#12: The Barefoot Diva
Header/ Title: 3bute presents “The Barefoot Diva.”
Announcer: Welcome on board. Tonight, making her first appearance on stage is a talented local singer. Welcome sixteen year-old Cesaria Evora…
Crowd: ha, ha, ha, ha (laughter)
CAPTION: Sao Vicente, Cape Verde.
CAPTION (1): In the sixties, young Evora started her career singing in the streets and onboard Portuguese cruise ships that stopped at the port of Mindelo.
CAPTION (2): Those cruise ship audiences were tough crowds…
CAPTION: … like the tough crowds in the slums of Lombo where Cesaria grew up. Her father, Justino Da Cruz Evora, was a violinist. He was a frustrated musician. He died shortly after Cesaria’s seventh birthday.
(father playing violin)
PANEL FOUR & PANEL FIVE
CAPTION: Cesaria’s mother worked locally as a cook, scraping together a meagre living to raise her daughter.
CAPTION: Every day Cesaria would watch her mother take off her good shoes before beginning her backbreaking work.
PANEL TWO & PANEL THREE
CAPTION: While the ship’s audience laughs at her stage fright, young Cesaria has an idea. She realises the power of her voice is rooted in her past. She takes off her shoes so her bare feet touch the ground like roots. Roots to always keep her connected to her voice and where its power comes from.
CAPTION: At the age of 47, with nothing to lose, she agreed to record her first album, “La Diva aux Pieds Nus” (the barefoot diva). The album was released in 1988 and its success brought he worldwide acclaim.
Evora: … dess nha terra sao nicolau.
#11: “When you kill us, we rule!” (Some last words from Fela Anikulapo Kuti)
(CAPTION ONE): The interview took place Sunday June 11m 1996. At the time Fela had stopped giving conventional interviews and was not talking with journalists.
(CAPTION TWO): When I left, he came out to greet me from his balcony – an unusually polite gesture from the chief.
CREDITS: 3bute presents:
“When you kill us, we rule!” (Some last words from Fela Anikulapo Kuti)
Interviewer: Olufemi Sanyaolu AKA Keziah Jones
Adapted with the kind permission of Chimurenga
Art & Adaptation: Bunmi Oloruntoba
Editor: Emmanuel Iduma
(CAPTION ONE) It’s under that very balcony that over a million people gathered, a few months later to wish a safe passage to the black president.
(CAPTION TWO) At the beginning of our interview he said, “I am a very firm man about my spirits …”
Fela: I have been instructed not to talk to the press by my spirits.
(CAPTION THREE) [For the interview] I’d prepared 15 questions, but quickly realized…
(CAPTION ONE) I was never going to be in control of the conversation. I was there to listen.
(CAPTION TWO) [Fela] walks in wearing only a towel, excuses himself.
(CAPTION THREE) …reappears in his underpants, explains that he has just woken up and lights up a large spliff.
Interviewer: After 20 years of essentially political music do you still believe music to still be an effective way to change a political system?
Fela: Oh wow! That’s a very good question…
Fela: If one believes that politics is still the best way to enhance a human life. Then music is a good medium for spreading the message.
Fela: [For example] the devaluation of the currency so that Westerners can buy our resources cheaper… An American can walk into Lagos and watch my show for a dollar fifty cents man….
Fela: The French government wants me to play at the French cultural center and they’re going to pay me 45,000 Naira. Not even up to 500 dollars, man. Could the French government pay any musicisn with a 16 piece band iin France 500 dollars… for a whole show?
Fela: [The West] say, no, your money is not one dollar! Your money is one eightieth of a dollar. ..I say my brother cool down. My oil … is still considered as one of the highest qualities in the world.
Fela: I say I am the one with the oil… [You} are the now telling me that our currency is of low value … [But] the validity of the oil remains the same… You see their fucking cheating man?
Fela: Before you make money you have to kill yourselves. The Japanese knew if they sacrificed themselves they would come back to rule. Ah Ha!…when you kill us we will rule. China … no be students’ power China-man get? When they begin to make their own products … the students learn by copying their masters. That is the power of the 7000 students that they killed in Tiananmen Square.
Fela: I see you are listening to me very intently… madam… Yes, its very important … You don’t hear this kind of thing everyday … You turn on the television … someone talking about Jesus Christ … telling you the same old story everyday… Ha! …Nigeria is spiritualy the most powerful country in the world. Then it goes to say that corruption and deception by international financial and cultural systems must also be one of the most prevalent things here… Seeeing as it is their blatant corruption that rules this world. But these things are bound to change … People will start so see a new light…
Fela: It don finish?
