Tag Archives: nigeria

British-Nigerian hit comedy opens in cinemas 10th October!

3 Oct

Gone Too Far!

dir. Destiny Ekaragha

Critically acclaimed comedy opens in cinemas nationwide on 10th October 2014!

Gone Too Far poster

Gone Too Far! tells a quintessentially British-Nigerian story. A must-see, receiving high praise by cinema-goers and the industry.

Named Best New British Comedy at the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival 2014 and dir. Destiny Ekaragha was nominated for Best Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival in 2013. It was also named Best Independent Film at the influential Screen Nation Awards 2014.

Based on the Olivier Award-winning stage play by Bola Agbaje, first performed at The Royal Court, the warm, sparky Gone Too Far! is the feature debut of director Destiny Ekaragha and follows two estranged teenage brothers over the course of a single day as they meet for the first time, and struggle to accept each other for who they are.

GTF_Destiny_and_Bola_Production_shotWhen London teenager Yemi’s big brother Iku comes to live with him from Nigeria, his terrible fashion sense, broad Yoruba accent and misplaced confidence with the opposite sex threaten to destroy Yemi’s already limited street cred.

But when they’re forced to spend the day together on their Peckham estate, Yemi is forced to confront local bullies, the girl of his dreams and his own African heritage, and eventually together they learn the values of family and self-respect.

“Low-key, low-budget, high-intelligence, this is precisely the kind of film London ought to be producing.” **** Tom Huddleston, Time Out

Gone Too Far film clip imageThe film features an exciting and up and coming cast, including Malachi Kirby (Offender, My Brother The Devil) and Nigerian actor O.C. Ukeje, currently appearing in Half of a Yellow Sun alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor. Also starring are Shanika Warren-Markland (Adulthood,; Tosin Cole (Second Coming, Hollyoaks); Adelayo Adedayo (Some Girls); Golda John and comedian and presenter Eddie Kadi.

Check out the photos from the amazing film premiere!

Gone too far (27)Gone Too Far PremiereGone too far (24)


Redefining African fashion at London Fashion Week

24 Feb

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Written by Eliza Anyangwe
Photography by Gem Hall Photography
In association with http://artslang.tumblr.com/

On 19th February, the Ubuntu International Project brought an African aesthetic to London Fashion Week.

For a continent so often defined by negative stereotypes, and its contribution to any art form (not least fashion) trivialised, if at all acknowledged, what Errol Hendrickse and Theo Omambala, the team behind Ubuntu, achieved was to create a space for African creativity at the heart of arguably the most creative show on the fashion calendar.

If the philosophy at the heart of the show, as stated by Hendrickse, is to create “a design aesthetic that has depth and meaning,” then these collections achieved that. And from all the raised phones, cameras and iPads clicking away incessantly, from the necks contorting to get a better glimpse of the garments and the excited whispers as each look came down the catwalk, there was no shortage of inspiration for many.

The show got off to a good start with Clinton Lotter‘s collection of dogtooth shift dresses, fitted jackets, pencil skirts and finger gloves in black and forest greens.  But soon I was more bemused than blown away; jewellery by Frankli Wild was by turn both fascinating, yet somewhat reminiscent of a crafts project.

For me, the stand out collection was by Jose Hendo, for the Ugandan designer’s innovative use of fabric – including barkcloth – the complex tailoring and the drama of each creation. I was also pleased to see a little playfulness from the designers behind Ayo van Elmar who stuck lit incense sticks into the kufi hats the models wore. With a nod to Katherine Hamnett’s use of the catwalk to raise awareness for political, economic and social issues, Jacqueline Shaw clad her models in t-shirts with slogans such as: “African grown and sewn,” highlighting the need for investment in Africa’s textile supply chain.

This was not a show laden with fashion that pushed technical and creative boundaries, but what Ubuntu at London Fashion Week was, was an opening for African designers onto the world. Conversely, it also offered a new lens through which Africa can be looked at.

