Isn’t he though?
Stephen Is King
I know I have a ways to go. In fact, as far as writing goes, I haven’t even started.
Literally speaking, I’m the kid who just finished reading a run of The Punisher comics. He (the kid) doesn’t exactly agree with the vigilante’s style of justice; he was raised by God-wearing parents, but he understands Frank Castle’s pain. The kid is just fourteen but he can understand how losing one’s family can drive one to near insanity. He looks at his father and silently swears to kill the man the next time he raises his hand against the beautiful woman who bought him the Punisher comics; same woman who just bought him a sheaf of A4 papers and new pencils so he can practice his drawings.
But tonight; something else is on the kid’s mind.
He/I pick up a pencil and with its sharpened tip I…
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I’m sure you know the effusive Ogechi Nwobia.
If you don’t, where have you been hiding?!
Anyway. She had a successful run publishing what I’m just finding out was the first ‘season’ of an ongoing series called Hunter’s Game. Intriguing title, no?
This is to inform you guys that Hunter’s Game will be continuing this Saturday the first of October on Ogechi’s blog here: Her Blog.
That made me laugh sef.
Now, a sneak peek into what to expect from Hunter’s Game II:
The sun had long since completed its return home by the time she took her evening run. Her trail was different tonight as she ran through the city for the first time. It had always been through the beach or some other trail close to home but this night, she took a different, longer trail, just for the fun of it. Her ears were plugged into her iPod, Eminem’s rap filling her ears and fueling her heart rate as she maintained a steady pace of 3:38.
After completing 6km, she commenced her return home, her pace dropping slightly to 3:50. In 30 minutes, she was back to her small cottage overlooking the Jibacoa beach. She peeled her soaked tank top and tights off her body and went into the bathroom for a cold shower just as she turned on the television in her room.
When she came out of the shower, she sat in front of the television, drying her short hair. She needed to cut it again. The hair grew way too fast. She suddenly noticed an item on the news bar:
“Breaking News. Passenger plane crashes in Nigeria, killing all 120 passengers aboard.”
“Holy shit!!” Ijeoma exclaimed.
She turned up the volume of the news and listened as the reporter provided updates of a plane crash that had taken place hours ago. It was 3am in Nigeria but quite clearly, no one was asleep. The airplane was one in the fleet of Miranda airlines owned by Chief Victor Ubong. At that time, the passenger manifest was being read. The journalist reported that 3 of Chief Ubong’s children had been on the flight, one them was the pilot, the other a flight attendant and the third one apparently hitching a ride. The black box had been found and investigations had commenced.
Ijeoma buried her face in her palms. This was completely shocking. Chief Ubong was well known to her. He had actually arranged the private jet that had taken her off to Cuba six months ago. How could such a thing happen to him? She briefly contemplated reaching out to him but changed her mind. They were not exactly tight buddies. He owed her a favour and had repaid it by ensuring her safe passage out of Nigeria. No need to get emotional over his loss.
She turned off the television and changed into something light for the night, then walked into her small kitchen and fixed herself a cocktail. There was so much madness going on in the world, she would rather remain oblivious to it all.
She took her drink back to her room then turned on her Netflix and relaxed in her bed.
Against the backdrop of the movie dialogue, Ijeoma heard a ping that signified a notification for her email. She paused the movie, picked her iPad and checked. The mail had come into a Gmail account she had not used in months.
Check the news. There was a crash. Someone just murdered my kids. Come home. I need your help.
The sender was V. Ubong. Ijeoma stared at the screen for a long time before taking another sip of her cocktail. She slowly typed out a response;
My condolences chief. But I’m retired. Never returning to Nigeria.
She sent the email and shut down the iPad before returning her attention to the big screen in front of her.
The mean *&@%^!
Keep it a date with her, stalk her everywhere. I assure you, she (and it) are entirely worth it!!
To have a feel of what you missed by not reading Hunter’s Game before now, click here:
Thank me later.
This is where we fight for the right to express.
Here we go again. But this time, it’s me with a new product from a known team.
In collaboration with Metamorph, our business consulting company, we’re putting together something known as *drum roll*
the underline academy
Thank you for the warm applause. I’m humbled.
the underline academy was created out of a need to help writers/creatives maximize their earning potential, making the most of their gifts and abilities. It started as a mashup exercise – a combination of several courses of interest with the intent of seguing into more specific courses and training as the school advances.
Bottom line: this is here to stay.
The first in a number of training programs is story wars I. It is a mashup of almost everything I know as far as writing goes (songwriting would have been in there but people prefer screenwriting so) with some really professional people instructing the classes.
But – Don’t take my word for it. Check this out:
Sure looks good don’t it?
Well. Invest in now.
To find out more visit: the underline academy
Exposit: A Look Into A Spoken Word Poet’s Imagination
In a time when local identity has almost become a forgotten phenomenon; children have traditional names they do not know the meaning of and speak a language that has no tie to their country, a tribal voice might be a necessity. Something; or someone to remind us who we are and where we’re from.
