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Nigerian Christianity may be largely about money and power, but it’s also about the fear of God, about the need to understand the contradictions of living in a country that imports tooth picks, Swiss lace and leg of lamb, where a good number of the citizens cannot afford N800 worth of drugs for malaria fever. Nigeria’s Superstar Men of God

Deji Toye looks at the legacy of arts funding in Nigeria and questions whether the longstanding trend of patronage over policy remains in the interests of the benefactors rather than the creators of the works or the wider public audience. Read The Nigerian Art of Patronage.
When the Nigerian Communications Commission issued MTN, the South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, with a US$5.2 billion fine for “flouting” regulations in 2015, the global business media dismissed it as just another pitfall of doing business in Africa.  Lindokuhle Nkosi goes behind the numbers to explore what underpins economic relations, trade and diplomacy between the two African superpowers.
Yemisi Aribisala rails against the new fundamentalism cresting the wave of global feminism sweeping Nigeria. She challenges the gender imperialism implicit in its aspiration to uniform ideas of celebrity, power, erudition and beauty. Speaking from her own everyday lived experience, she rejects the “distasteful vitriol” that characterises its social media discourse, and grapples to give words to meanings often unspoken about woman’s power in Nigeria. Read Sister Outsider

Probing the musical narratives of jazz and hip-hop, saxophonist and composer Shabaka Hutchings plays outside the time signatures common to diasporan interpretation and orthodox analysis. Moving beyond the value systems and invisible hierarchies that shape understanding and impose context, he imagines another sonic architecture.
Julius Eastman had a way of walking. He had a swagger, a way of swinging hips.  He rarely strolled or ran. Instead, skin tight jeans/ black leathers slung low on his waist, sucked down by the velocity of his gait, he cruised and rolled. He played loose. He played cool. Read Stacy Hardy in 52 Niggers
“The fact that “science” in the Jamaican vernacular is a synonym for “bush magic” or the occult, allows me to ground these metaphysics in the folklore of the Caribbean.”Reggae, technology and the diaspora… Louis Chude-Sokei documents the transatlantic (un)making of Dr. Satan’s Echo Chamber.

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“And you think: those are her hands on the trophy, and her lips kissing the plated silver rim, but that warm feeling, that flutter in my insides – it’s all mine. It’s because you know this is the beginning of a new dynasty. Uruguay. Brazil. Italy. Spain. Germany. You’ve seen the arc of history, the curl under the bar, the victory under the lights. It’s Ethiopia’s turn now.”

Deji Bryce Olukotun recalls the arc of history-in-the-making that results in a meteoric rise in the fortunes of Ethiopia and more pertinently, its national football squad.  

 

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Lexicon of Love

The language of football is arguably nowhere more verbose and loquacious than in Brazil – full of the picturesque and partisan, the witty and fantastical. It is where, as James Young writes, the nexus between the twists of life on and off the pitch is revealed.

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Sports Chatter

Simon Kuper discusses the drivel in the drip-feed that is mainstream sports journalism – from rumour and innuendo to occasional smut and toilet humour.

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The Art of Suspense

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi revisits the football matches of his childhood, when radio, not television, was most people’s ticket to the beautiful game. But a radio was not the only requirement for a full experience – an active imagination and an attentive ear were integral to engaging in the virtuosity of the audio commentary.