marquez-farewell-to-the-magic-muse/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:22:25 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=192176 By Niyi Osundare

Gone, the Magic Muse of Aracataca. In a manner similar to his wondrous tales, I can see him levitating towards the skies, a pen in one hand, a trumpet in the other, a rueful smile on his face. For his body is too precious, too imperishable for the grave’s cramping dungeon and its ravenous coven of worms.

Beyond the clouds, Angel Gabriel is waiting for his famous namesake at Heavensgate, waiting expectantly for this curious mortal whose fame and flourish competed so triumphantly with those of hosts of heaven. And I can see the intrepid ‘Gabo’ later, negotiating a niche with a revolving door and a wide window through which he can continue to peep at the turbulent world he has left behind and watch how the strands of his magic narratives continue to unfold.

Without a doubt, his dealings with other angels are likely to be contentious; for this Gabriel is a being who so often obeys his own rules; a spirit averse to time-worn routines and conventional thou-shalt-nots….

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: godfather of magic realism

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: godfather of magic realism

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most influential literary figures in the past 100 years; and in literature in the Spanish language, his fame and impact are only rivaled by those of Miguel de Cervantes, the pioneering genius who gave the world the timeless Don Quixote.

Veteran journalist and author of numerous novels and short stories, Marquez shook the world with the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude in 1967, and literally rewrote the rubric of the narrative genre. Intensely political and socially committed, he assailed the incubi of colonial/imperial exploitation and social injustice in a language and style that made his narration of that exposure irresistible even to those being exposed.

He settled, finally, the quarrel between History and Literature, Myth and Reality by making Politics the flexible Mediator between the four. He gathered the strands of our workaday life, wove them into tales with an indelible touch of weird wanderings and wonder. He erased – or extended – the traditional gulf between the probability of the improbable and the improbability of the probable.

And therein lies the phenomenon which literary critics and avid name-givers have christened as “magic realism”, a terminology that has been with us for several decades now and which has been splashed rightly or wrongly on works from different parts of the world with little or no consideration for local peculiarities.

Whatever name his style is called, in whatever critical lingo it is couched, Marquez is the master of the hint and hyperbole, of the awe in the story and the aura in its telling. His narrative invented other ways of perceiving reality, other ways of cognizing human existence, other ways of being human. That is why his works are so full of rumble and resonance.

That is why his new realism unlinks the chains of the old one. That is why William Kennedy, the noted American writer, recommended that One Hundred Years of Solitude should be compulsory reading for the human race.
Influence, or, better still, influentiality, comes naturally to women and men of Marquez’s stature. And he had it and made the best of it. His influence is easily seen in the literary sphere where he changed the content and form of the narrative genre since the last half of the 20th century.

The other kind of influence, a little less easy to perceive, is his influence on the political scene (I almost said ‘destiny’!) of Latin America in a 20th century bloodied by military dictatorship and all manner of murderous incivilities. Marquez spoke out against evil. His voice was loud, insistent, unafraid.

And when he spoke, the world listened, for he earned his space, his right to speak, his will to the Word. Not infrequently, his interventions made military dictators shake in their boots. Quite often, the people found their strength in his words. Like the great Pablo Neruda, his Latin American compatriot, he too made an unbreakable pledge to himself that the people would find their voices in his song.

We must never underestimate the contribution of people like Marquez to the return of democracy to Latin America and other parts of the world afflicted by the absence of that ideal.

Gather round this fire, therefore, oh ye acolytes of the Word. Sing a song and shake a leg. The master storyteller has levitated to the skies. Gabriel is back at Heavensgate. Banana leaves are clapping in the fields of Aracataca. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is laughing, his patented moustache lush and green like the forests of his beloved Colombia.

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Godfather of magic realism, Garcia Marquez dies at 87 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/17/godfather-of-magic-realism-garcia-marquez-dies-at-87/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/17/godfather-of-magic-realism-garcia-marquez-dies-at-87/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:04:28 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191808 Gabriel Garcia Marquez: godfather of magic realism

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: godfather of magic realism

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel-winning Colombian author who used magical realism to tell epic stories of love, family and dictatorship in Latin America, died on 17 April at the age of 87.

Known affectionately as “Gabo,” the author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera” became one of the most popular Latin American novelists in the world and the godfather of a literary movement that witnessed a continent in turmoil.

