Film

A Cool New Comedy Asks "What Does It Mean To Be Nigerian?"

Abba T. Makama pushes the boundaries of Nigerian film in his new comedy, 'Green White Green.'


Abba T. Makama's 'Green White Green' (All images courtesy of Makama)

Nigerian filmmaker Abba T. Makama wants to capture the essence of what it feels like to be Nigerian with his latest project, a satire he calls a "beautiful mosaic of madness." Green White Greena nod to the iconic colors of the country's flag—tells the story of three young boys who embark on a radical journey to make a film inspired by Nigeria's history.

Makama tells Okayafrica over email that the film is an attempt to explore common Nigerian social and political views through humor. The three main characters come from each of Nigeria's major ethnic groups. "This formula," says Makama, "automatically creates room to play around with various ethnic and cultural stereotypes. It’s also a story about classism, how certain people from certain economic brackets think and behave."

According to Makama the film will be released in the second quarter of 2016. In addition to a Nigerian theatrical run, he also plans to tour the film around Nigeria's universities. "It's a film made by young people and created for young people," Makama tells us. His colleague and friend, Nigerian filmmaker and 37th State founder Bolaji Kekere Ekun, called it a "patriotic piece." Makama agrees.

But should Green White Green be classified as a Nollywood picture? After all, Makama recently directed an Al Jazeera documentary on the Nigerian film industry. "All I can say, is that it’s a film produced in Nigeria by Nigerians," says Makama. "People have various definitions of what a Nollywood production is. It's relative." Makama also says there’s a new movement in the film industry of progressive digital filmmakers who won’t compromise on quality despite the infinite challenges. "We just want to make films that people from any part of the world will enjoy and get it. I guess I’m part of that movement," he says. "We are small but we definitely have a voice and it’s going to get LOUDER. My sister jokingly refers to us as 'the afro_hipster filmmakers.' I disagree."

To Makama, being Nigerian means "being part of a melting pot of madness, beauty, diversity, heritage and all that cool stuff."

"Being Nigerian is like most people's stereotypical view of Italian Americans. There’s this dark cloud that comes from our history of corruption but there’s also a lot great stuff from our culture, food, music and arts. Nigeria has created a Nobel Prize winner, genius physicians and scientist, iconic musicians. I mean one of the wealthiest men on the planet is NIGERIAN."

Watch the trailer for Abba T. Makama's 'Green White Green' below. Keep up with the project via the film's Facebook page.

Abba T. Makama's 'Green White Green' 

Abba T. Makama's 'Green White Green' 

Abba T. Makama's 'Green White Green' (Courtesy of Makama)

Arts + Culture

This Stunning Series of Self-Portraits Explores Love And The Concept of Letting Go

Cape Town photographer Meet The Internet shares a few images from her exhibition.

Cape Town photographer Siziphiwe Ngqoyiyana, who is known online as "Meet The Internet," does not take the topic of love lightly. "Most of us rushed into it," she says, "and we started dating without understanding what love is."

Her latest photography series, Love Through My Eyes is, is a reflection on how people around her deal with love, from staying in toxic relationships because they fear being alone, to those who build walls around themselves in fear of heartbreak and are hence unlovable.

"We come from broken families," says Ngqoyiyana. "Some with no fathers at all, so we go out yearning to be loved by a man and pray for better experiences than what we see our mothers go through. We get our fair share of hurt, we watch people come to our lives, we share our bodies with them and when it's enough for them they leave. We even start understanding and forgiving the cycle."

This cycle is reflected in the photos. In most of them, the color red is prevalent, symbolic for love. And the main subject, which is the photographer herself, is elusive, hiding her face either with a mask or red ropes, which could symbolize the blinding effect of love and how it can suffocate you.

Ngqoyiyana wants the images to focus on both sides of love. "I like the concept of balloons," she says, "because from a young age it kinda teaches us the concept of holding on to something and letting go. Obviously letting go is never fun, hence we cried when we would see our balloons fly away."

Ngqoyiyana got into photography by taking behind the scenes photos in music video sets. Her first gig as a photographer was a matric ball, and she recently started directing music videos.

The photos for Love Through My Eyes took "roughly three weeks" to make, and are all self-portraits. A confessed shy person, for a long time Ngqoyiyana wasn't happy with her appearance. "I can be whoever I want to be with self-portraits, and I am not so conscious about the way I look," she says.

"When I started taking pictures I was at a stage in my life where I was depressed and anxious, because I didn't have a career, and with no tertiary education," says Ngqoyiyana. "I felt I was "wasting away," she says. "Self-portraits were more of an escape, or a 'pretend like I am doing more than I actually am.' But after seeing the reception on the Internet, I did more."

Love Through My Eyes ran for a day on the 10th of November in Observatory, Cape Town. As a result of the amazing reception, says Ngqoyiyana, more prints of her work are on the way.

Photo courtesy of Siziphiwe Ngqoyiyana


Photo courtesy of Siziphiwe Ngqoyiyana

Photo courtesy of Siziphiwe Ngqoyiyana

Photo courtesy of Siziphiwe Ngqoyiyana

Follow Meet The Internet on Instagram and Facebook.

Video
Blinky Bill 'Don't Worry.' Source: Youtube.

Watch Blinky Bill's New Video for 'Don't Worry'

The Nairobi producer releases the humorous visuals for his second single.

Blinky Bill dropped his long-awaited debut album, Everyone's Just Winging It And Other Fly Tales, last month and it's clearly been well received by fans in Kenya and all over the world.

His latest music video for the hard-hitting single "Don't Worry" was filmed in Detroit and directed by his usual collaborators Osborne Macharia, Andrew Mageto and Kevo Abbra.

Blinky prances around Detroit's Heidelberg Project—an outdoor art installation created to support the surrounding area's community—lighting up the vibe of this aggressive song.

"The song is called Don't Worry and I feel like the vibe we created with the visuals is in tune with the spirit of the song, which is just about staying in your lane and minding your business," the Kenyan artist mentions. "I like that it takes a song that is serious and aggressive and makes it a little more fun."

This video is an instant mood-lifter and definitely worth the view.

Watch Blinky Bill's new music video for "Don't Worry" below.

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Video
Photo still via YouTube.

Falana's New Music Video for 'Ride or Die' Is a Must-Watch

The Nigerian singer returns with her first single in 4 years in this Daniel Obasi-directed work of art.

Falana couldn't let the year wrap up without making a statement.

The Toronto-raised Nigerian singer recently dropped the music video "Ride or Die"—her first single in 4 years—directed by Daniel Obasi.

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