National Arts Theatre

Amoda Heads To Morocco For The Revenge
Olu Amoda, the country’s most exciting metal sculptor, is headed to Morocco to avenge our collective loss. He will be arriving the country three weeks after the 4.0 trouncing of the Super Eagles by the Moroccan Football team at the CAF Africa Nations Championship Finals. Nigeria’s 180Million people are deeply hurt by the sore beating by the Moroccans, who are not anywhere known to be famous for soccer. Amoda is showing his peculiar brand of Nigerian aesthetics at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Marrakech.

Known as a sculptor who animates large metal works, and beats massive, line drawings out of steel, Amoda’s pieces will be at the Art Twenty One stand, imposing themselves on the surrounding, holding the stern, silent gazes of other pieces from other countries, and attempting to intimidate other exhibits with the Nigerian aura. 1:54 Marrakech is the first edition of this widely popular fair on the African continent and follows successful editions in London and New York. Art Twenty One, which happens to be the only Nigeria based gallery at the show, has been Amoda’s key representative, both locally and globally, for the past three years. Asked if there are other sculptors showing at the fair, whose works he admires, the Delta born artist, who shares his time between Lagos and Atlanta, responds by sms: “There won’t be many sculptors at the show; mostly multimedia artists”. 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair runs from February 25 to 26, 2018.

Cassava‘s Out With The First List Of The Year
Cassava Republic Press, which announced Teju Cole to the world and published the sumptuous writings of Yemisi Aribisala, has given clear hints about its publishing direction for 2018. In the first half there will be mystery, literary fiction, non-fiction and playful images. The company will release Nnedi Okorafor’s Sunny & the Mysteries of Osisi in March and follow up with She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women in April. Ayesha Harruna Attah’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga will reach West African book stands in May. The semester will be rounded up with Hair, It’s A Family Affair by Mylo Freeman in June. Sunny & the Mysteries of Osisi is the sequel to What Sunny Saw in the Flames, the adventure fantasy Young Adult (YA) novel. She Called Me Woman is an unusual collection of first-hand accounts by “Nigeria’s queer women”, as Cassava describes them. These women challenge “stereotypes about the reality of being a Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) woman in Nigeria, where same-sex union is illegal”.  The publisher thinks that She Called Me Woman is a brave undertaking, “and gives a voice to women who hitherto have not been heard”. Cassava is the one Nigerian publisher that has always had Pan African pretensions.

It’s not surprising it is welcoming, to its stable, Ayesha Harruna Attah, a Ghanaian-born fiction writer who currently lives in Senegal. Cassava describes her novel, The Hundred Wells of Salaga, as “a sensuous excursion into courtly life in pre-colonial Ghana”, adding that the author “skilfully unpicks Africa’s under explored internal slave trade through the story of two remarkable women, Aminah and Wurche”. Cassava’s proposed June 2018 release Hair, It’s A Family Affair is explained as “a joyful celebration of black hair for very young children from the author of the acclaimed Princess Arabella series. The author, Mylo Freeman, grew up in The Hague and lives in Amsterdam. She has been a full-time writer-illustrator since 1993 and has published over 50 picture books.

A Saturday Afternoon At Zeitz MOCAA
You don’t have to see the art on view at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), in Cape Town’s Waterfront, to feel fulfilled that you have visited. At least for the first time. The building housing the world’s largest museum dedicated to African contemporary art, is itself an art piece and it engages you everywhere you are within the space. This columnist was there in October 2017, incidentally on the twentieth anniversary of his first visit to South Africa, on the invitation of Ms. Bisi Silva, (then an art historian and budding curator living in London), to witness the second Johannesburg Biennale (Trading Routes, History and Geography, curated by Okwui Enwexzor, October 1997). Full story soon on the visit to Zeitz MOCAA. Watch this space.
Calendar: Our Son The Minister, Lagos Theatre Feast, Jos Festival, Henrike Grohs Art Award

Paul Ugbede’s Our Son the Minister, at TerraKulture Arena, wraps up this evening, February 11. Shows are at 3pm and 5pm. This is the winning play from the maiden edition of BEETA Playwright Competition, founded by the actress Bikiya Graham-Douglas …. Guyn Man: A romantic-comedy movie by Lolo Eremie, screening at Cafe Neo, in Lekki Phase 1, also rounds up today at 3pm…. The Sixth annual Lagos Theatre Festival runs from 27 February – 4 March, featuring  98 shows from 47 companies/producers across Lagos Island and Mainland. This year, there will be shows in Ikorodu and Epe….The 11th Jos Festival of Theatre opens in Jos, Plateau State on March 4th. Founded and superintended by Patrick Jude-Oteh, the feast will feature Akolo James Anthony’s musical Brother Joachim’s Vocation, to be directed by the playwright himself; Two American classics, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and August Wilson’s Radio Golf, will be performed. The Spanish contribution to the festival is Lope de Vega’s Fuenteovejuna. Ahmed Yerima’s play on power, politics and betrayal, Mu’Adhin’s Call, will be performed.

So also will be Sefi Atta’s Renovation which will be used to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th….The first recipient of the Henrike Grohs Art Award, conceived by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family, will be announced on 13 March 2018 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Selected by a jury made up of Koyo Kouoh (Artistic Director, RAW Material Company, Dakar), Laurence Bonvin (artist and representative of the Grohs family, Berlin), Raphael Chikukwa (Chief Curator, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare) and Simon Njami (Curator, Paris). The winner will be presented with 20,000€ as prize. The award honours the memory of Henrike Grohs, former head of the Goethe Institut in Abidjan, who died on 13 March 2016 in a terrorist attack in Côte d’Ivoire.
• Compiled by staff of Festac News Press Agency

In this article:
Olu AmodaYemisi Aribisala
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