The basement has now succomed by joining the rest of the world with the dot com craze. So you can now check out the new Guerilla Basement website and we would definitly appreciate you migrating your support over there. See you all on the other side. http://www.guerillabasement.com/
Look forward to seeing you there.
Wana Aka The Guerilla Queen
Monday, 13 December 2010
In every part of the world, they all say the same thing. “It’s all about networking”. Networking, networking and more bloody networking!!!
What they never tell you though is that it all works like a first past the post political system. Whatever party gets more votes, its leader becomes President or Prime Minister.
Basically the more popular you are, the more they become interested. It can feel very parasitic in nature but once you see it as symbiotic, you will feel less used. The more lies you tell your brain, the more it starts to believe it.
I remember writing tonnes of proposals for syndicated radio content and trying to sell them to corporate organisations. I sat in offices for hours watching the receptionist file and polish her finger nails hoping the boss would at some point spare me a moment of his time in the middle of his supposed four hour meeting. But the boss never shows up. You just stroll out of the office with a plastic smile on your face and your tail between your legs. All isn’t lost; at least you were entertained with a bit of mindless chit chat surrounding what make of weave you have stitched to your scalp or the next best unorthodox treatment to deal with your acne. Is it toothpaste or mentholated balm, you will just have to find out.
There are also the ones that make you come to their offices, drive you around their car and apologise at the end about the lack of time to discuss your idea. Then they tell you perhaps it would be better discussed over drinks at a bar or a night club. At least the invite for drinks raises your hopes but you ponder as to whether your physical assets are truly a gift or a curse. It all culminates in a rather interesting handshake where a middle finger is scratching your palm and of course your taxi fare is paid for as compensation for your day of waste. The truth is, they meet people like you everyday, smart, enthusiastic and full of ideas. They are numb from your kind and rather pour millions in funds into the junk they have been sponsoring and financing for years. Because you see in the end, they get a percentage cut as there is always a backdoor arrangement. As for you if there is a slight possibility for a free shag by pretending to show an iota of interest in your idea, then why not.
Then you go out to events. That is because they tell you that in this town, if you have no godfathers, Its all about networking, networking and more flaming networking!!!. There everyone is shamelessly plugging themselves and it seems every conversation is a well rehearsed sales pitch. When you are introduced to the gods in charge, the ones you need to know, the ones whose names begin with the prefix “Brand manager… or one of the largest shareholders in blah blah blah”.
Their hands glide out of yours so quickly, and their glances are removed with such alarming speed, you wonder perhaps, you had just morphed into a repulsive fly that was shooed away with an invisible fly swat. Then your eyes become weary from seeing the same faces at these parties, you become jaded from small talk, and then emerges the boiling point, when you see through all the bullshit and the only words that ring in your head are “I CANT BE BOVARD”
Your life goes back to normal. You work your backside off and hope that somebody takes notice and inevitably, you can earn a bit more money to kick start and finance your own ideas. Then your work starts to garner a bit of a following, and shortly after, recognition ensues. That’s when they all start to pop out of the woodworks. Mr Brand manager searches relentlessly for your telephone number even after you gave him a complementary card as advised by the “Networking Anonymous Bureau cum Association”. They will never remember the first time you met when they sniffed you like putrid fart. They will call and introduce themselves to you sycophantically throwing accolades and appellations on how much they have followed and admired your work. Then inform you about a project they have in progress, which they feel you completely embody and would be the best person to front or take charge off. They want you to become their official mascot, plus if you can think up any ideas, however tacky or nonsensical, they will pledge their unlimited support. What you discover is that now you have something. You have an audience and a consumer base.
Remember that here everyone is selling something and without customers, you can’t push units and can’t make money. So now, you have become of value. You are the gimmick to push their units; you are the strategy to prolong their visibility.
It’s a dog eat dog world as the cliché goes. As the lyrics to a certain song I know, its reads “Have you ever met a leach that’s good at saying goodbye”.
As much as you hate to believe it, networking can be an immense farce. One of three things is likely to draw them to you Money, Fame, or Power and however you choose to achieve that is at owners’ risk.
Your essence becomes narrowed down to your circle of influence.
I say just do the work and one day they will come and find you. The value you have created in the work and your effort will speak for itself despite the length of time and difficulty it may seem to achieve. But most of all when you meet people, know them simply for who they are. It is much more interesting and freeing an experience.
Thursday, 4 November 2010
Farafina Book Review: To Saint Patrick
The Farafina book review is here again! On the 6th of November, 2010 at TerraKulture, we would be hosting Eghosa Imasuen, the author of To Saint Patrick. Ace journalist, Toyin Akinosho will be reviewing the book while Wana of 92.3 Inspiration FM would be moderating.
To Saint Patrick is a work of alternate history. Set in Benin City after elections, Hadiza and Ayo, police officers are investigating a murder. They soon find themselves embroiled in a set of larger and more dangerous intrigues that could cost them all they have worked for.
What to expect? Expect to be entertained as well as enlightened! Expect to receive writing tips from accomplished writers! Expect to discuss pertinent issues about African writing with intellectuals! What more?! Expect to win free copies of To Saint Patrick and buy your favourite Farafina titles at reduced prices! I bet you wouldn’t miss this! See you there!
