Good Morning Newspaper Procrastination
No, despite living in London I haven’t watched the Royal Wedding. Instead I tried to combine pleasure and work by taking my laptop to the balcony to soak up the sun while typing away at my article. Or so the theory went. The truth is that not much work was done that weekend. Not for a lack of trying. Honestly. Each morning I got up with the intention to work hard. I started the day with a healthy diet of tea, muesli and the news. … And then the news got the better of me. And, here I am today wondering how to finish this article on deadline …
But, again, habit got the better of me and I started the day with the news. And, of course, I came across a number of articles I’d like to take time to reflect upon. But, let’s face it: That’s a luxury I don’t have with a deadline looming. Let’s be honest: An intellectual exercise it might be, but its also just another excuse to procrastinate and not face the peer reviewers. So, instead, of writing a nice and thought through blog entry, I have scraped together whatever self-discipline I have left and decided to just post an extract and a link.
Next Magazine, By Mufu Onifade, April 30, 2011 10:27PMT
Last month, Abiodun Olaku, one of Nigeria’s most brilliant artists and seductive colourists, alarmed the world through his Facebook page. He posted a screaming protest on his wall: “People, see what I discovered... This is the criminal activity of a young artist called Fagorusi Segun, who’s been copying and doing only-God-knows-what with my paintings… He’ll be feeling the hot breath of my lawyers very soon!”
What came to mind immediately was to search for the accused on Facebook. Lo and behold! There lay one of the pictures showing Segun at work, unbelievably plagiarising one of Olaku’s popular Gray Tunes painting series. There were other paintings with an eclectic transfiguration – still from Olaku’s collection. The next question: who is Fagorusi Segun? He is a final year painting student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, but beyond his location or affinity, Olaku’s alarm was strong enough to attract mixed reactions from many Facebook subscribers. Virtually all of them without exception know Olaku, but Fagorusi seems wallowed in obscurity. The reactions are as diverse as they reflect the perceptions of Nigerian society.
Read more here.
Oh, and as we’re at it (yes, another minute I don't have to think about peer reviewers): There is an interesting article in Leadership suggesting that propositional material used in the recent election campaigns was to an unprecedented extent commissioned to printers outside of Nigeria.
For Ndubuisi of Prime Printing Press, Abuja, the Independent National Electoral Commission and other political office aspirants have forgotten Nigerian Printers and taken all the businesses abroad. “For any election, the politicians must bring money for publicity and that is how we make our own profit but I think INEC and politicians went abroad to print their campaign and elections materials leaving us with no business this year. The 2003 elections were much better than this year. It is sad that what we can do here was taken abroad to be done at a more expensive rate”.
Even during my limited experience in Nigeria, I could not but notice a fashion for all things foreign that also affected the arts. This is, of course, a problem by itself but further exaggerated by the comparatively low level of art patronage anyway (which is more than understandable if one considers the economic realities of the majority of Nigerians). Many of the artists I met struggled financially. The few who didn’t derived significant shares of their income from commissions by businesses and, to an even larger extent, political organisations. Which is why I got a lot of sympathy for Okorocha Nyam’s’ position:
“Going abroad to print campaign or election materials is not just untidy for these printers but also rubs off on Nigeria’s economy”.
Though he acknowledged that going abroad to print election materials is for expertise and quality purposes, he posited that, “the outcome is not favourable to Nigerians in terms of employability and development of the Nigerian printing press as we are in other words, helping another nation to develop its printing press and leaving our own in Nigeria to suffer.”
Read the full article here.
I am instinctively wary of all talk of economic protectionism and cultural nationalism, especially of the kind that seeks to impose rigid and essentialised categories economic and cultural citizenship, but sometimes I wonder … and then I think of the more or less successful ‘buy local’ campaigns here in Europe and how they combined arguments about quality and quality control, ecological arguments from growing organic to carbon footprints, and a sense of local community (the better ones, focusing on locality eschewing ethnic or nationalistic ideas of belonging) … and, come to think of it, the pride my Nigerian friends and acquaintances took in the work of NAFDAC …
But, here I go again, getting lost in an argument I am not actually qualified to make instead of working on my article. So, let me find whatever self-discipline I have left in the face of the blue sky and sunshine out there and make an effort to finish this article. Today.