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.

Turning the tide on Alfa Beach

22 December 2014 | 11:51 | English | Leave a comment
Councillor Elegushi of Okun Alfa in front of a building destroyed by the ocean surge.Alfa Beach used to be a popular weekend destination for Lagosians, until the ocean washed it away. It destroyed not just a beach, but also the local community’s livelihood and houses. The danger has not subsided: the sea is moving into the land at an alarming pace. How can the people of Okun Alfa cope, and will they be able to organise themselves?
Read my report Can Okun Alfa Turn the Tide?

It's out there! (In Dutch)

01 October 2014 | 13:38 | English | Leave a comment
My novel Koning van de baracca's launched. Down town Utrecht, 30 September, book shop Savannah BayIt feels more vulnerable than a non fiction book hitting the book shops: as of today my third book and first novel Koning van de baracca's (King of the Barracas) is available. The idea that people will now actually read about the characters born in my mind, is slightly frightening. I am still bedazzled from yesterday's book launch in down town Utrecht attended by some many dear friends and family, and hosted by independent book shop Savannah Bay. As for an English translation: fingers crossed. You'll be the first to know.
Buy Koning van de barraca's

When slum areas become real estate opportunities

01 October 2014 | 11:39 | English | Leave a comment
Fishing is an important source of income for the community at the Lekki coast.When you live in an area without public amenities and not recognised by the government, not many things are certain. One thing though is quite likely: without much warning bulldozers might arrive one day to level your property. In Lagos, slum dwellers and villagers have been opposing illegal evictions with varying degrees of success. What can others learn from their experiences? Read my report No divide and rule please, on the successful fight of the fishing communities in Lekki, who saw their homes and livelihood threatened by an industrial development project comprising their land.

Ebola: the risks

03 August 2014 | 15:18 | English | Leave a comment
The mass text message I received this week from the Nigerian Ministry of Health.The first case of Ebola in Lagos leaves me with a lot of questions, as a journalist and a Lagosian, so I contacted Dr. Dan Bausch , Associate Professor Tropical Medicine at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. I tweeted the interview with him, and am putting it on my website as well, for people who are worried about themselves, their loved ones and/or me. Dr Bausch is a specialist in tropical viruses involved in fight against Ebola in West-Africa. Following tweets are his quotes.