Asa's Second Album Debuts October 25

As if October couldn't get any better.

She's back! Asa (Asha) that is. I'm probably late. Excited to see her evolution from her self-titled freshman album, to her forthcoming collection, Beautiful Perfection. The album drops October 25th - but her single, "Be My Man," is up on Youtube (H/T Asa Groupies on Facebook).

Not sure how I feel about her new look (a bit cliche***)...but she still remains incredibly adorable in my book. She recently gave an interview to HiMagazine (never heard of it, personally).

On her new style:

Its fun, I think it is part of finding myself because I spent the most of my life while growing taking care of people. I have been responsible for my siblings and so I had to grow up really fast and that took a lot of attention from me because I didn’t care about myself. So going out to various places and events has influenced me. I’m beginning to really like what I see and I tell myself that I’m beautiful and need to take care of myself. Its fun really because I enjoy the growth, I don’t think I have changed I just added more colour...[I'm] letting go of a lot of unnecessary baggage, so you can feel it because I’m happy.
In short, Asa explains that over the past two years, she's been more exposed and is learning to put herself first, all of which should reflect in her latest album.

***December update - Err, yeah, I'm a swagger jacker, and so totally just went and bought the Asa glasses not too long ago. Couldn't help it. But don't we all have a bit of cliche (sorry couldn't find that accent aigu) in us somewhere?


Life Begins at Fifty...

Quick! Check out the new series at NigeriansTalk.org entitled Nigeria@50. Since last Friday, Nigerian bloggers have been posting their thoughts on Nigeria as she approaches her 50th birthday. From the intro post:

As you can imagine, there are a lot of things to complain about...but we do not want to dwell on the failures. The articles will not write away the failures of the past — as if that were even possible. While acknowledging those failures, they will be forward-looking. In short, we hope to leave the series of articles feeling not only informed, but also inspired.
Check the Nigerianstalk.org website daily for fresh content from this series.

Picture taken without permission (kind of like many others on this site - trying to change my ways) from the photo exhibition, "1960: Nigeria at Independence."


I Believe in...Who?

July and August has passed and I promised myself that I would post at least something during the month of September. Sorry for the pause in communication – life (and laziness) got in the way.

So apparently Nigerian elections are slated for January 2011 – yeah, goodluck with that one. And speaking of Goodluck…our former Vice President, now President and (finally) presidential aspirant 2011 has recently hit the campaign trail and from the looks of things, he seems to be targeting the youth as evidenced by his widely popular presence on Facebook. Makes sense considering that Nigeria, like it's developing world contemporaries, features youth as its most popular age-bracket. But beyond making friends on Facebook, I have the sneaking suspicion – as has been mentioned elsewhere – that GJ is taking a page or two out of Barack Obama’s playbook.

Goodluck Jonathan – the next Barack Obama. I know to the most ardent Obama supporters this may seem like blasphemy, but the mercurial rise in popularity of the once (relatively) obscure Goodluck Jonathan in many ways mirrors that of the Obama during his bid for presidency in 2008. Like his American counterpart, GJ is well-educated, articulate, and compared to his competitors, somewhat scandal-free. Let us not forget that the Jonathan presidency and potential second-term carries historical weight. The United States welcomed its first black president fifty years after the death of civil rights champion, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. And now, fifty years post-independence, Nigeria may for the first time, elect a minority president. Jonathan’s wide support from a diverse number of groups in the south and the north confirm his (or rather PDP’s) ability to shatter ethnic barriers. No small feat. The smiling president, like Obama, is well-educated, articulate, and compared to some of his competitors, somewhat scandal-free.

Recently, I came across the Youtube (yes, loves, Youtube) campaign videos of Goodluck Jonathan (H/T NigerianCuriosity). Peep the English version, which features a litany of Nollywood actors and heavyweights (including my teen heart-throb Emeka Enyiocha…taking a moment…yessss…please don’t judge me).

Cute, though (surprise! surprise!) it bears an uncanny resemblance to will.i.am’s 2008 “Yes We Can,” Youtube sensation, a similarly star-studded gushy tribute to Barack Obama’s platform of hope and change.

All well and good – but hope, change, and lofty promises can only get you so far. Obama is learning that the hard way seeing that his support over the past few months has decreased, somewhat precipitously. Over the summer, I was surprised to find out that Goodluck Jonathan commands overwhelming support from the Nigerian populace – approval ratings of up to 75% (I know…no need). Such a figure, begs the question – why? I remain concerned about declarations that Jonathan is not only blessed with good fortune, but that somehow, GJ is divinely appointed and with him lies Nigeria’s way forward (see here, here and here). While GJ’s emphasis on the youth is commendable, any failure to deliver on campaign promises such as repairing basic infrastructure, stands to add to the increased jadedness of the youth whom he seeks to inspire.