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Random Finds of Note

"Kafka on the Wing": 11 Writers on the World Cup's Star Players

By ZODML on Tue, 17/06/2014 - 19:00

writers on world cup stars

Football fans couldn't have asked for a more exciting start to this year's iteration of the sport's most beloved tournament. From witchdoctors to goal-line technology controversies, the 2014 World Cup looks to be one for the books...quite literally. It surely is for the authors and intellectuals whom New Republic asked to write about their favourite footballers.

That the jogo bonito inspires literary fervour is no new concept (see Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, which, in an interesting turn of influences, was the basis of TWO films). But the passion behind these portraits of some of football's most intriguing and controversial figures is something to be celebrated.

Google and Pan-Atlantic University Launch Nigeria Archive

By ZODML on Thu, 27/03/2014 - 19:15

Great news for history lovers! The Google Cultural Institute has teamed up with Pan-Atlantic University to create a special Nigeria archive. Through the partnership, the Institute - which aims to "help preserve and promote culture online" - and the University have made available many maps, documents, and photographs which date as far back as 1851.

[caption id="attachment_2960" align="aligncenter" width="279"]A stamp of the Niger Coast Protectorate featuring Queen Victoria, Nigeria A stamp of the Niger Coast Protectorate featuring Queen Victoria[/caption]

Join Google in Documenting Nigeria’s History with 100K Naija Project by Dave Agboola

By ZODML on Wed, 13/11/2013 - 00:15

100k naija2014 is to be an exciting year for Nigeria as it marks exactly 100 years since the country came into existence. In 1914, Sir Frederick Lugard, the first Governor-General of the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria, merged the Southern and Northern protectorates to form Nigeria - an anniversary that will be marked with a variety of celebratory activities. Google Nigeria – a subsidiary of internet giant Google Inc. - is joining in on the centenary fun with 100K Naija, an initiative which will recount the country’s history through iconic photographs.

The initiative kicked off in October 2013 with a Photo Day event attended by a group of professional photographers who took part in the recent Lagos Photo Walk. Participants were encouraged by Google to tell Nigeria's story through images shared on the internet.

Nigerian Food: Home and Away

By ZODML on Tue, 03/09/2013 - 23:32

Nigerian food

A Nigerian far away from home can miss nothing more than our local cuisine. But in this globalised era, it's becoming easier to find egusi, garri and even kilishi beyond our borders. It is no big news that Nigerians are big travellers - whether for economic or holiday purposes - and the emirate of Dubai has become a top destination for traders dealing in gold, clothing and electronics. But no matter the money to be made, weeks or months spent away from a Nigerian kitchen can take its toll, which is why Nigerian food stores have become big business in cities as far apart as London and Guangzhou. A recent post on a blog run by an anthropology student studying the economic and cultural links between Africa and China describes one such shop:

"This is Nigeria where children learn to spell freedom" - Nigeria's First Elections

By ZODML on Wed, 29/05/2013 - 20:03

Nigeria, Democracy Day, history, facts about Nigeria, ZODML

In 1959 and 1960, the American news network CBS made a documentary on Nigeria's first elections and the build-up to independence. The first part below shows Nigerians at political rallies (including a clip of Obafemi Awolowo campaigning in Northern Nigeria), in classrooms and at the ballot box, all filled with excitement at the approaching freedom from British colonial rule:

Nnamdi Azikiwe at the Olympics by Mena Odu

By ZODML on Tue, 28/05/2013 - 20:00

Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria, history, facts about Nigeria, ZODML, OlympicsThe UK National Archives are a true goldmine of amazing historical documents (and hilarious instances of "grammar"). We will be spotlighting every now and again some of the most interesting records of Nigeria's colonial history.

For today: did you know that Nnamdi Azikiwe was not only a fervent nationalist and Nigeria's first president, but also a noted sportsman? As a young man, "Zik" enjoyed swimming, cross-country running and boxing, and even American football while a student in the USA. He also promoted society-wide participation in sports through the Zik's Athletic Club and when he was a 28 year-old student at Lincoln University, Azikiwe wrote to the British colonial government requesting financial assistance in his bid to represent Nigeria at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

Could this be Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon's Grandfather? by Mena Odu

By ZODML on Tue, 21/05/2013 - 18:00

The blog Letters of Note is a delightful resource for fans of pop culture, history and the art of letter writing. Although famous figures - from Einstein to Bill Gates - are featured prominently, the letter below - written in 1929 by a disgruntled ex-worker in Calabar to his former colonial boss begging for his job back - is one of my favourites. The man's "grammar" - from "dejobbment" to "five savage wives and sixteen voracious children" - is beyond comparison - except, perhaps, with the esteemed Honorable Patrick Obahiagbon whose elaborate turns of phrase kept Nigerians captivated with every Youtube clip:

Perhaps the two men are related?

The letter (originally sourced from the UK National Archives) after the jump: 

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