The Ubuntu team are not intrepidly dipping their toe into fashion waters somewhere on the periphery of where the trend-makers are. They are boldly thrusting themselves and African designers into the mainstream fashion spotlight and are daring to challenge and redefine what the African aesthetic is at the same time.


13 Jul

Group B            W            D            L            GD            PTS

South Korea         1            0            0              2              3

Argentina              1            0             0              1              3

Nigeria 0            0            1            -1              0

Greece                   0            0            1            -2              0

Super Eagles VS Argentina

Nigeria was the second home nation to light up South African soil. In their way, a shaky, unconvincing Argentine side that has struggled to make an impression on the world stage considering the talent at their disposal. With the eccentric Maradona at the helm, Argentina’s biggest problem is how to best deploy Lionel Messi, one of the best players in the world with the potential to be a thorn in Nigeria’s side. Messi did not disappoint, and the Super Eagles didn’t soar so much as back off Maradona’s protégée early in the match up. This proved to be Nigeria’s undoing when in the sixth minute, the diminutive striker let fly when afforded too much space. The resultant corner saw the Super Eagle defence not so much switch off as focus too much attention on players in the six-yard box. Veron played a cross towards the penalty spot and Heinze loped forward to confidently head into the back of the net. 1 – 0

While Argentina flooded forward, it was plain to see that the Super Eagles are one of Africa’s high flyers. Obasi played a great game down the left wing, causing many a problem for makeshift defender Gutierrez. Obasi flashed an early shot wide after skilfully skipping passed his man. Obasi beat Gutierrez on several occasions, drawing out those “if only he…” moments. Keeper Enyeama, flew between the sticks to preserveing a respectable score and frustrating the highly billed Messi who fashioned chances both for himself and his compatriots. All is not lost for Nigeria who will take heart from South Korea’s 2 – 0 defeat of Greece, opening the speculation doors throughout the group phase as the Super Ealges will feel they have every chance against the Greeks and could hold their own against South Korea.

Final Score: Nigeria 0 – 1 Argentina

Most Impressive African Player: Obasi ran rings round Gutierrez, but I think Enyeama just edges it.

Talking Point: Why is there so much noise about the Vuvuzela? Yes, it can sound like a swarm of bees, but surely we can all deal with it. Every country has their way of supporting their team and it seems every nation’s fans have taken to them with gusto. So if you find the sound is annoying, noisy, too intimidating or whatever, sucks to be you I say, it’s probably doing its job! I say more Vuvuzela’s, they create a fantastic atmosphere and the first African World Cup would not be the same without them.

Fela! the musical is coming to the National Theatre London!!

21 Mar


New York Times Published: March 18, 2010

While the West End has been home to the commercial runs of many successful Broadway musicals, the nonprofit National Theater in London on Thursday announced a rare undertaking for its stages: a production of the new Broadway musical “Fela!” later this year that will star the two actors who now alternate in the title role in New York.

The National Theater mostly produces plays, musicals and revivals on its own accord, and only occasionally imports or replicates American works. The Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning play “August: Osage County” transferred to the National in 2008, and the theater also mounted Tony Kushner’s musical “Caroline, or Change” in 2006, two years after its Broadway run ended.

The leaders of the National said in interviews that they had decided to pursue “Fela!” after seeing the Broadway production in January and thinking that the music and choreography of the show — about the Afrobeat star Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, featuring dancers in the aisles of a theater decorated like a Nigerian nightclub — was unlike anything now in London. They also said the musical might prove popular with Africans and world-music aficionados in London who know more about Fela than many Americans do.

“ ‘Fela!’ is one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had in the theater, and it will be a thrilling experience to bring it to the National,” said Nicholas Hytner, its artistic director.

Bill T. Jones, the director and choreographer of “Fela!” on Broadway, will perform the same duties at the National, and the two actors who play the lead, Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo, are set to perform on the stage of the National’s Olivier Theater.

