Today in #TheLagosReview

QuramoWritersPrize Entry -“Deep Ocean” by Obinna Tony-Francis Ochem

‘“Deep Ocean” by Obinna Tony-Francis Ochem makes the shortlist of 15 for this year’s #QuramoWritersPrize (QWP055)

Walking out from the door, he took three steps before walking down the wooden staircase of his bamboo house. He gripped his phone in his palm, and the dim rays of light from his phone’s flashlight illuminated the debris. He walked towards the mound.

Perplexed, his body froze and he placed his phone into his pocket and stood with arm akimbo. What’s this? He thought to himself. The current really disturbed eh, and there is enough work to do tomorrow.

He heaved, puffing out cold air. His body stiffened and he clenched his palms together, twisting and causing his fingers to crack in succession. He shivered as cold air puffed out from his mouth and nose. His attention caught a movement in the debris. It was moving in slow motion and the debris was falling little by little. He twitched his hands around his stomach, and kept drifting backward.

Announcement of the winner for this year’s #QuramoWritersPrize will be made on Sunday, December 15 , 2019 at Qfest 2019.

“Now Showing”
An Exhibition About African American Movie Posters

National Museum of African American History and Culture To Present “Now Showing”
Exhibition About African American Movie Posters On View Through Nov. 1, 2020

Collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, gift of Leith Adam
Collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, gift of Leith Adam
“Now Showing: Posters from African American Movies” opened at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Nov. 22. The temporary exhibition will be on display until November 2020. It showcases how movie poster design has been used to frame ideas, create moods and stoke interest in films and characters. More than 40 objects and graphics celebrating black films, filmmakers and actors from the museum’s expansive poster collection will be on display in the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) gallery.

“Now Showing” is the first exhibition in the National Museum of African American History and Culture to feature augmented reality (AR). Through AR, visitors will have the unique opportunity to have an interactive experience with objects inside the gallery by using their mobile devices. Once inside the exhibition, visitors will go to on their mobile web browser from their smart device and view exclusive content on various objects inside the exhibition.

Many of the items featured in “Now Showing” are from the Larry Richards Collection, a poster collection acquired by the museum in 2013 that includes more than 700 objects. This exhibition features original posters, lobby cards and select ephemera highlighting more than 70 years of African American image making.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: Film Pioneers, The Problem of the Color Line, A Star Is Born and Black Power & “Blaxploitation”. Each thematic category highlights the role African American films have played on the perception of African American culture and broader society.

“Film can serve as a peek into ideals about culture and society,” said Rhea L. Combs, curator and head of CAAMA. “This exhibition introduces visitors to films featuring African Americans they may be less familiar with, and at the same time, it recognizes some of the most historically and culturally relevant films made over a 70-year period. The significant artistry and design work that goes into creating not only the films, but the posters that promote the films, are not to be underestimated. When one explores the long-standing history of African American images on screen, these posters become significant artifacts about the perception and perspective of race, gender and culture that have been a part of our social landscape for decades.”

In the first section of the exhibition, Film Pioneers, visitors can view some of the earliest influencers in African American cinema, like actors Laurence Criner, Ralph Cooper and Lena Horn. This section also examines how non-black filmmakers created content for patrons excited to see black performers on the silver screen. The Problem of the Color Line examines the phenomena known as “passing,” where a mixed-race person passes as an accepted member of another racial group to avoid discrimination. A Star Is Born shows how increased interest in films helped create celebrities, increased representation in films and instilled a sense of pride in black communities across the country due to increased number of African Americans appearing in this new medium. The exhibition concludes with Black Power & “Blaxploitation,” which highlights the rise of movies geared toward black audiences in the 1960s–70s. During this era, Blaxploitation films centered around black casts and were usually set in and around urban environments. These films often brought black communities together by promoting black empowerment and breaking down racial barriers.

First Exhibition With Augmented Reality Experience

For the first time at the museum, AR will play a role in the exhibition experience. Visitors can interact with eight select posters and learn more about the objects using their mobile devices. The feature will use video and other pop-up displays to educate visitors on the objects in the gallery—creating a unique, one-of-a-kind experience.

“Now Showing: Posters from African American Movies” is in the museum’s CAAMA gallery, a temporary exhibition space located on the second floor.

The public can be a part of the online conversation by using #CAAMALens.

About the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 6 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit

YELF Literary Evening Event reveals final edition for 2019

As the year comes to an end, Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation would be gathering literary enthusiasts again in her last YELF Literary Evening Event for the Year 2019.

The event which promises to be exciting, entertaining and enlightening will be the last instalment for the year and will feature guest speaker, Bayo Olupohunda and guest moderator Aysha Abdullahi

Date is the 30th of Nov, 2019.
Time: 4pm Prompt.
Venue: Creativity Court.
Entry is free of charge

About Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation (YELF)
It is a non-political, non-profit and a non-governmental organisation duly incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria. It was established in 2013 by Mrs Hadiza Isma El-Rufai in memory of her daughter, Yasmin El-Rufai who had a great passion for literature, creativity and knowledge.

Wole Soyinka and the “Cancer of Illiteracy.”

Here we go again! I have not seen the final presentation of a BBC feature programme on Health Awareness in which my 2014 experience with cancer was featured, but have been bombarded by narratives of the most disquieting nature, distortions through either misreporting or media misconceptions of what the BBC feature actually conveyed.

The first – and most urgent – correction of course is to re-state that this is an ancient tale that is firmly situated in the past tense. In other words, I have not been under any cancer related condition for over five years. Indeed, it was in order to avoid creating any such anxieties that I refrained from even revealing my own ordeal until I had fully and successfully concluded treatment. I made the original revelation in 2015, in support of the late Professor Femi Williams’ drive to set up an Africa Cancer Centre in Nigeria. It did not fail to strike an instructive chord that I had been a founding participant in that health initiative, little suspecting at the time that I was already a carrier of the enemy virus!

Next, and more worrisome, is that some of the reportage suggests that I criticized Nigerians for seeking treatment outside the country. This is outright nonsense! Those who are able must seek health from wherever, including the outer planets, as long as a nation fails to provide even the most rudimentary but effective and sustainable health facilities for her own citizens. Indeed, I called it a shame that a nation as resource endowed as Nigeria has failed in that fundamental aspect, since it privileges just a few as against the totality. I lamented a situation where a nation’s president leaves his station again and again for weeks on end to seek treatment outside his nation, while the health system over which he presides steadily collapses around him.

I repeat: I have yet to see the programme, but perhaps I should start thinking of my next collaboration with the BBC or any other public awareness outreach, this time, around the urgent theme of a different form of cancerous affliction: the cancer of illiteracy!


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