All about Town this week!

Last Monday one of my informants, Abdullahi – I might have mentioned him before, took me around to introduce me to some other artists in town. This came quite handy, as with some of them I had tried to make contact before, others I hadn’t even know about before. But in any case, in the end this yielded some interesting information. Especially as one of them is actually a sculptor by profession and when he decided to stay in Maiduguri after his Youth Service Year in Borno State had to think about ways of practicing his craft that would be acceptable locally and also earn him a living. Now he’s doing some really nice iron works, stair cases but also mirror frames, chandeliers, chairs, tables etc. And, occasionally he’s doing one or the other figurine he sells down in the south – one of which I now call my own and its really beautiful. Maybe one of these days I’ll post a picture.
I have also finally been to the museum again, though they didn’t seem to remember me from my visit in early July last year. It was actually quite interesting because I went with Abdullahi and the owner of one of the art shops he took me to. Curious how differently we react to different things and how much they seem to have enjoyed the visit and place while I’m actually quite critical of the lack of labelling, the state in which some of the exhibits are etc. In any case, I will have to go back, even though I still don’t really know how to best fit it into the context of my research and all the ideas of how to organise I have in my head.
Next week will be a challenge as I will have to finally get started seriously with the crafts in the town – I should have started earlier but I will need a translator and feel a bit shy about this … I know its silly, especially that this has stopped me to look at a whole sector of things in town but … I’ve never been an employer before, not even on small-scale.
Oh, and on a private note for all those who are not on facebook: Last week was the best ever food-wise. There were guest in the house for dinner on Friday and Saturday – the latter being Sarah’s birthday dinner – and accordingly some delicious food was prepared. I had lots of salad, fried fish, fried chicken pieces, jollof rice and yam balls. And on Sunday I was invited for a cheese, olives and Lebanese bread breakfast and later pounded yam with groundnut sauce for lunch!!! And, I’m invited for more of the same coming Sunday, only at a price: I have to watch Champions League, Manchester United against Tottenham … and I really loathe football. Not good right now anyway, as everybody gets excited about the African cup of Nations. And, I really haven’t had cheese since I’m in the country so … what else could I do but go?

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