Enter Adebola Afolabi or, at least for the purpose of this piece, RezThaPoet.
Being one of the frequenters of WAPI – a now-defunct initiative by the British Council, I am familiar with Rez’s work first-hand. Around that time it seemed as though spoken word was experiencing resurgence, with Sage Hasson gracing interviews with Sound City, hanging out with the lyricist Mode 9 and Plumbline shooting highly acclaimed videos for his pieces. But then, with the disappearance of WAPI also went some of these enthusiasts – at least, from ‘public eye’.
Enter Taruwa, another space for these word-aficionados to wield their craft and for a while, Rez also performed there but it seemed more like the paroxysm of a dying animal as opposed to a purposeful action with an end in sight.
Suddenly, word on the ‘street’ was that Rez is recording a spoken word album.
Careful digging revealed that indeed, on the 25th of July, Rez released a spoken word album titled Exposit Deluxe Edition. I purchased a copy of the album via his website, downloaded it and settled to listen.
First single from Rez: I AM
Exposit Deluxe Edition opens with an ‘Introlude, Greed’ that takes into account the narrator’s perspective of something happening at a party. It appears as though, after observing a guest for a while, he cannot hold himself anymore and exclaims; ‘Na greed! I tell you, na greed!” Another ‘guest’ berates the narrator for not minding his business – and the track segues into another one; Awoof, continuing the theme of the intro. This time, Rez tells the story of several characters, how they fall prey to greed in varying circumstances and the consequences of their actions, reinforced with the repeated theme; “Awoof dey run belle!’
It’s a Nigerian term – but the applications are worldwide.
The first thing to note about Exposit/Rez is how liberally he colors his pieces with Nigerian slangs and terminologies. Sometimes, it seems as though he neglects his foreign crowd, so painstakingly earned by touring in Paris, South Africa, Namibia and so on, but the constant use of English sort of brings the narrative home. Germaine is a somewhat-regretful ode to friendships turned sour because of miscommunication and assumptions and growing apart. Asake is the ballad of love and romance; and this is the arena in which Rez flexes his writing/reciting muscles, weaving through native and contemporary expressions in a bid to capture the elusive Asake, the object of his affection/attention.
The Future is the definitive track by which I sum my experience listening to Exposit; introspective, bragging, confident, fearless. Rez’s vocals are accompanied by a haunting flute that does much to capture the calmness of the piece. Lines like ‘the future is coming for you/head-on collision/hear the sounds – as/the future is humming for you/the stars/galaxies and the universe – all turning for you/so all you need to do, olo mi (my love)/is to respect time and soon the world/shall revel in your sunshine/” puts into perspective the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a love one which could be anyone of us. The Future is clear in its message but leaves itself open to multiple interpretations; a message of hope in one’s dreams or a romantic ode to the object of one’s desire.
Lloffa is a sweeping track on greed and conflict with footnotes in history while One and The Same, the second single features a Sikiru Ayinde Barrister sample of the refrain ‘Omo Nigeria e je ka ronu jinle’ meaning ‘O Nigerians let us think deeply’.
All through the album, reference is made to Rez’s linage and traditional roots. All of these come to a head in the opus, first single and ironically last track I Am. Rez’s braggadocio is at its most evident here, reminding the listener of his royal ancestry and traditional background amidst a simple instrumental that leaves enough space for vocal flexing. It’s too easy to imagine Nas on the same beat.
While Rez’s writing is almost impeccable, his delivery is somewhat hesitant on a number of tracks, as though questioning his narrative or the potency of his pronunciation of certain words. However, Stormatique’s accompanying jazz riffs makes this most indiscernible and makes the listening experience a sweet one all by itself.
It’s a fitting way to begin what many hope will be a really long career – a long and illustrious career.
If you’re just coming in – welcome. You can go here to read the Intro to the series.
Are you up to speed now? Good.
The first part in the series has just been posted by the good folks at Nothing To Do In Lagos. You know I had to set this off with a love story, right?
Well. Go here now and read Lagos Is…Lonely by yours truly.
Thank you for the support! Welcome to my Lagos.
An Impending Batfleck Crisis; or How Zack Snyder Has Backed Himself Into A Corner
Having seen every live-action version of my all-time favorite superhero, believe me when I say this: Ben Affleck is the best Batman so far.
You no go wan try that jawline.
I know; that may sound farfetched – especially considering the track record of all the other Batmen against Affleck’s – in 1943 Lewis Wilson played Batman for a fifteen-part serial film (actually the first man to portray Batman on screen), Robert Lowery took over the role in 1949 for another fifteen-part sequel to the original, Adam West, the most popular of all the early portrayals played the Dark Knight from 1966 – 1969 in a one-hundred-and-twenty television series. Fast forward to 1989 with Michael Keaton taking over the role and playing for two hugely successful films; Batman and Batman Returns and then Val Kilmer for Batman Forever and George Clooney in Batman and Robin, a role he is still apologizing for (he starts talking about it at the 1:30 mark).
