By Damola Awoyokun

The biopic musical is a superb production of acting and playwriting. It is not easy to keep interesting a sequence of scenes in which a single character appears in all the scenes. In 2006, Crown Troupe overcame this problem in their own masterful stage adaptation of Okot P’bitek’s poem, Song of Lawino. They repeatedly froze the main actors at one part of the bare Beckettian stage letting a different set of main actors take over the action in another part of the stage in order to creatively defeat the monotony and boredom of allowing the same personalities to carry on the not-action-driving poem for so long. In the musical, Fela (Sahr Ngaujah) is the narrator of the story of which he is the main actor so he is monotonously bound to be in every scene. To keep his appearance interesting, he takes up multiple charismatic personalities: he is a showman, dancer, saxophonist, spiritual leader, military general, stand-up comedian, husband, civil society activist, prisoner of conscience, torturer, journalist etc. To counterbalance all these manifestation of charisma and gust of energies, the playwrights Jim Lewis and Bill Jones introduce Fela’s mum, first in Fela’s imagination, then in the physical, then in chthonic realm, the Fourth stage. And her presence is marked by awe, calmness, gravity and grace superbly delivered by Melanie Marshall.

It is widely known that the wealthiest Black person in America is television talk-show diva Oprah Winfrey. No one else even comes close. Winfrey had reached a net worth of $2.7 billion.

However, culling information from a variety of sources, we conclude that the recession was not kind to Winfrey and she finished 2010 with wealth between $2.4 billion and $2.5 billion.

By Oseloka Obaze

November 27, 2010

Chukwuemeka Bosah and George Edozie
(ISBN-978-0-9773398-3-9): Ben Bosah Books, New Albany, Ohio; 2010, 266pp, Price $50.00, Available at: http://www.benbosahbooks.com

Priceless and the most quintessential arts and paintings that comprise the extraordinary corpus of Nigerian ancient art are sequestered in various foreign museums, courtesy of the nation’s historical past. If those paintings depict the glut of artistic talents in Nigeria, the emergent crop of Nigerian painters, mostly avant-garde and unknown for now, affirms that truism.

Ethiopia: The Origin of Coffee

Adapted from Selamta, The In-Flight Magazine of Ethiopian Airlines

Edited By Professor Nkiru Nzegwu

Abyssinia, now Ethiopia, is the original home of the coffee (arabica) plant. Kaffa, the province in the south-western highlands where they first blossomed, gave its name to coffee. The formal cultivation and use of coffee as a beverage began early in the 9th century. Prior to that, coffee trees grew wild in the forests of Kaffa, and may in the region were familiar with the berries and the drink. According to Ethiopia’s ancient history, an Abyssinian goatherd, Kaldi, who lived around AD 850, discovered coffee. He observed his goats prancing excitedly and bleating loudly after chewing the bright red berries that grew on some green bushes nearby. Kaldi tried a few berries himself, and soon felt a sense of elation. He filled his pockets with the berries and ran home to announce his discovery. At his wife’s suggestion, he took the berries to the Monks in the monastery near Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile River.

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