“Fela!” is a relatively large-scale Broadway show, costing about $10 million to mount, and the National production will also be sizable, with a cast of about 22 people and a band of 10, theater executives said. The National’s executive director, Nick Starr, said that “Fela!” would play in repertory with a production of “Hamlet,” to star Rory Kinnear. Because the Olivier will need to accommodate both shows, Mr. Starr said, Mr. Jones and his “Fela!” designers will rely more on projections than they do in New York because they will not be able to decorate the Olivier to look like Fela’s nightclub in Lagos.

Stephen Hendel, the lead producer of “Fela!” on Broadway, said he had not begun thinking about a London production of “Fela!” until Mr. Hytner and Mr. Starr approached him in January. “Fela!” opened on Broadway only in November, to generally strong reviews. Grosses have been steady lately, but ticket sales have not been spectacular.

Mr. Hendel declined to discuss the financial arrangements, other than to confirm that the American producers will help cover travel and incidental expenses of the creative team. But Mr. Hendel said the National production could have great long-term value for “Fela!”

“You can’t buy the imprimatur of a theater like the National embracing your show,” Mr. Hendel said, adding that it was “a great way to introduce the show for the first time internationally.”

Third Place Playoff: Nigeria vs Algeria

1 Feb

Today saw the battle for the wooden spoon. An often forgotten and unglamorous affair, which provides minimal redemption for the victors. This year’s third place will belong to one of two surprise packages. Algeria, who lost their opening game to minnows Malawi, have turned their fortunes around and remarkably beat strong favourites Cote D’Ivoire in the quarter finals. Nigeria never really got going in the competition but still find themselves with the chance of some restored pride. If Nigeria win, they will have finished third 4 times out of the last 5 competitions. Either way, the sides have proved, beyond many sceptics beliefs, that they are still African heavy weights and deserve the places they both fought hard to achieve in qualifying for the World Cup.

The game got off to a subdued start with each team starting understrength sides. Nigeria by choice, perhaps giving fringe players a chance to shine and at the same time give tired legs a rest. Algeria through suspension, after having 3 players sent off in the clash with bitter rival Egypt in Thursday’s semi final.

The first ten minutes were on the verge of exhibition football, with neither team looking bothered to really go for it. Obinna caught the eye again with a solo effort that was just saved by replacement centre back, Slimane. Ghezal continued his fine form this Africa Cup of Nations, but had his shot blocked by Bolton‘s Shittu. Nigeria again came close when veteran striker Kanu narrowly missed a fine left-footed effort. Just before the break, Nigeria should really have taken the lead when they split the Algerian defence, only for Uche to try find Obasi when he really should have gone for goal. That exhibition feel was truly in the air.

Nigeria came out the stronger again in the second half and Obasi again should have secured the lead but his composure let him down. Taiwo’s free kick almost caught replacement keeper Zemmamouche napping and he scramble to just keep it out. The rebound fell kindly to Obasi, but he hit his shot too hard into the ground and it came crashing back off the woodwork. Obinna eventually atoned on 55 minutes. He latched onto a loose ball and magiced his way through the Algerian defence finishing coolly round Zemmamouche. 1 – 0

With the lead, Nigeria brought on the big guns and it almost paid off with substitute Matins coming close to the second as the match drew to a close. Algeria rallied and pressed further forward, but the damage was done and Nigeria held on for the win. The teams were obviously weighed down by missing out on the final, but put on a decent enough display for Nigeria to claim third place in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

Final Score: Nigeria 1 – 0 Algeria

Man of the Match: Obinna for bringing the game to life with his surging runs and clinching the winner.

