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Why You Should Be Watching Nigeria's 'Gidi Up'

Check out episodes 1-3 of new Nigerian TV web series "Gidi Up" about young creatives in Lagos and our list of reasons it's worth watching.


Ndani TV's newest web series "Gidi Up" tells the story of four friends living in Lagos in pursuit of success in their professional and personal lives. The show is somewhat reminiscent of "Shuga" as a depiction of young adults and their trials and tribulations and warrants a viewing for 3 reasons:

  1. Quality: The production quality of this show is amazing. The cinematography depicts a visually beautiful Lagos, which we don't see enough. The editing is excellent, showcasing that in spite of popular conceptions (somewhat emphasized by a lot of Nollywood films), Nigerians know how to make good quality productions.
  2. Honesty: As many have expressed, the first episode of "Gidi Up" seems pretty shallow, but now that we're 3 episodes in, it's clear that the series is not going to gloss over the crass decisions young people can make. Yvonne's storyline (the fashion designer) is particularly indicative of this.
  3. Experimental: We love, love, love that the series highlights young Nigerians pursuing careers that aren't the typical professions: banker, engineer, doctor. Rather we get to watch young creatives pursuing their unconventional and artistic careers and it definitely adds an extra layer to the show.

The 'gidi' in "Gidi Up" refers to the popular term "Las Gidi" meaning the "real Lagos" and we have to say that from what we've seen so far, the show is staying true to its name. Check out episodes 1-3 below and stay tuned for episode 4 of this new Nigerian tv show coming March 20th!

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Interview
Photo: Jolaoso Adebayo.

Crayon Is Nigeria's Prince of Bright Pop Melodies

Since emerging on the scene over two years ago, Crayon has carved a unique path with his catchy songs.

During the 2010s, the young musician Charles Chibuezechukwu made several failed attempts to get into a Nigerian university. On the day of his fifth attempt, while waiting for the exam's commencement, he thought of what he really wanted out of life. To the surprise of the thousands present, he stood up and left the centre, having chosen music. "Nobody knew I didn't write the exam," Charles, who's now known to afro pop lovers as Crayon, tells OkayAfrica over a Zoom call from a Lagos studio. "I had to lie to my parents that I wrote it and didn't pass. But before then, I had already met Don Jazzy and Baby Fresh [my label superiors], so I knew I was headed somewhere."

His assessment is spot on. Over the past two years Crayon's high-powered records have earned him a unique space within Nigeria's pop market. On his 2019 debut EP, the cheekily-titled Cray Cray, the musician shines over cohesive, bright production where he revels in finding pockets of joy in seemingly everyday material. His breakout record "So Fine" is built around the adorable promises of a lover to his woman. It's a fairly trite theme, but the 21-year-old musician's endearing voice strikes the beat in perfect form, and when the hook "call my number, I go respond, oh eh" rolls in, the mastery of space and time is at a level usually attributed to the icons of Afropop: Wizkid, P-Square, Wande Coal.

"My dad used to sell CDs back in the day, in Victoria Island [in Lagos]," reveals Crayon. "I had access to a lot of music: afrobeat, hip-hop, Westlife, 2Face Idibia, Wizkid, and many others." Crayon also learnt stage craft from his father's side hustle as an MC, who was always "so bold and confident," even in the midst of so much activity. His mother, then a fruit seller, loved Igbo gospel songs; few mornings passed when loud, worship songs weren't blasting from their home. All of these, Crayon says, "are a mix of different sounds and different cultures that shaped my artistry."

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