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Masquerade

Michael Jackson alive in Nigeria

Featuring the maverick Ejiogbe Twins
Photographed by Owen Logan
Told by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

What Nigeria offers in the Michael Jackson business stares you in the face. And here in black and white is our unique scheme. Believe it when I say we struck like tropical noonday thunder! The craft bearing us came down on the Nigerian tarmac with a screech that shook the corporate capital. The megastar in me disembarked and kissed the soil of his ancestors before stepping on the red carpet and spreading his gloved hands wide, beckoning on the people to behold. There could not have been a greater epoch-making event, trapping the annals and centuries of history and geography in one magic moment. Up from slavery and rising to the giddy heights of universal pop superstardom, Michael returned from death as the local boy made good. He is alive in me and I am here, on our terra firma of some 250 peoples imperiously cobbled together and named after the River Niger by Flora Shaw, the solicitous paramour of Governor-General Lugard, past master of indirect rule.

 

Red Carpet Arrival

Red Carpet Arrival

 

Michael's Greatest Fans

Michael’s Greatest Fans

 

Dance Acts

Dance Acts

 

We’ve arrived just in time to lift the spirits and raise the feel-good factor. You see, the thing is that countries are not allowed to go bankrupt. Everything else can go bankrupt, even banks if truth be told, but not a nation. If you wonder why that should be so, my friend, let me enlighten you: there is just too much money to be made in keeping wrecks afloat! Think about that, Mugu, and let me explain our current predicament as well as our fabulous opportunities.

 

 

So after an emotional initiation into negritude, that ideology of feeling not thinking, Michael has made a triumphal entry back to the city for a Safari among the urban wildlife made from concrete and metal. You’ll see that the destitute children of Africa are also being explored as possible means of raising the funds which Uncle Sam is keener than ever furnish using his own bills. Diana Ross and the forever marriageable Elizabeth Taylor are some of the senior stars who shall team up with us to create funds out of malnutrition and disease. As they say, “there is aid in fighting AIDS”.

 

 

Masquerade spread

 

This is an excerpt from the new edition of the Chronic, a pan African gazette from Chimurenga.

To read “Masquerade: Michael Jackson Alive in Nigeria” in full, order a copy from from our online store (in print and digital versions).

Print copies coming to your nearest dealer.

Buy the Chronic

 

 

 

 

Masquerade” will go on show at the Stills Gallery in Edinburgh from August 1st as part on an exhibition co-curated by Kirsten Lloyd and Owen Logan for the Edinburgh International Festival. To coincide with the exhibition the whole photo-essay will be released as an online, print-on-demand book published by Altered Images Scotland. 

 

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