#5: Down and Out at the MP3 Market
CAPTION PANEL (1): Nouakchott, Mauritania – Just across from the Twin Towers of the Saudi Mosque, there is a market colloquially known as “hot point” or “cheb cheb” (wolof for ‘thief’)
PANEL (2) KIDNAPPER: save it on this USB flash drive. Then bring it back to us.
PANEL (3) KIDNAPPER: Or else…
PANEL (4) CHRIS: What if I don’t find it or they don’t sell it to me?
KIDNAPPER: Don’t bother coming back
PANEL (5): CAPTION: The market … is a labyrinthe of stalls, glass display cases filled with “fake” Nokia/Samsung cellphones.
PANEL (6): CAPTION: … young men huddle in groups, selling old battered cellphones from each hand, Nokia chargers trailing from their pockets.
PANEL (7): CAPTION: Deeper into the market,… past old men crouched in the shade with stacks of rubber banded punched out SIM cards with the corresponding numbers scrawled in black felt marker, are…
PANEL (8): CAPTION: … young men lounging behind computers, blasting music from pairs of speakers directed outwards, in an arms race of sonic amplitude. This is Nouakchott’s MP3 market.
PANEL (9): CAPTION: The music on the computers is dictated by the owners. Hassaniya music is most often carried by young Maurs…
PANEL (10) CAPTION: Senegalese Mbalax and folk by Pulaar and Wolof kids.
PANEL (11) CHRIS: Can someone help me? I’m looking for Hausa Film Music?
PANEL (12) CAPTION: I’m directed to…
PANEL (13) CAPTION: … to the sole Hausa man in the market, a vendor from Niamey.
PANEL (14) CAPTION: This is no amateur operation. Every computer trails a variety of inputs: USB multipliers, memory card receivers and micro-sd adapters. A virus scan is initiated on each new connection.
PANEL (15) CAPTION: The price is a standard 40 Ougiya per song, about $0.14. I sit.. scrolling through the songs… selecting with a nod or a pass, the files copied to a folder, tallied, and transferred to my USB.
PANEL (17) HAUSA VENDOR: Don’t worry. Obviously your ransom has been paid. Why else will your kidnappers send you to get party music?
CHRIS: Hope you are right. Thanks.
PANEL (18): CAPTION: [Back in the desert with our kidnappers partying the night away, I wondered] when the MP3 market began or where it will go. For the moment, it seems to be thriving, filling the youth’s cellphone… the taxi driver’s USB FM transmitter, [even our kidnappers’ laptops], like a physical version of Itunes.
PAGE ONE: PANEL 1 (CAPTION BOX): Future Accra. From above, the city seemed without a plan; a vibrant mosaic of infrastructure, haphazardly diced and spliced to make use of every square foot of space.
PANEL 2: CREDITS: Story title: Virus Writer: Jonathan Dotse Artist: Bunmi Oloruntoba Editor: Emmanuel Iduma
PANEL 3 (CAPTION BOX): Massive holographic logos hovered above the skyline in a bright display of optics, familiar corporate logos visible from miles.
PANEL 4 (CAPTION BOX): For a second, Dela soared far above the blind chaos. She held her breath as she braced herself for the transition.
PANEL 5 (CAPTION BOX): “Escape,” Dela thought, and reality came rushing back into her senses. It took her a few moments to realize she was sitting in the shade of a bus stop.
PANEL 1 (CAPTION BOX): Accra bus conductors yelled out destinations while hawkers weaved between the traffic, advertising the wares that balanced delicately on top of their heads. Several of them were teenage girls, and Dela knew that she could easily have eneded up like them; uneducated and selling goods on the streets of the city.
PANEL 2 (CAPTION BOX): Her father had been a fisherman all his life…
PANEL 3 (CAPTION BOX): … and wanted her to find a job in Accra after primary school.
PANEL 1 (CAPTION BOX): He certainly didn’t see the economic sense in putting a computer inside her head.
PANEL 2 (CAPTION BOX): But her mother insisted on giving her an education, and raised enough money to buy her the second-hand biocore implant she used through high school.
PANEL 3 (CAPTION BOX): After high school, she had now come to find work in Accra. An entire month in the city passes without any sign of a job… All Dela had was Khadija’s shady connection.
Khadija: Hello Dela?
Dela’s thoughts: “incoming call from Khadija”
Khadija/ via Dela’s thoughts: “So, you want to be a runner. You know that it’s risky business, don’t you?”
Dela: “I can handle risky business.”
Khadija/ via Dela’s Thoughts: “You’re not in Keta anymore-o.”