Eagles to shoot for the Stars: Ghana vs Nigeria

29 Jan

(Ghana celebrates - Source: Getty images)

Today boasts a tasty double bill of clashes with an appetising battle of supremacy and a regional scores to settle for dessert. The first of the games sees an all west African clash, that pits the waning wits of the Nigerians, against the unlikely youth of the Ghana’s Black Stars. Without midfield talisman Essien, you wouldn’t have bet on Ghana achieving anything this Cup of Nations. The young-Stars  have shone throughout the tournament, slipping up only in their encounter with Cote D’Ivoire. But looks who’s still going strong. The Super Eagles have given a poor account of themselves thus far, barely scraping through games. Their last match a prime example when they were outplayed for the entire second half by the lowest ranking team left in the tournament, Zambia. Nigeria was lucky the Zambians lacked a cutting edge up front and that allowed the not-so-Super Eagles to fortuitously find themselves on the brink of the final of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu, was given the semi final as a minimum target in order to keep his job, and somehow he has so far delivered. There is still much unrest and debate about him leading the Super Eagles to the World Cup and you feel his acceptance will only be complete if Nigeria lift the Nations Cup. On paper, the team he boasts is capable of achieving all his wildest dreams. There’s only one thing I’ve got to say about that; the game’s not played on paper.

Nigeria flew out, relentlessly attacking the junior Stars. They played with a tempo we’ve not yet seen- to be fair, it would be a feat for them to play any slower. Martins looked lively and almost put the Super Eagles ahead twice in the opening siege. With Odemwingie aiding in troubling the back four, Ghana looked to be in for a long night. Kingson, however, cut a calm figure in the Black Star’s goal and managed to clear up many balls that the blossoming partnership threaded through. HIs confidence soon spread to the rest of the team as they seemed content to soak up some pressure. After 20 minutes and very much against the run of play, Ghana won a corner. The ball was whipped in to the near post. Gyan stole across the defence. He leapt and glanced a powerful header in to the back of the net. The Black Stars were rewarded for keeping their cool and sang to the cool tune of 1 – 0.

Nigeria were forced to chase the game and almost found themselves trailing even further when Gyan lobbed Enyeama, the ball dipping just the wrong side of the bar. At the other end, Martins came close to equalising when he latched onto a speculative Odemwingie effort, but once again Kingson was on hand to pick up the pieces. Nigeria began to rush their play, the 2 up front lashing shots from distance or pulling shots wide. The half ended with Ghana comfortably sitting on a lead and Nigeria desperate for a spark of inspiration.

The Black Stars came out shakily in the second half, almost conceding 2 own goals in the first 10 minutes. The Nigerians had the fight back in them and it looked like only a matter of time before they equalised. They had shots blocked, saved and hit the side netting. The Nigerians flooded forward and mixed up their tactics wonderfully. They stretched the defence and played good crosses. They played balls over the top to feed their strikers. They played through the feet of their skilled midfield. The Black Stars defence was well-tested and came through hairy moments, but the Super Eagles couldn’t deliver in the final third. It was Nigeria’s turn to come up short and rue missed opportunities. Ghana’s tactics worked brilliantly again and Gyan found the net to shoot the Black Stars to their first final since 1992.

Final Score: Ghana 1 – 0 Nigeria

Man of the Match: Kingson who kept the Nigerians out time after time and lead the defence with great authority.

Chipolopolos and Eagles: Zambia vs Nigeria

26 Jan

Nigerian players celebrating winning by the skin of their teeth

And so to the last of the quarter finals and a chance to book a place to play Ghana in the semi finals. The two teams come into the game with a tasty head to head record – Zambia 5 wins, Nigeria 5 wins and 4 draws between the sides. It would seem the teams are an even match for each other. Not quite. Zambia, once among the African élite have not been the same progressive nation since losing most if their team in a plane crash in 1993. They surpassed expectations in the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, with a quickly built team to reach the final only to lose… to Nigeria. The Chipolopolo Boys have not progressed passed the group phase of the tournament since 1996 when they lost to Tunisia in the semi finals. Nigeria on the other hand have made to at least the semi finals every Africa Cup of Nations since 1992. But considering some of the results we’ve witnessed over the last 2 weeks, perhaps we should rip up the form book and find out if the Super Eagles can dodge a Copper Bullet.

