Back in your formative years, you would probably earn an earful from your schoolteacher if you made use of words like “next tomorrow” or “severally” in an English composition assignment, or any academic task that involved meticulous application of the English language.
In their defence, they were only trying to guide you according to the strict tenets of the Oxford dictionary, as it applied to written and spoken communication.
The dictionary has undergone a significant shakeup, however, and those who were chided for infusing some “Nigerian verbiage” in their communication back in the day, may find that they were right in hindsight, or at least find that the rest of the world has caught on to their unique vocabulary.
Very recently, 29 new words from Nigerian colloquial English were added to the Oxford English Dictionary, in acknowledgment of the way “Nigerians have made, and continue to make, a unique and distinctive contribution to English”.
Some of these words include: “next tomorrow” (the day after tomorrow), “k-leg” (problem/flaw), “ember months” (last four months of the year), “put to bed” (give birth to a child), and “tokunbo” (second-hand product), among others.
Some of the new additions are drawn directly from indigenous Nigerian languages, while others are the result of expanding the use of a word: for example, the word “gist” in Nigerian English goes beyond referring to the substance or most relevant part of a discussion, it is also used as a verb to mean “gossip”, or as a noun to mean “rumours”.
This new development is a testament to the increasing influence of Nigerian pop culture on a global scale, and it is also indicative of the dynamic and evolutionary nature of language as a concept. It remains to be seen when these changes would be effected in school curriculums across the country, but one thing is for sure – the rest of the world is beginning to regard Nigerian English as a valid part of the language ecosystem.
2Baba releases new album “Warriors”
The album is a key offering in the celebration of 2Baba’s 20 Years A King project.
Award-winning Afropop icon 2Baba has released his new album titled “Warriors” earlier today, February 28. This album is released as part of his 20 Years a King (#20YearAKing) celebration, commemorating the two decades he has spent in the Nigerian music industry.
This new album contains just 13 tracks including previously released singles like ‘Important’, ‘Oyi’ and the Peruzzi-assisted smash hit, ‘Amaka’. The LP also boasts big-name collaborations like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and Peruzzi. It also features appearances from AJ Natives, Symeca and his daughter HI Idibia.
The production of the album is handled by a galaxy of PBanks, Spelz, Blaq Jeerzy, Bolji Beatz, Speroach Beatz, Richie, Ploops and his longtime collaborator, Jay Sleek.
Interestingly, this is the first 2Baba album that comes with a title track, which also serves as the opener of the full-length project.
On Tuesday, February 25, the celebrated singer held a well-attended listening party for the album at the Artisan Lounge bar, Lagos.
His seventh studio album, “Warriors” is the long-overdue follow up to “The Ascension” which was met with mixed reviews upon its release in 2014.
Formerly known as 2face Idibia, 2baba is one Africa’s most successful artists, winning local, continental and international awards like BET and MTV Europe Music Awards.
Exporting African sounds into Italy
Nigerian migrants are introducing Afrobeat to one of Italy’s most popular cities
Migrating from Africa to Europe is a particularly tricky business. It is usually very difficult to obtain visas, and consequently, many people opt for the long, tortuous route that runs through the Sahara Desert and extends into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a risky journey in many ways, as desperate migrants get robbed, swindled, enslaved or worse still, meet their end in the hot sands and high seas.
There is also the small matter of reputation when it comes to successful migrants. There are those who believe that men and women who manage to avoid death or slavery, and ultimately cross the borders into Italy and Spain, are either involved in drug peddling, prostitution or unsavoury menial jobs like washing up corpses.
There is a small group of people, however, who are slowly changing the narrative. These ones are not only showing that there is more that African migrants can do in Europe, but they are also exporting Nigerian music in all its exotic nature and rich flavour into one of Italy’s major cities.
Palermo, the capital city of the Sicilian province, is slowly becoming the Southern European capital for the world-conquering Afrobeats scene. Social media has given a platform to musicians who can reach a wide audience without institutional support. There are more than a few cities in Italy that are not exactly kind to migrants, but Palermo has gradually become a haven for a number of young Nigerian musicians to hone their craft and attempt to carve a niche for themselves on European shores.
The influx of these musicians has had a significant effect on the city, too. For instance, Ballaro, a small neighbourhood in Palermo, was once known as one of the most dangerous places in Italy, no thanks to the activities of the Mafia. But with the arrival of African and Asian immigrants, the neighbourhood is now revitalised and less prone to crime.
Artists like RayJeezy, Brenex Baba and Thug Money make a living from performing at night clubs across the city. They hope that their hustle ultimately pays off and that they gain worldwide recognition, but for now, they are contributing to the transformation of a city’s music and culture. Things are looking up for the African migrant population in Palermo, and it’s not hard to tell that there will be more where the music came from.
Netflix Announces First Original Nigerian Series
This comes just after the U.S-based streaming giant launched Netflix Naija.
Popular media-services provider Netflix has announced the production of its first original African series to be headlined by Nollywood director, Akin Omotoso.
This would be a six-part series that features an all-star Nollywood cast of Kate Henshaw, Ade Laoye, Richard Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Kehinde Bankole and many others.
Directed by a team of Akin Omotosho, Daniel Oriahi and CJ Obasi, the series tells the story of a reincarnated goddess who seeks to avenge her sister’s death.
This announcement comes just after the U.S-based streaming platform unveiled Netflix Naija on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
In a statement with Premium Times, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos revealed that “movies like King of Boys, Merry Men and The Bling Lagosians have shown how much our members love Nigerian movies.
“So, we’re incredibly excited to be investing in Made in Nigeria stories – bringing them to audiences all around the world.”
Over the past year, Netflix has featured a number of Nollywood movies on its streaming platform. Among such movies include the culturally and commercially successful King of Boys, October 1, The Figurine, Mokalik, and Merry Men.