Khadija/ via Dela’s Thoughts: This is Accra. Here the police have eyes and ears all over the grid. I’ve seen too many people go down for being a little careless. If you know you can’t handle this you’d better think escape before we go any further. Dela: I am ready. I will not return home empty handed.
#2: On Loving Football
Panel one (Text box) CREDITS:
From the blog “Kenyan Pundit”, Post Titled “On Loving Football”, June, 9, 2010.
Writer: Ory Okolloh
Artist: Bunmi Oloruntoba
Panel two (Text Box 1): I’ve had a long affair with football. Thanks to my late father. You see I was the quintessential daddy’s girl…
Panel two (Text Box 2): For the first few years of life I was pretty much attached to his hip.
Panel three – Father: Kifo Mafans wa AFC GOR!!!
Panel four: … all his workmates at the airport knew me, all the waiters at this drinking spots know me (especially at the thorn tree in the then New Stanley where he liked to have a beer or two in the late afternoon with his fellow night shift airport pals), and all the people close to the AFC Leopards team–of which he was a fanatic–knew me.
Panel 5&6 – (text box 1): He was a fanatic. I mean fanatic.
Panel 5&6 – (text box 2): He even got stoned in the face once by a Gor fn because he was so out of pocket with his taunting… That was scary.
Panel 1. Father: love AFC Leopards.
Panel 1 (text box): I used to get so panicked about his antics. How a normally reserved guy went ballistic in the stadium was beyond me.
Panel 2 (text box): I remember hanging out in our mada balcony waving the AFC leopards flag (I had a special mini-one)…
Panel 3 (text box): …as the Isuluti entourage swept through from Kibera on their way to city stadium or Nyayo stadium.
Panel 4 (text box): Meanwhile my father was following the team around during East Africa Central games, dancing with the Isukuti group in “Russia” (and occasionally “financing them”).
Panel 5 (text box): AFC Leopards-Gor games were a major event in our household (If Gor won everyone was in bed by 8:00 pm because to call his mood foul was an understatement).
Panel 6 (text box): One day…
Panel 1 (textbox): …I guess my father felt he needed to grow up and calm down…
Panel 2 (textbox): …and he stopped being so crazy…
Panel 3: SFX: Smooch! Text box: but his love for football and AFC was always there and was passed on to me.
Panel 4 (text box 1): From him I learned how important it was to be passionate and devoted to something no matter what, and what being a true fan was. Something I hope to pass on to [my
Panel 4 (tex box 2): End.
#1:What is 3bute?
WHAT IS 3BUTE?
BUNMI OLORUNTOBA (ART)
EMMANUEL IDUMA (EDITOR)
PANEL ONE (TEXT BOX) IN THE GLOBAL IMAGINARY, AFRICA’S 54 COUNTRIES ARE USUALLY SERVED BY THE ‘SINGLE STORY’…
PANEL ONE (TEXT BOX 2) I.E. THE SINGLE ONE-DIMENSIONAL STORY OF POVERTY, SICKNESS, CONFLICT, E.T.C.
PANEL TWO (TEXT BOX 1) OVER THE PAST DECADE, HOWEVER, THE CONTINENT HAS FOUND THE WEB, AND MORE MULTIFACETED STORIES ARE FINDING THEIR WAY ONLINE.
PANEL TWO (TEXT BOX 2): AT 3BUTE WE BELIEVE THE WEB IS NOW LITTERED WITH SUCH STORIES WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED.
PANEL THREE (TEXT BOX 1): AT 3BUTE, A LOT OF TIME GOES INTO DISCUSSING AFRICA’S CREATIVE WRITING PRESENCE ONLINE AND NEW STRATEGIES FOR AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT. 3BUTE IS AN ATTEMPT AT THE “MASHABLE ANTHOLOGY.” 3BUTE ADAPTS STORIES INTO 3 PAGES OF NARRATIVE ART, WHICH ARE DELIVERED THROUGH A MASHUP OF A WEBCOMIC ENGINE WITH A RICH MEDIA TAGGING TOOL. THE MASHUP ALLOWS ANYONE TO ADD HIS OR HER VOICE TO THE STORY.
PANEL THREE (TEXT BOX 2): THE QUESTION 3BUTE WILL POSE , AND CONTINUE TO SEEK ANSWERS FOR, IS: JUST WHAT IS AFRICAN MODERNITY?
PANEL ONE: (TEXT BOX 1)”: SO WHAT IS AFRICAN MODERNITY? THE TRUTH IS, WE ARE NOT SURE.
