A Musician's Lagos: my story for NYT

28 November 2015 | 12:35 | English | Leave a comment
Running Deep, the Roots of a JuJu Superstar, New York Times, Sunday, October 25, 2015The nocturnal walk home through Lagos would take him up to two hours, after he had played all night at the West End Coliseum, a popular nightclub on Lagos Island. It was the mid-1960s and the young man, Sunday Ishola Adeniyi Adegeye, still an unknown artist, could not afford the cab fare home. Today, 69 and long known as King Sunny Ade, he is a wealthy man and one of Nigeria’s most famous musicians. He became the worldwide icon of juju, the Yoruba praise music driven by the rhythm of the talking drum accompanied by Hawaiian-style guitar. For the New York Times I wrote a feature about the Lagos of this juju superstar.
Read my article in NYT

Nigeria's cyber revolutionary

25 September 2015 | 11:46 | English | Leave a comment
The cable that physically connects Nigeria to the internet.Fola Adeola, chairman of Main One Cable Company, remembers the day Funke Opeke came to his office and said: 'Let's lay a cable from Portugal.' He was stunned. 'That's what foreigners do, not what we do. The Nigerian environment often makes things so hard that we don't even try.' But the Nigerian electrical engineer pulled it off, causing nothing short of a cyber revolution in her country. I profiled Funke Opeke for Al Jazeera.
Meet the woman who physically connected Nigeria to the net

Among non-believers

23 September 2015 | 10:59 | English | Leave a comment
Non-believers are a minority in Nigeria.A glazed look is the most you can expect if you tell someone in Sub-Saharan Africa that you are an atheist or humanist. Many people do not know what either entail or actually believe that atheists worship the devil. In the deeply religious Nigeria non-believers are often misunderstood, but they do exist. I spoke to a former christian from the south, and a former muslim from the north.
Read the interviews here

A chapel from the soil

02 September 2015 | 12:00 | English | Leave a comment (one)
The lounge of the Dominican Institute designed by Demas NwokoComing up the hill from Oyo Road, the tower of the Dominican Chapel is impossible to miss. Its concrete palisades topped with a cross rise above the treetops like a ship's mast. Consecrated in 1973, it is a landmark in Ibadan, a city about 120km from Lagos in Nigeria's south. But ask any passer-by who designed it, and you will likely be met by a blank stare. Not many will have heard of Demas Nwoko, who is now 79 years old and leads a secluded life in the eastern Nigerian village where he was born.
Read my portrait of the building on Al Jazeera

Surulere Now!

29 July 2015 | 12:00 | English | Leave a comment
From international to local: recently I have become a columnist for Surulere Now!, the free newspaper in my neighbourhood in Lagos. Fellow Surulerans can get the paper version for free in plenty of hotels and shops in the area. Its online presence is still quite minimal, so let me give the non Surulere dwellers a sneak preview: in the latest edition of my column Navigating Surulere, I decide to take my citizenship more seriously.

A diet of dates, rice, and the Qur’an

09 April 2015 | 17:40 | English | Leave a comment
Nigerians on the run for Boko Haram settled in informal camps like this one near Abuja.Boko Haram these days is known for kidnapping schoolgirls, bombing churches and mosques, and cutting the throats of ‘infidels.’ But what are the origins of the group, and against which religious and social background did it develop into what it is now?
Read my article in Dhaka Tribune

From dictator to president-elect

04 April 2015 | 00:00 | English | Leave a comment
A Muhammadu Buhari banner during the primaries of opposition party APC.The results of the most contested presidential elections in Nigerian history on March 28 are historic. For the first time, the ruling party has been bested by the opposition. The incumbent president of the party in power since the return of Nigeria’s democracy lost the vote to the opposition’s candidate Muhammadu Buhari.
Read my profile of Nigeria's new president elect in Dhaka Tribune.

Godfather of the Nigerian opposition

23 March 2015 | 16:39 | English | Leave a comment
Bola 'Asiwaju' Tinubu is a populair politician amongst Lagosian grassroots.He declares that taxpayer’s money should be utilised for the good of the people, but he also passed a pension law that provides him with six cars to be replaced every three years. As Lagos State governor he boosted its internal revenue more than tenfold. With elections approaching in a country tormented by armed conflict and falling oil prices, controversial ‘Godfather’ Bola Tinubu invigorates the opposition’s hopes for change.
Read in ZAM Chronicle: my portrait of the Godfather of the Nigerian opposition.