Discover Óyá Àbèó: The Whimsical Homeware and Lifestyle Brand Preserving Traditional Nigerian Craftsmanship

Join FEMME MAG intern Tireni as she discusses Nigerian textiles and design with Samiat Salami, the founder and creative director of the homeware and lifestyle brand Óyá Àbèó! Founded in lockdown last year (2020) and named after Samiat’s Yoruba Oríkì (praise name), Óyá Àbèó attempts to breathe life and culture into consumer’s homes. As Samiat explains, the brand’s detailed and uniquely crafted products tell not only the story of Nigeria at large but add dynamism, vibrancy and personality to the s

Should I stay or should I go? The post-graduation conundrum

Last month I turned 20. Surprisingly, entering my twenties doesn’t seem like such a big a deal anymore. Just a few years ago, I was set on having a 2000s themed party packed with nostalgic memorabilia to celebrate and commemorate the end of my teens. In this idealised image, when the time finally came for me to cut my cake, my friends would gather around cheering me on, and the chorus of SZA’s 20 Something would play in the background, a sign of me becoming a real adult as I blew out the candles

The Current Nigerian Resident Doctors Strike Shows, Yet Again, How Nigeria Is Failing Its Healthcare System

On August 2nd, 2021, members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) commenced an indefinite strike. 22 days later, the strike is still ongoing as resident doctors continue to seek compensation for issues related to accumulated unpaid salaries, owed Covid-19 inducement hazard allowance, and the general lack of care of the government towards essential health professionals risking their lives in hospitals and COVID-19 treatment centres during the most significant public health crisi

At 16 I Decided To Question My Christian Beliefs. Here’s Why.

In this interview FEMME MAG intern Tireni discusses religion and spirituality with Eko*, a young Nigerian woman who practices a deconstructionist approach to Christianity. She talks about rejecting Biblical literalism, trying to reconcile her faith with her political stances, and the backlash she’s received from the Nigerian Christian community when she vocalises her beliefs. TIRENI: Hi Eko! Thanks for sitting down with me today. EKO: Heyy Tireni. It’s my pleasure to be here. TIRENI: Great, l

Ese Brume and Blessing Oborududu Win Nigeria’s First Medals at Tokyo 2020!

A huge congratulations today to Ese Brume and Blessing Oborududu, two members of Nigeria’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic team who have won the country’s first medals of the games! Ese Brume who hails from Delta State and is the current African champion in the women’s long jump, secured Nigeria a bronze medal in the women’s long jump event after recording a best jump of 6.97m in the final. Whereas after yesterday’s semi-final win ensuring she would be a medallist at Tokyo, 10-time African Champion Blessing

Representing Nigeria: A Blessing or a Curse For Female Athletes?

“Exciting”, “an honour”, “a special feeling”; these are only a few of the numerous adjectives elite athletes have used to describe representing their nation at the Olympic Games and other major sporting events. Given the recent disqualification of Nigeria’s women 4×400 metres relay team on the heels of the commencement of Tokyo 2020, one cannot help but wonder what adjectives these athletes would currently use to describe representing their country. The promising relay team comprised of Imaobon

Why the UK Afrobeats chart is so confusing

On July 21st, 2020, the UK launched its Official Afrobeats Chart in collaboration with the music festival, 'Afronation'. According to the Official Charts Company website, the chart highlights 'The UK's biggest Afrobeats songs of the week (top 20 in this case) based on sales and streams across a seven-day period'. The launch of the chart recognises the growing influence of 'Afrobeats' not only in the UK, but also globally. However, it simultaneously raises questions about how we define Afrobea

2021 Editor Predictions: Lagos

2020 was a wild and draining year. A new coronavirus (a word many of us hadn’t heard before) hammered itself into our everyday conversations and interactions, ushering in endless conspiracy theories surrounding its origin, effect and remedies. Similarly, the pandemic brought to the forefront new and recycled debates on public welfare and government efficiency. Amongst this pandemonium, social justice movements like Black Lives Matter and #EndSARS, a campaign lead by young Nigerians, made racism and police brutality a global topic.

World Music becomes Global Music at the Grammys, but has anything really changed?

On 3 November 2020, news broke that the Grammys had chosen to rename the category of Best World Music Album to Best Global Music Album. In a statement released on the Grammys website on 9 November, the Recording Academy acknowledged the significance of the change in terminology. World Music is a contentious, colonial-rooted term in contrast to Global Music, which they describe as “more relevant, modern, and inclusive”. While this change is a welcome and significant gesture, it does raise questio

From Teni to Weird MC: The Importance of Non-Gender-Conforming Womxn in the Music Industry

“I slap police for your case o. I go to war for your case o. I go to court for your case o,” sings a lovesick Teni on her 2018 hit Case. Without watching the video, one might never realise that her melodious vocals are delivered while sporting a durag and leading a gang of okada men to kidnap the rival of her lover. The lyrics of the Afro-pop song are explicit about the by-any-means approach she will adopt to win the affection of the man she desires, violent or otherwise. Similarly, in her 2019