Then came what I call The New Wave with Christian Bale breathing new life into the character for three movies; Batman Begins (my all-time favorite), The Dark Knight (where Heath Ledger’s Joker successfully made Batman a sideshow freak in his own movie) and Dark Knight Rises (which really made little sense on a lot of levels).
And then, Ben Affleck, who at the time of this writing has not made a full-length Batman movie.
So why am I convinced he is the best man for the job?
First, a little on Affleck’s superhero movie history.
A fan of Daredevil comics as a child (I knew we had more in common than looks!) Affleck jumped at the chance to play his hero in the 2003 tragedy that was Daredevil. Affleck himself hated the movie and reportedly vowed to never wear tights again.
After he’d recovered and turned in a solid performance directing and starring in The Town, Fox offered him the chance to direct and star in a Daredevil reboot — but Affleck turned it down for obvious reasons.
Now, when I heard back then that he was cast as Batman I was upset. One thing that calmed me was the fact that I’d the same reaction to the news of Ledger’s casting as the Joker – and look how that played out. So I choked my ire and held my peace and I have been greatly rewarded for my silence.
Oh. What a reward. Every moment Affleck’s Batman is on screen in the monster failure BvS is a gem, even his brief unaccredited appearances in Suicide Squad, as Batman and Bruce Wayne. Even Will Smith admitted to being a fan and becoming giddy when the Batmobile appeared on the Suicide Squad set.
To avoid going on and on, here’s Cinema Blend’s piece on why Affleck’s the best Batman. Go read, I’ll wait.
Are you done? Good.
Now, apart from raising the bar for every Batman appearance, Snyder has set himself up for some backlash if he’s not careful. Probably the biggest criticism of the latest Batman is his utter disregard for human life, as seen in the way he riddles bad guys with bullets from the Batmobile (I always wondered what those canons were for!), drops a car on some, makes another set drive through a fuel tanker and even being willing to kill Superman.
Personally I don’t mind, even though I understand Batman’s overly strict adherence to his no-kill policy (it becomes a too-easy solution and triggers a faster descent into insanity for him ala Frank Castle), it makes little sense as we progress in the world and in film-making.
Now, as said before, I take some delight in watching Batman brutalize criminals. This Batman is a wrecking ball, tearing through criminals like wallpaper. And I make some allowances; the world has evolved so much from the black-and-white zone it was many years ago. In fact, the initial Batman stories had him using handguns and breaking necks ((Yes, I have some of those comics. Kill yasef) Affleck’s Batman is older, he has lost his Robin and has witnessed the crumbling of Gotham in spite of his twenty-year war on crime. It’s a silent testament to the character that he hasn’t lost his sanity.
But he has to grow; he has to become disillusioned with the reality that legal justice is a revolving door especially where Gotham’s maniacs are concerned. They escape just as quickly as he catches them, and in the most severe cases ala Joker, another thousand pay for that.
So I have made my peace with the fact that Affleck’s Batman is a killer. Are you with me?
And here’s the trap Affleck and Snyder have set for themselves:
Batman had better kill Joker or have an extremely good explanation – like maybe there’s a bomb attached to his heart or something.
Already, that may not happen considering he left Harley Quinn alive after capturing her in Suicide Squad; even though he knows she helped kill Robin (in case you missed that scene in same Suicide Squad, it’s the part she was introduced in the club. She was implicated via on-screen text).
If Bats has no qualms offing common thugs and criminals, how much more a couple that has more homicides to their name than Adolf Hitler?
I also questioned Bale’s Batman’s saving Joker from falling in the Dark Knight movie – after he left Ra’s Al Ghul to die in the first Batman movie (‘I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you’); it made no sense other than a selfish reason to preserve an object of personal fascination.
I really hope Affleck can tie up those loose ends in the impending solo Batman movie; already my second most favorite character Deathstroke is being teased as the bad guy and I’m just biting my fingers. I didn’t like the character in Arrow; I hope this one is way better.
Justice League shows in 2017/2019 and the Batman solo movie is being prepped for 2018.
If you’ve been around the past few weeks, you would have noticed the premiere and then sudden seizure of a certain series…
Clueless? Well, remain so no longer. There’s good news!
Tomi, writer of Clueless decided to put it together in an ebook and make it available for purchase online.
So we have been airing Tomi Adesina’s #Clueless in the past weeks; Thank you so much for following and your support.
The complete book is available for download on Okadabooks for 500Naira. Click here
For those who can’t purchase via Okadabooks, please send a mail indicating interest to purchase to email@example.com and we would direct you. You could also send a WhatsApp message to 08075750609
Finally, don’t forget to share and join in the online discussion across social media.
Sample: I am Sharon and I just downloaded #Clueless by Tomi Adesina (@tomi_adesina) Download here:
Don’t forget to share to a book lover. Thank you!
To be Clear(er):
To Buy Clueless On OkadaBooks:
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Stop being Clueless. Own the Book.