PANEL ONE: (TEXT BOX 2)SOME OF IT FEELS LIKE WESTERNIZATION PROPELLED BY THE SHEER SPEED OF GLOBALIZATION. THE INDIAN WRITER ANAND GIRIDHARADAS RECENTLY WROTE THE FOLLOWING ABOUT LAGOS. . .
PANEL ONE (TEXT BOX 3): THE SEDUCTION OF GLOBALISM IS HOW EASY IT IS FOR A COUNTRY TO BECOME MODERN-SEEMING. THE PERIL OF GLOBALISM IS THAT IT CAN CONCEAL DYSFUNCTION BEHIND A CHARMING VENEER, AND CAN, IN THAT SENSE, BECOME A SUBSTITUTE FOR REAL PROGRESS. . . – IN LAGOS, PUTTING THE FRILLS BEFORE THE BASICS. THE NEW YORK TIMES, OCTOBER Y, 2011.
PANEL TWO (TEXT BOX 1): TAKE AWAY THE INFRASTRUCURE (I.E. 24 HOUR ELECTRICITY, WORKING REFINERIES, ETC) NEEDED TO RUN AN EFFICIENT SOCIETY AND YOU ARE LEFT WITH THE MERELY ‘MODREN-SEEMING’. BUT ISN’T THERE A DANGER IN DISMISSING THE PULSE OF MODENRITY THUMPING AWAY IN THE “THE MODERN-SEEMING”, NO MATTER HOW OUT OF PLACE THE SOUND? OLUFEMI TAIWO HAS WRITTEN ABOUT AFRICA AND MODENRITY. EVEN UNDER “MODERN-SEEMING” CONDITIONS, HE NOTES THAT IT IS THE MAKING OF THE INDIVIDUAL THAT LIES AT THE HEART OF MODERNITY:
PANEL TWO: TAIWO (DIALOGUE): PART OF WHAT MODERNITY REQUIRES OR AT LEAST PRESUPPOSES IS THAT THE SELF THAT IS AT ITS HEART WILL BE MADE THE INDIVIDUAL. SO EVEN IF AN AFRICAN WISHES TO BE WESTERN, SHE MUST DO SO IN HER OWN WAY OR, FAILING THAT, SUFFER THE STIGMA OF INAUTHENTICITY. . . - HOW COLONIALISM PREEMPTED MODERNITY IN AFRICA, IUP, 2010.
PANEL ONE (TEXTBOX 1): BUT “DOING SO HER OWN WAY” DOES NOT PRODUCE THE KIND OF MODERNIZATION NARRATIVES WE INSTANTLY RECOGNIZE.
PANEL ONE: (TEXT BOX 2): FOR EXAMPLE, IT MIGHT BE HARD TO SEE HOW, AT FIRST GLANCE, THE STORY OF YOUNG MEN CALLED VEE-JAYS IN VIDEO PALOURS IN UGANDA AND TANZANIA TRANSLATING FOREIGN MOVIES INTO SWAHILI AND INTO THE LOCAL CONTEXT FOR LESS EDUCATED MOVIE AUDIENCES, FITS INTO THE LARGER STORY OF MODERNITY. IN EARLY JAPAN, THOSE WHO DID THE SAME FOR THE SILENT FOREIGN FILMS IN FRONT OF JAPANESE AUDIENCES WERE CALLED BENSHIS. BENSHIS LIKE KOMADO KOYO (RIGHT) WERE JAPAN’S FIRST FILM STARS. THE BENCHI IS ONE OF MANY BUILDING BLOCKS OF JAPAN’S MODERNITY, THE SAME WAY THE VEE-JAY CULTURE IS OF EAST AFRICA’S.
PANEL TWO (TEXT BOX 1): THE DILEMMA SEEMS TO BE HOW TO RECONCILE THE TENSION BETWEEN THE DEVELOPED WORLD’S NARRATIVE OF MODERNIZATION AND MODERNITY’S PROMISE TO REMAIN OPEN TO REAL “LOCAL” EXPERIENCES, SUBJECTIVITIES AND NARRATIVES.
PANE TWO (TEXT BOX 2): AT 3BUTE, THE GOAL IS TO, IN SOME SMALL WAY, TRY AT RECONCILING–OR AT LEAST AT MAINTAINING–THAT TENSION NY CONTESTING THE DOMINANT NARRATIVE OF MODERNIZATION WITH LOCAL NARRATIVES OF MODERNITY COMING OUT OF AFRICA.
PANEL TWO (TEXT BOX 3): THANKS FOR READING. NEW 3BUTES DROP EVERY 2 WEEKS. VISIT 3BUTE.COM FOR DROP DATES.