Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Nigerian 419 / US bailout satire here.

One of my co-workers, who is a f*$#king idiot, (dre if you see this you got owned, ilu :) ) has been chatting to a "hot woman" online for weeks before I convinced him he was being set up by 419 scammers. It revamped my 419 intrest and thanks to ghanamusic, I found a hiplife take on 'I go chop your dollar'. In case anyone is out of loop, chop ya dollar was originally a nigerian pop song performed by Nkem Owoh from the nollywood movie 'The Masters' written from the point of view of a 419 scammer and mocking the occidental mugus who fell for the schemes. As an northeast coast liberal with no small town or family values, its all robin hood / fair game to me.

At first I was gonna call out some Australian reporter for calling the scammers "internet gangsters" which sounded exaggerated/vaguely racist. But turns out there are crews who would love to be taken seriously as such. viola:

yahooooooo. wikipedia says yahoo is now slang meaninging to cheat. Which it was for a while. But now thanks to general yahoo celebrationry, it is now also, or more famously, a dance:

from this:

With 800+ youtube comments, lots of arguing about 419, his lifestyle, defending or railing against him. interesting stuff:
fatalpurity : i dont really get the money-tossing part...i know its unattractive to be the person that says this, but is this the msg naij people should be sending out? if people dont know what to do with money, abeg give it to the people that need it (not that the people in this vid have that kinda money to throw about) but others in general.its a glaring shame that shoes, rings, clothes, dogs etc etc appear to be worth more than a child's life to some celebrities (or other richos).

Essymee : I don't care what people think about Nigeria, we are always proud and I am one of the proud ones. What were you expecting in the video, people from the rural part of Nigeria or poverty? I am sure you have not being to Nigeria in years and never earned money or worked in Nigeria. Please be more objective and acknowledge what is good.

nubianbelle : i agree with essy, americans sing about crime, drugs and prostitution by justifying it as part of their culture...this song is about the struggles of young men/women in naija...its not their fault that they graduated with degrees and cannot find employment...get your priorities right and point ur fingers at the politicians

ash11x : A bunch of criminals celebrating their loot. No different from the leaders of their impoverished nation. I am ashamed folks actually like this song

emines01 : relax guys...after all we got 50 cents in the states...dey just havin a good time and putting evryone else in dat state...peace

Aihen020488 : while u guys r judging nd yabbing, dey r makin their money nd d actual yahoo boys r still doin their tin nd buyin hummers. u shud mayb start by judging d govt 4 nt providin jobs. dey r guilty of d same crime as d yahoo ppl nd even worse. these ppl 've 2 eat, at least dey r nt carring guns.

beautette : love dis song... but wats wit d dollar shit, its digrading,.... and i see dis all d time in naija films as well, i think its really stupuid 2 always see another country's currency in ur own country.. its pretty dumb period.... coming 4rm a naija girl.

MentalMindFork : im confused - what is yahooze exactly?
somethin1234 : lol i'm nigerian and i have no clue wat it means. i dont think it means anythin. i think its just a made up word for the song. its sounds cool tho. YaHoozze!!!
ajoke16 : its the online scamers hun..
BlackFistUpHigh : ok correct me if im wrong bruva , but i thought yahooze was a nigerian dance .
ajoke16 : it is??? well my friend, it's also a scamming thing!
moabite3 : no its just a frase like "just kidding"
moabite3 : it means they came from nigeria and finally made it to america
MentalMindFork : haha i'm ghanaian and i have no idea what it is!
9jaborn : if u r not nigerian or ghanian, y not ask properly abt the meaning b4 u say shit... listen carfully to the lyrics u might get the meaning if u understand 'broken english' ill give u a clue - fraud!

Tho i must admit as an internerd, I would enjoy seeing 419 scemes as a more common theme for naija/ghana hiplife and rappers. I'm curious if 419 scams a purely english phenomenom, making sense for pure numbers and the naija headedness? If so, pauvre frenchies for missing out on some great lit and the opportunity to laugh at a bumbly professor @ 3:30

In his defense, many share his view. When i would obnoxiously complain about having no internet in senegal people would scoff. The internet was still bascially seen as the pastime of 'bandits'(pronounced bhan-dee, similar to the word bandit/thugs but used in senegal from what i could fathom to mean anyone of dubious character, a term i heard most used applied to various ethic/relig groups, often as "fait attention au Tuaregs - ils ont bandits") Used primarily for porn, freakish e-dating, or scamming -like us before broadband. Using the internet in saint-louis is a bitch. yo, broadband for afrika.

ESP SENEGAL!! I keep wanting to post fresh mbalax clips, but the terrible quality and lack of quantity are KILLING. like everything and is for example things such as THIS! :


Ok so I'm super amused by a dutch (ngo?) called ghettoradio which posts videos and radio from the "ghettos" of Africa. Theres something really problematic about what they are doing, namely totally aestheticising the poverty of others, so I was surprised to enjoy them. The videos are mostly just walking around talking to people. Its just fun to watch a dakar bar owner talk about his business, or what a boy in soweto thinks about bob marley:

"Bob marley is more famous than anyone in South Africa"
Ive been catching up on a lot of 'African' movies this summer. I didnt like Bling, although it does have some interesting footage. The whole Democracy in Dakar series felt a little forced and one sided. Both felt too messagey w/o actually delving into the message - like, how exactly does the diamond industry function or feed war or interact with global markets, or what exactly are youth in dakar protesting and how does hiphop influence elections. Otherwise it becomes speak for vs. speak with, sort of what Johan is saying here, that great art is automatically less problematic. There are a few great films though, particularly Sissako's. He has an intersting style annndddd btw, If anyone is curious about Nollywood film, I recommend signing up to izognmovies. Not to sound like a commercial but they have a really broad collection of free or 99¢ english language nollywood films, not amazing streaming quality but def worth a few dollars to check out!

So back to ghettoradio, i think ghetto is just a weird term to use when talking about urban africa. Here, ghetto is a reclaimed word - ghettofabulous, etc. But i think its up to populations to use or reclaim that term. Ghetto comes from jewish ghettos, & is described as a "portion of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure." Which doesnt really work for African cities. The UN uses slum, legitly resisted by many, but fits better as according to wikipedia "other terms that are often used interchangeably with "slum" include shanty town, favela, skid row, barrio, ghetto, and "The Hood," although each of these has somewhat different meaning. ... By contrast, identification of an area as a slum is based solely on socio-economic criteria, not on racial, ethnic, or religious criteria." So i'll just go with 'informal settlements found in cities in the developing world, most which lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services.' which = ~ 50-90% of most urban populations. Thus, not a minority with its own subculture but most people in cities, whose music culture often dominates national radio.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramadan Kareem رمضان كريم

I just wanted to post some of the lovely Ramadan artz I have been seeing today. Ramadan Mubarak to all who celebrate!