Bob Hearts Abishola & The Nuances of Nigerian and Immigrant Representation

When I first saw the trailer for Bob Hearts Abishola, I was sure I would never watch the actual show. Despite me usually leaping to watch any show which features Nigerian representation, and knowing that one of the show's creators was Chuck Lorre, the man behind sitcoms like Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, I struggled to imagine liking this show. It centres on the unexpected love story between Bob, a 50-year-old, large compression socks business owner and Abishola, a younger Nigerian

Pidgin Power: The Case for Our Indigenous Languages

The exact number of languages spoken in Nigeria is not known. Some sources place it at 500, some at 520 or somewhere else in the 500+ range. Whatever the true number may be, the reality remains that Nigeria is one of the most linguistically diverse nations in the world situated in the most linguistically diverse continent on the globe – Africa. It may be surprising then to hear that only one language spoken in the nation has an official status: English. The global language, which has significan
The Independent

#EndSars: the youth-led movement in the streets, on your timeline and in the hearts of Nigerians

“Good morning and what a wonderful day to #EndSARS. We go again!” writes @fkabudu, retweeted by 51.8K users. “They are used to people settling for less. They didn’t see this coming at all. We won’t back down till they do our bidding! #Endsars” tweets @adekunleGOLD, retweeted by 39.5K users. “Is it so much to ask for our rights to be respected??! For our rights to even exist? #EndSARS” says @darlingdami, retweeted by 2.4K users. If you are unfamiliar with the ongoing protests against police br
Netflix

O Black sitcoms, where art thou?

On July 29th, Netflix’s Strong Black Lead account announced that numerous classic Black sitcoms would be joining Netflix’s US catalogue. Shows from the 90s and 2000s like Moesha, Girlfriends, Sister Sister, One on One and more were listed as some of the sitcoms joining Netflix’s already impressive line-up of original and licensed shows. Immediately after the news was released, I was ecstatic and sent the video to all my friends who like me had long wanted more Black sitcoms other than The Fresh

Panel Overview: "Binti" by Nnedi Okorafor and "Beasts Made of the Night" by Tochi Onyebuchi @ Aké 2018

“Writing and storytelling in general… are intoxicating,” says Tochi Onyebuchi on writing and constructing an entire world in his young adult novel Beasts Made of The Night. He states that when choosing names and creating creatures and characters in his novels, he tries to represent those who often don’t see themselves represented in literature. Similarly, with naming parts of the city or area, he considers the way in which meanings can translate across languages. “An example of this is algebra,

Panel Overview: "The Black Panther Phenomenon" @ Aké 2018

“Black Panther was with all due respect is a Western movie. A Western movie with African influences,” states panelist Kolawole Olanrewaju. The Marvel Film Black Panther has been one of the highest grossing films in 2018 thus far and is rooted in Afrofuturism. However, it is based in a fictional African country which was never colonised. Reflecting on this, panelist Role Okupe says, “To me it is seeing the fictional nation of Wakanda as something we (African nations) can aspire to be.” He notes

Book Chat: "Ordinary People" by Diana Evans and "The Hundred Wells of Salaga" by Ayesha Haruna-Attah @ Aké 2018

‘My goal as a writer is to make history sexy,’ says Ayesha Haruna-Attah on her novel The Hundred Wells of Salaga which focuses on two women. One who is kidnapped and sold into slavery while the other is the daughter of a chief who becomes her mistress. Attah comments on how the theme of the book came to her while drawing up a family tree when she was in Ghana and realizing an ancestor of the tree was a slave. However, when trying to uncover the history of this female ancestor, “nobody would talk

Book Chat: "Of Women and Frogs" by Bisi Adjapon @ Aké 2018

“For an African woman, this story is steeped in sex and sexuality,” Toni Kan says hosting the book chat on Bisi Adjapon’s Of Women and Frogs which describes the sexual journey that her young Nigerian-Ghanaian protagonist, Esi faces. Adjapon comments on how some of the book was inspired by her life—being the 10th born in a family of 12 and growing up neglected as a result. “I was very raw, I didn’t know what was wrong and what was right. I did whatever was natural.” There is a scene in Of Women

Book Chat: Paul Beatty’s "The Sellout" and Nicole Dennis-Benn’s "Here Comes the Sun" @Aké 2018

I feel that both books were identical in that idea of lacking an ending,” says Tolu Daniel, host of this book chat with Paul Beatty author of The Sellout and Nicole Dennis-Benn author of Here Comes the Sun. When speaking on his perception of closure and how this translates in The Sellout, Beatty says, “You get programmed to think things resolve themselves rather than see life for the continuum it is. When faced with trauma, people put things behind them or they don’t, but nothing ever really go

Book Chat: "Dust to Dew" by Betty Irabor and "Lives of Great Men" by Chike Edozien @Aké 2018

“It is very important who you have in a corner,” says Betty Irabor, author of Dust to Dew, a memoir that tells her story battling with depression. A point reinforced throughout the book chat is the importance of choosing the right partner who knows you and will love and support you despite whatever struggles that come. Commenting on how her husband saved her both times she tried to commit suicide, Irabor says her husband believes it was their soul to soul connection that informed him something
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