Tag Archives: Nigeria

Come Together with The AfroBeatles.

Do you know what today is?

Its the day we drop the AfroBeatles Come Together Beasts of No Nation mash up video remix.

It’s also the anniversary of the Beatles’ 1969 track, Come Together.

“Come Together” came from “come together, join the party” the campaign slogan for Timothy Leary’s ’69 campaign for governor of California against Ronald Reagan.

If you follow me at all, you may have noticed I’m on a mission of sorts: to spread the word about The AfroBeatles.

All last week, we dropped tasty little factoids like this about Come Together.

If you peeped any of the various AfroBeatles social media properties, you would have learnt a lil’ sumthin.

Like, did you know that in the opening of Come Together, John Lennon says “here come old flattop,” referring to a popular style of haircut worn in the 60s?

Or that Come Together was released as a double A-side with Something?

Or that it Abbey Road was the title of the album Come Together appears on?

Come Together

Last week we also dropped factoids about Beasts of No Nation, the other half of the AfroBeatles mashup.

Like, did you know that Beasts of No Nation was Fela’s anti-apartheid album with Egypt ’80.

Or that in Beasts of No Nation Fela attacks the corrupt Nigerian government, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and P.W. Botha for their respective parts in the destabilization of Africa?

Or that the cover art for Beasts of No Nation was created by Ghariokwu Lemi, the artist behind many of Fela’s controversial covers?

Beasts of No Nation

In 2011, Rich Medina & Mark Hines first created the Come Together Beasts of No Nation mashup.

The original mashup included footage from two live events: a performance at Fela’s Shrine, and a Beatles performance from the early ’70s.

But the remix is a marked departure from the original.

We went all-in and the imagery for the anniversary mashup is off the chain.

There are all kinds of tasty tidbits in there.

It’s an AfroBeatles mashup, so subtle nods to the group abound.

Peep how many times you see the full group on-screen in the video.

I would be remiss if I failed to big up Mark Hines for his visual acumen.

Anyway, I’m done blabbing.

Enjoy.

If you like the video, feel free to check out the other mashups at AfroBeatles.com.

And by all means share!

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iPhone 5 + AT&T + Nigeria = FAIL.

Never the twain shall meet.

I just got back from burying my father in Nigeria and I’m thoroughly disgusted with both my iPhone 5 and AT&T.

You see, I was originally going to buy a burner for the trip.

A throwaway phone that I’d cop at the airport in Nigeria, load up with minutes and give to one of my relatives on my way out of the country.

Simple.

But noooo…I had to get all fancy.

I remembered that the iPhone was a GSM, which meant I could use it abroad.

I had used my iPhone 4 in Cannes, France with great success.

I simply had to switch up my international plan, set up a global data plan and I’d be set.

I didn’t even have to call AT&T to make the switch because I could do it all within the AT&T app.

So as I taxied on the runway at Newark airport, I set up my joint and felt secure that I had made the right choice.

When I got to Frankfurt, where I had a brief layover, I was rocking.

I was making calls, receiving emails and texting like a champ.

I was imbued, however, with a false sense of security.

Because when I arrived in Nigeria, nothing worked.

I couldn’t make calls.

I couldn’t send or receive texts.

I couldn’t surf the internet.

Nothing.

Effing.

Worked.

Cellular data on – nuthin.

Cellular data off – nada.

Wifi on – bupkis.

Wifi off – nyet.

Every once in a while, I would get an errant text message.

Frequently, my ‘No Service” would become “AIRTEL” or “Glo Ng”.

But my hopes of cellular connectivity were quickly dashed as calls routinely failed.

And then (somehow) I got a text message that almost caused me to lop off my own head.

Due to high international data usage your data service was suspended, including in USA.

WTF!?

Enraged, I immediately called the toll free number listed in the text.

Remarkably, the call went through.

Me (icily): “Yeah…I just got a text message saying that my data service was suspended because I was over my limit. But I haven’t been able to use my phone since I landed in Nigeria.”

AT&T: “It appears that you’ve used 51.6 Mb on your data plan.”

Me (seething): “When? I haven’t been able to use my phone since I got here!”

AT&T: “Well that’s because you’re not set up for international use.”

Me (on the verge of losing my marbles): “But I did…I used the app…”

I had to stop myself.

Ol’ girl was about to have her ass handed to her.

Clearly, whatever I had done (for which I received several email confirmations), hadn’t taken.

And rather than harp on what I had already done (to ensure that I wasn’t where I was right now), I decided to work with miss thing to get my shit straight.

I was on with an operator, and she was helping to ensure that my account was properly configured for international use.

After confirming my requested upgrades, we parted, confident that I could get my dial on.

First call – the wifey. Let her know I’m set.

Dialing.

Dial assist message.

Call failed.

CALL FAILED?!!!!

It took every sinew in my body to suppress the urge to fling my precious iPhone across the room and test the efficacy of my Otter case.

To add insult to injury, my younger brother, who still rocks an iPhone 4 (with AT&T) had no problems whatsoever.

The entire time we were there, he was chilling on his joint.

Texting folks in and out of Nigeria.

Calling.

Posting pictures to Facebook.

Mind you, he reminded me that I could simply have AT&T switch up my stuff so that my phone would work outside of the US.

But clearly something was lost in translation between the 4 and the 5.

Because both my other brother, The Doc, and I have the iPhone 5.

And we were both screwed.

Now, I don’t know how many of we iPhone 5 owners travel internationally.

Or how many have experienced something similar.

But I can’t accept that stepping up to the 5 means stepping down in performance and utility.

And I’m certainly not checking for spending more money to do so either.

So AT&T I’m fully expecting a credit of $5.99 for the so-called ‘world traveler’ international calling, $30 for the global messaging, and $60 for the global data – that I never got to effing use.

And if you do plan on taking a jaunt to the continent – get yourself a burner.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, opinion, rant

Balling South African style

 

This is South Africa

This is South Africa

Today is my last day in South Africa, and all I can say is I can’t wait to come back here. South Africa exceeded my wildest expectations, and it gave me an appreciation for Africa that I didn’t formerly possess.

I’ve never really quite understood the appeal of South Africa. I mean, this was the home of apartheid, right?  Yeah, yeah, yeah, Nelson Mandela is all that, but what’s all the hype about?

Being Nigerian, my thinking has always been, if you’ve been to one African country, you’ve been to them all. Seriously, I’ve been to Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Outside of the fact that they speak French in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, in my opinion, they were facsimiles of one another.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that South Africa is BALLING!!!!!!!!!! When I say balling, I mean balling. The hotels here put places like the Ritz Calrton, the W, and the Waldorff Astoria, to shame. I was staying at the HOLIDAY INN and I was balling! 

The food, excellent. The people, excellent. The weather, excellent. The hotel, excellent. Everything was simply excellent.

I could go on and on, but I’ve got to hit the streets before my flight. Rest assured that I will post a detailed blow-by-blow upon my return (when I stop balling and return to the pedestrian life I ordinarily lead) and reminisce.

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