*Event starts at 3pm at TerraKulture, Tiamiyu Savage, V/I on Saturday, November 6 and is free to attend.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Our predecessors must probably shudder as they trod with their tripods and sit on their commodes, or better still want to crack their tomb stones into several pieces because of what has become of their great art. An art that took a dedicated consumption cum abuse of substances to attain ground breaking feat, an art that retreated them into a strange solitude and perpetually forced them to face madness head on just to be titled “Icons” decades after their demise. This same art that had sentenced them to the life of a destined pauper. Oh their spirits must contort in disbelief!!!!
Everything has changed now. If you say you are a writer, the reply tends to be a resounding “wowww” as opposed to “when are you going to stop bombing around and get a real job”. You are also likely to hear something like “I write too you know”. Of course the writing comes in different variants. From the monopolising of ones mundane and boring existence, chronicled as a “Dear Diary” on the internet, to constant whining of all your failed relationships and how you have now come full circle. You have uncovered that it was all part of the divine preparation for the new you.
It’s not that difficult to get your words into print either. Walking around Lagos, there is always an interesting character looking for how to meander into certain worlds and needs a legitimate ticket to be there. Most of the time the word “Publisher” becomes the V.I.P pass and as long as you can string two words together, you can very easily get a steady column in the esteemed publishers monthly printout and the remuneration for your supposed hard work are free tickets to just about anything going on around town. Before you know it, your face appears in a magazine with the tag line above that reads “Stars come out for new bed sheet launch”. Since we seem to run out of things to launch these days.
Thanks to the internet, Rock stars that straddle laptops as opposed to guitars are being churned out by the second. Your popularity is highly determined by how many comments you can generate per rant. As badly told as the stories are, eight out of ten times, you are likely to read a comment that says “Woww this is just fantastic”, “Your writing just blows me away”, “I really admire your courage” and the autonomous “nice one”.
It’s all a wonderful ego boost and when you get comfortable, you are likely to die in writing purgatory. Because actually popularity doesn’t mean you’re any good and facebook notes can simply epitomise non-quality controlled user generated content. And we all know there is always a groupie with the thumbs up sign ready to plaster it on a shitty note. It’s really the same in blogville. Just take a look at what im doing right now. This piece will probably be smeared with errors when I post it on the blog(dyslexia is a bitch), and you will read it and leave the comment “Brilliant…you have done it again”. The more times I do this and you tell your friends about my writing, the more it legitimises my writing status. Sooner than you know, you will elevate me to join the writing Rocker demagogues.
For now though, I will enjoy this hoax this me being a writer and hope that I don’t get caught anytime soon just before my decent from purgatory to hell.
Hopefully, I can get published in the New Yorker sometime soon and then I can claim that this piece was all part of my self deprecating sense of humour.
Friday, 8 October 2010
African Artists’ Foundation presents Lagos Photo, the first international photography festival in Nigeria
Lagos Photo aims to establish a community for contemporary photography that will unite local and international artists, through images that encapsulate individual experiences and identities from across all of Africa.
Participating artists are:
George Osodi, Kadir van Lohuizen, Lard Buurman, Juul Hondius, Hans Wilschut, Viviane Sassen, Andrea Sultiens, Henk Wildschut, Natasha Libbert, Jan-Joseph Stok, Mario Macilau, Angele Essamba, Edgar Cleijne, Anoek Steketee, Aisha Dapchi, Emeke Obanor, Olayinka Stephens, Tam Fiofori, Adolphus Opara, Andrew Esiebo, Akintunde Akinleye, Toye Gbade, Caline Chagoury, Cristina Baldan and Lara ter Veen.
Date: Saturday 9 October 2010
Venue: The New Expo Center, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos
Admission is FREE
For more information, visit www.lagosphoto.org
Also check out – My Home is Here & Global Warming Exhibition – Civic Centre – 8th to 13th October 2010
“Fela: This Bitch of a Life” by Dr Carlos Moore – Book Tour
Carlos Moore was a close friend of Fela. His republished biography, “Fela: This Bitch of a Life” is a moving account of Fela, told from the inside. It is also a collector’s item memento of Africa’ Musical Genius. During his stay in Nigeria, Carlos will read from the book, discuss Fela and his times with Special Guests and give several public lectures. Guests will also have the opportunity to kick back and listen to Fela favourites sung by the hip and the new.
Saturday 9 October 2010 – 4pm: Centre for Contemporary Art, 9 McEwen St, Sabo, Lagos. In conversation with a Very Special Guest.
Sunday 10 October 2010 – 4pm: The Life House, 33 Sinari Daranijo St, off Younis Bashoroun St, off Ajose Adeogun, VI, Lagos (with Keziah Jones and Guitar Man).
Monday 11 October 2010 – 10am: The New Africa Shrine, NERDC Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja. Lecture “Fela: Music is the Weapon” (Symposium titled The Fela Debates – part of the annual Felabration).
Wednesday 13 October 2010 – 11am: UNILAG, 4th Floor, Faculty of Arts Boardroom (in conjunction with CBAAC). Public lecture, “What is Africa to me? Fela Kuti and the reshaping of the Pan-African Dream in the post-colonial era.” (Free Admission)
Saturday 16 October 2010 - 4pm: French Cultural Centre, 52 Libreville St, Wuse, Abuja.
Entry Fee: All events except otherwise noted will attract an entry fee of N2000 (which includes a copy of the book)