Marquez was a colorful character who befriended Cuban leader Fidel Castro, got punched by fellow Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa and joked that he wrote so that his friends would love him.

“One thousand years of solitude and sadness for the death of the greatest Colombian of all time,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on Twitter.

The writer had made fewer public appearances in recent years and was hospitalized for pneumonia on 31 March, returned to his Mexico City home a week later to recover there.

The cause of death is not immediately known but Mexican media said his wife Mercedes and two sons were by his side at home.

Born March 6, 1927, in the village of Aracataca on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Garcia Marquez was the son of a telegraph operator.

He was raised by his grandparents and aunts in a tropical culture influenced by the heritage of Spanish settlers, indigenous populations and black slaves. His grandfather was a retired colonel.

The exotic legends of his homeland inspired him to write profusely, including his masterpiece, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” which was translated into 35 languages and sold more than 30 million copies.

The book, published in 1967, is a historical and literary saga about a family from the imaginary Caribbean village of Macondo between the 19th and 20th century — a novel that turned the man with the mustache and thick eyebrows into an international star.

Garcia Marquez

Garcia Marquez

Garcia Marquez wrote the novel after moving to Mexico City in 1961, taking a long bus ride from New York with his wife, Mercedes Barcha, and son Rodrigo.

His second son, Gonzalo, was born a year later in the Mexican capital, where he lived for more than three decades.

He liked to say that he arrived in Mexico City “without a name or a penny in my pocket.”

The writer faced financial hardship, working for advertising agencies, penning screenplays and editing small magazines.

“As long as there was whisky, there was no misery,” Garcia Marquez quipped.

He owed nine months of rent payments when he penned “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and could only afford to send half of his manuscript to his editor in Argentina.

Later, the author realised that he had sent the final half of the book, forcing him to scramble to find more money to send the rest.

Garcia Marquez wore a white liqui-liqui, a traditional costume with a high collar from his region, to receive his Nobel prize in Sweden in 1982.

The Nobel committee rewarded him for books “in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.”

In his Nobel speech, the writer said it was the “outsized reality” of brutal dictatorships and civil wars in Latin America, “and not just its literary expression,” that got the attention of the Swedish Academy of Letters.

His other famous books include “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” “The General in His Labyrinth” and his autobiography “Living to Tell the Tale.”

His final novel, “Memories of My Melancholy Whores,” was published in 2004.

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Lagos museum celebrates El Anatsui, Africa’s famous sculptor http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/17/lagos-museum-celebrates-el-anatsui-africas-famous-sculptor/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/04/17/lagos-museum-celebrates-el-anatsui-africas-famous-sculptor/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:48:14 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=191666 To mark the 70th birthday of one of Africa’s most accomplished living artists, a Lagos museum chose to focus on pretty much anything but El Anatsui’s globally renowned work.

Instead, three decades of payslips from the University of Nigeria, where Anatsui has taught since 1975, are collected in a binder that hangs by a string in the centre of the room.

Handwritten letters dealing with minutiae such as train tickets are stuck to the wall.

“The objective was to X-ray the man” whose massive influence on African art is impossible to quantify, said Jude Anogwih, a curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Lagos, where “El Anatsui: Playing with Chance”.

Professor El Anatsui

Professor El Anatsui

- Bottle top phenomenon -

The Ghanaian-born Anatsui’s first big step toward international acclaim came in 1990 when he and four others became the first artists from sub-Saharan Africa invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, one of the world’s most prestigious art showcases.

His prominence has grown steadily since, including shows in the world’s cultural capitals, but 1999 is widely seen as a turning point.

That was the year Anatsui first began working with the twist-off tops of liquor bottles, which, at his barn-sized workshop in southeast Nigeria, he flattens and manipulates into vast, brilliant tapestries, several of which have sold for nearly $1 million (720,000 euros).

One of the sculptural work of El Anatsui

One of the sculptural work of El Anatsui

For the CCA in Lagos, not displaying one of these tapestries was partly a practical choice: the small, box-like showroom in a museum crammed at the top of an office building could hardly accommodate Anatsui’s bottle top pieces, which measure 3.5 by five metres (11 by 16 feet) or more.

