These days, the biggest musicians do not need political money; 100 million streams across the foreign streaming platforms is enough income. There is also the side gig of performances at corporate events or at personal parties. These guys would hardly record a song endorsing a candidate.

But that’s just the biggest singers. Every other space in entertainment is still struggling and hence need some of that political money. In some cases, the fragmentation of industry means that few newly famous people have been made to ensure ROI for recruiting politicians looking for a widespread reach.

For example: If you give…

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I did the rather easy math hours ago and realised I had jumped into a bus to attend Toni Kan’s birthday celebration a decade ago. Man, see me see old age.

I had first met the man in the pages of Hints magazine, which is now one of those things about which you can only say, “If you know, you know.” If you don’t know, imagine a sex-soaked print magazine that retained some measure of literary respectability. It wasn’t a lot but it was there. You came to it for the sex but stayed back because the magazine’s writers knew…

Burna Boy clutches his Grammy award…as seen on Instagram

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The Beginning

It seems about right to say that Burna Boy has written his name permanently in Nigeria’s history books. As Seun Kuti told us days back, Burna is one of only 4 Nigerians that have gotten the Grammy nod for their own work. The other three are Seun Kuti himself, King Sunny Ade, and Femi Kuti.

Of course, Burna went one further by actually winning the thing. About an hour ago, he shared a photo of himself with the trophy. It is a big deal. I say congratulations to the man.

It has been clear for years that Burna…

It has to have been in 1998 or 1999 I forged a relationship with a classmate based on the music of DMX. Two kids in a secondary school rapping lines from It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of my Blood. I have no idea where Luqman is today — but I hope that, like me, he remembered those class breaks filled with the music of DMX. Misery loves company, so I hope he felt some grief upon learning of the death of DMX.

At the time, I had just started becoming a rap head…

In La Femme Anjola, the director Mildred Okwo inserts Nigerian elements into the noir genre — or maybe it’s the other way round: she inserts noir elements into a Nigerian story? No matter. What is clear is that the film is a cocktail of Nigeria and noir. What’s even better is that the film is made with a level of care that is hard to find in Nollywood. It’s so good to look at and easy to get caught up in.

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Much of that is down to the casting, Jonathan Kovel’s good-looking cinematography, Kelechi Odu’s production design, Yolanda Okereke’s costumes…

Around 2am today, festival director Tabitha Jackson and other members of the Sundance Film Festival, the biggest independent film festival in the United States, kicked off the awards ceremony for 2021. The comedian Patton Oswalt was on hosting duties.

Since the coronavirus had upended everything normal about festivals, instead of receiving an invitation to a hall somewhere in Utah as I did last year, I clicked a link to catch the entire event live on, the site that had brought me films from the festival since 28 January.

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One of those films was Lizard, a short film directed by…

This time last year, I was in the US. In Utah, to be precise, to which I had been invited by the Sundance Film Festival.

It was cold, cold, cold and as with all film festivals, it took some time to understand just how the mix of programmes work. I can’t say that I succeeded before the end of the festival. I was invited again this year — but as you know, coronavirus has happened, so it’s a virtual thing. Every day, I wake up, put on my laptop, open the tab and go through the programme. The difference…

Sex, love, fun: What else is youth for? The new EP from teenage newcomer Ayra Starr covers all these topics.

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Mostly, she is revelling in it or suffering from it, in the opening track ‘Away’. but on one song ‘DITR’ (diamond in the rough), she offers commentary on what one assumes is the dangers of juvenile intoxication.

Across these songs, Ayra Starr displays an impressive level of vocal control. And if she has written the songs she sings, then it must be said that the newcomer is an astonishing talent. At 18, she has the chops of a semi-veteran. Naturally…

For some time it seemed as though it would be impossible to get up to 10 films worthy of inclusion into any serious list about good movies from Nigerian cinema. Well, so it was.

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The usual trick is to include poor films in their year-end list just so it gets to 10. I won’t be doing that; I can’t be doing that. My own trick is in the headline.

As I was saying, it has proven impossible to get up to 10 really good movies this year. That is for two reasons: Nollywood is still not producing enough films of…

Every so often, I think about a line from a piece by the Nigerian author Tola Rotimi: “Families are everybody’s first war”.

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Recently, I had cause to remember that line when I saw Introducing the Kujus, a new film that could have been based on just line.

At the start of the film, which is stylised as ITK, two siblings Maugbe Kuju and Mausi Kuju, played by Timini Egbuson and Bisola Aiyeola respectively, conspire to bring the rest of their family together for their mother’s remembrance. It’s more of the latter’s idea but any guy with an elder sister knows…

Oris Aigbokhaevbolo

Nigeria’s most acclaimed writer-reviewer. Business:

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