ktravula – a travelogue!

art. language. travel

All for Dance

by Dami Ajayi

 

qdOn the third of August, Mr & Mrs Qudus Onikeku commissioned their latest project, a dance academy. It was an informal cocktail party dotted with short monologues, artistic performances and finger food. In attendance were bigwigs of the creative industry—filmmakers, writers, actors, comedians, editors, poets and, of course, dancers.

I suppose a huge majority of my readers will ask who Qudus Onikeku is. Qudus is a dancer, period. Qudus, like most prodigious acts, was precocious. His initial interest was acrobatics at a tender pre-school age; that pursuit led him to find dance in his teenage years and since then he has not backed out. He has performed on numerous stages in countless countries, doing his distinct dance which melds contemporary posturing, acrobatics, free-spirited expression seamlessly. He was based in Paris until recently.

Recently, he relocated back to Nigeria. A drastic step which earned stares of disbelief from his friends abroad, he quipped during his introductory remarks. His ebullient wife was beside him with knowing smiles. Their home return was a generously considered act of impulsion. Like most creative individuals bubbling with ideas, they not only understood the importance of relocating back home but also anticipated challenges and hardships.

This however is not their first experiment since their return. They hosted Counterpoint three months back at Freedom Park. Counterpoint is a loosely styled seminar that brings together accomplished creative individuals into the same space for conversations around their arts and for the possibilities of collaboration. The event was a resounding success and it perhaps gave them the impetus to commit to bigger, long-term projects like starting a school of dance.

qd2Qudus targets young individuals passionate about dance and he encourages them to enroll at his QDance Center. Young adults are better of pursuing something instead of being idle and becoming tools for ungainly use. The dance space will also be made available for creative seminars, poetry readings, close-knit film premieres and whatnot. And of course, dance drop-outs are eligible to enroll to reignite their long lost interest in dance.

Qudus promised to take his gospel of dance to Yaba and its environs with the procedural ingenuity of Jehovah Witnesses. I suppose he is the most qualified person for this job and he has got more than passion going for him. For Qudus, dance is not a livelihood, dance is everything.

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A Walk from Iga Idunganran

IMG_2582IMG_2573IMG_2581IMG_2334IMG_2332IMG_2354IMG_2330IMG_2406IMG_2363IMG_2596IMG_2385IMG_2459Iga Idunganran is the official residence of the Oba of Lagos, located at the northernmost point in Lagos Island. Yesterday, in company of Jeremy Weate (of NaijaBlog/Cassava Republic), Julian Henriques (from the University of London) and wife, and friend and psychiatrist, Mohammed Mustapha from Lagos., I visited the area. We also ran into artist and sculptor, Peju Layiwola.

As much a three-hour leisure walk as it was a historical tour of storied locations in the city’s ancient history, it was also a much appreciated foot-mapping exercise. This is a part of Lagos I had never visited on foot until now. The trip went from the palace gates through the busy streets of Idumota and other ancient corridors of Lagos Island, through the famous Shitta-Bey Mosque, and through Tinubu Square, eventually to the southernmost point by the CMS Church located close to the Lagos Lagoon. It was a lot of history for one day.

Tinubu Square is a long story of its own, from its earlier decrepit state as a homeless shelter among other unsavory roles in the busy spot behind the old Central Bank building. It is now a decent-looking park that offers respite in the middle of such a bubbling environment. This deserves a longer piece, no doubt.

Here are a few shots.

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Sad News

Boluwatife could not be saved. She died on last Monday, I heard.

Thanks to those who tried to help. They raised over 320 thousand naira so far, but it was either too little or too late. Or both.

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Challenges of Translation, et al

Q: Thinking about your main target language, what would you say are your biggest challenges when translating from English into that language?

A: The biggest, classical, problem in English to Yoruba translation is the problem of one-to-one equivalents. There are expressions in English that cannot be rendered with the same number of words in Yoruba (“I’m sorry” is one). There are also tones of those in Yoruba as well, that you can’t express in English without having to write an epistle. (“pẹlẹ” is one such, or “ẹ kú ilé).

It is a “problem” easily surmounted if the target text allows for it. But while translating for mobile communication, or computer/software jobs, it forces one to be creative, since the client usually requires one-to-one translation as much as possible, and there is usually not enough space to elaborate.

The other problem is that of diacritics – the fact that tone and vowel markings in Yoruba need to be present to avoid ambiguity. While most computers can be manipulated to place the tone marks on the translated words, many software may not be able to process them, and some clients don’t have need for them, so the translator is forced to send in products that are unsatisfactory and can cause ambiguity.

Read more of my interview with Translate Africa, on my work in translation, the #tweetYoruba project, language attitudes, among others, here.

 

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Deji Toye on Segun Adefila’s “A Dance…”

Writer and friend, Deji Toye, takes on my latest review of Segun Adefila’s production of A Dance of the Forest and produces something fine and beautiful – a wide and robust review of not just the work itself and the genius of its creator but the director’s work in particular, and his influences. An excerpt:

Adefila’s discipline could produce a revue on the point of a pin. Then, as a director, he has that propensity to strip a script to its bare essence and recast it in a mould all his own. A director who pushes the directorial licence farther than most, for him, a constant Brechtian jolt of his audiences to see through the seductive entertainments of the show into their own shocking reality is almost an obligation. And to achieve this, that stand-up comic trick of ‘something happened on the way to the theatre’ is an artistic reality. 

More here.

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