But, as Anogwih said, “giving more light to the personality” of the notoriously private Anatsui was also a worthwhile goal as the artist enters the latter stage of his career.

– ‘Global star’ -

“I don’t know whether the objective is to attract an audience,” Anatsui told AFP late last year at his hilltop house in the quiet Nigerian town of Nsukka, home to the University of Nigeria and some 600 kilometres (370 miles) from the commercial and economic hub of Lagos.

“I think that is something that happens organically or naturally if (an artist) produces work which is worth attention.”

Over the previous year, Anatsui’s work had earned even greater acclaim, buoyed by his first-ever solo exhibit in a New York museum.

The New York Times praised “Gravity and Grace” at the Brooklyn Museum as “majestic” and “sumptuous” and called Anatsui a “global star.”

Achieving such stardom is tougher for artists from Africa, especially one who has chosen to remain based at a government-run university in Nigeria, a country where public education has largely collapsed.

“Being in this part of the world puts you at a disadvantage,” he said. “But maybe an advantage as well. It gives you the peace of mind to concentrate on your work.”

Another work of Anatsui

Another work of Anatsui

- Just an artist -

Anatsui has earned massive acclaim in the West — and the wealth that has come with it — but he is perplexed about the way some Western critics have characterised his work.

The bottle caps that he used are largely red and black, similar to the kente cloth indigenous to Ghana.

“Lots of people just focused on the colours of the bottle caps, which I didn’t create anyway,” he said. “I’m just someone who finds them and uses them.”

Critics “got stuck on the idea of kente,” he said, explaining that in working with bottle caps he was exploring ideas of “free form” and “repurposing” everyday material.

References to kente persisted in the reviews and commentary on his Brooklyn show, and Anatsui said he is now creating single-coloured tapestries so his work “does not have that… reference”.

It is inevitable — and perhaps understandable — for Western critics and art patrons to describe the work of African artists through so-called African themes like the importance of indigenous cloth, Anatsui said.

But he would much rather his work be judged without too much focus on where he lives and works.

“I think that art is a universal phenomenon, and I don’t think it helps to make too much of the geography thing. You can come into geography if there is need,” he said.

“But you are speaking a universal language, and artists would want to be known as artists, not African artists.”

The show closes on Sunday.

.Ben Simon/AFP

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Onyeka Onwenu’s Son Painter Abe Impresses All http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/17/onyeka-onwenus-son-painter-abe-impresses-all/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/01/17/onyeka-onwenus-son-painter-abe-impresses-all/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 13:54:45 +0000 http://pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=182720 Despite being a new comer on the Nigerian art scene, the art exhibition of young painter, Abraham Ogunlende, titled “Culture Shock”, left many art enthusiasts and lovers impressed with his creativity.

•Painter Abe

•Painter Abe

With over 25 works created within three weeks in different formats and propagating diverse themes, “Culture Shock” made its much-awaited debut at the popular art centre, Terra Kulture, on Friday, 3 January alongside an up and coming artist, Dennis Osadebe.

The Lagosian who prefers to be called Painter Abe, is determined to follow in the footsteps of arts greats like Keith Haring and Mark Rothko who inspired him and is helped by Bantu, a Collective Of Young Nigerians in the fields of Music, Art, and the Visual Arts.

At the opening of the exhibition which ran for a week, Painter Abe said his decision to make meaning out of his fascination with colour, balance and chaos has helped create his unique approach, which he uses to define and represent both his culture and generation.

He said “Culture Shock” is an exhibition for the young at heart.

“Appealing yet reflective of what young people go through in their journey through life, the works are a departure from the acrylic paint, which dominate the landscape,” said Painter Abe, who is also son to music icon, Onyeka Onwenu.

Those who attended the exhibition include Nasreen Kareem, former Mrs Tanzania 2008, Chris Mba, a musician; Nneka; Chinelu Egbuna, lawyer; Mahmoud Ali-Balogun and Chude Jideonwo of the Future Awards.

Onyeka Onwenu was not left out as she described her son thus, “I see in him a single-mindedness and focus that is admirable and worthy of emulation. He is my son but I am learning from him. Abraham Ogunlende is original and hugely talented. I see him growing and getting better at expression. He is passionate and driven. I wish him God’s speed. I am proud of him. He has done this on his own, as he likes to do most times.”

— Funsho Arogundade

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