The teams squared off in the opening exchanges, with neither side looking the superior. Both sets of defenders were well organised and hard to break down. The Super Eagles showed great composure on the ball and passed it around neatly and eventually took the upper hand, making Zambia work hard for scraps. The Chipolopolo Boys showed the great levels of energy that troubled Cameroon in their second group game, closing down quickly and doubling up in defence when they were pressed. But neither keeper had real cause for concern, the teams tactics were extremely similar and cancelled each other out. Nigeria’s first shot came on 15 minutes after a good spell of passing and a pull back to Etuhu whose shot was well struck but straight at Mweene who tidied up calmly.

The Zambians heard the wake up call on 30 minutes when Mweene had to beat away a fierce Mikel shot. They stopped granting Nigeria space and pressurised higher up the pitch. Nigeria began to look like shadows of their former selves as Zambia grew into the game and earned some possession. But Zambia couldn’t break down the Super Eagles defence and free anyone up front. A great contest was developing between Odemwingie- who fired 2 passed Mozambique in Nigeria’s closing group game- and Mbola- a 16-year-old star in the making, who becomes the youngest player to grace the quarter finals.

Half time was looming when Zambia made a great break down the wing. A cross fizzed in hard and low. Chamaga open up his body fantastically and got a touch to it. He did everything right except the most important thing: putting the ball in the back of the net. Nigeria heaved a huge sigh of relief. He should have scored.

The first half saw Nigeria win by a huge margin on possession. The game’s not won on possession. Zambia came into the second half bubbling with belief and sensing a scalp- could the lowest ranking team left in the competition oust the Super Eagles?

Zambia upped the tempo and camped inside the Nigerian half for long periods. The Chipolopolo showed great confidence and forced Nigeria to dig deep to keep them out. Felix Katongo led the charge, cutting in from the left and releasing a powerful effort. The shot hit Enyeama more than he saved it and Nigeria were clearly rattled. Zambia’s dominance on the half was highlighted through the number of corners they won, almost scoring from 2 of them. Himonde rose above the defence and a good header was cleared off the line. Moments later Mulenga, Zambia’s 2 goal hero, also saw an effort cleared off the line.

At the other end Yakubu found an inch of space but the defence recovered well to clear their lines. A timely reminder that there was still danger for the Zambians. The defensive line pushed further and further up the pitch, forming an impenetrable white line of resistance draining the Nigerians. But chance after chance was wasted and the Chipolopolo Boys started having speculative long-range efforts. That ill feeling of regret began to rear its ugly head. Would Zambia pay for their missed opportunities?

Extra time. Both teams made all their substitutions and the game continued with Zambia in the ascendency. Neither team wanted to go to penalties. Each team had good chances to settle it. It wasn’t meant to be.

The Shoot-out: Nigeria won the toss and put Zambia on the spot.

Chivuta: Zambia 1-0 Nigeria
Mikel: Zambia 1-1 Nigeria
Chris Katongo: Zambia 2-1 Nigeria
Martins: Zambia 2-2 Nigeria
Mayuka: Zambia 3-2 Nigeria
Obinna: Zambia 3-3 Nigeria
Nyrenda holds his hand up. Hesitates. Replaces the ball. Saved: Zambia 3-3 Nigeria
Odemwingie: Zambia 3-4 Nigeria
Keeper Mweene: Zambia 4-4 Nigeria
Keeper Enyeama: Zambia 4-5 Nigeria

Zambia played a valiant game and were not afraid to take anyone on. Nigeria almost lost the contest despite their deeper talent pool and only have the luck dip of penalties to thank.
Final Score: Zambia 0 – 0 Nigeria (Nigeria win 4 – 5 on penalties)
Man of the Match: the star in the making Mbola. Not afraid to take the game to the Nigerians and left Odemwingie on his backside deep into extra time. Great confidence and poise. He will have attracted many suitors with that performance.
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