Website Review: Guerilla Basement

Guerilla Basement is a nascent website owned by Wana Udobang, a writer, journalist, and broadcaster. What began as a blog in November 2008, is surely cooking up the content-to-beat. A creative arts-centred website, it offers visitors something on books, film, music, poetry and photography by way of features and news and events on the world of arts.

GB also features interviews of notable Nigerian artists, writers and photographers. Some of the notable interviewees include award-winning Nigerian-Dutch writer, Chika Unigwe, Afro-German performing artist, Bantu, and widely-celebrated London-based Nigerian photographer, Jide Alakija, whose works have been featured a number of times on the site. The website has also featured works from visual artists, including Ananaba Ibeabuchi.

The pair of Tahirah A. and Biodun Adebiyi keeps you refreshed with excellent work presented in a unique voice offering intellectual content and entertainment. Guerilla Basement is like an exotic piece of embroidery in the works, gradually assuming shape in the hands of the master weaver. The truly artsy would love it. The articles on the site are unique and blissfully authentic.

Though a breath of fresh air in its message and discipline – Guerilla Basement is dedicated to providing online content on arts and culture in Nigeria – fans would like to see more content, more vibrancy, and enrichment in the writing. That said, Guerilla Basement is a promising venture by all accounts.

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This review was first published in the Issue 5 of Y! Magazine (July-September 2011).

Website Review: BellaNaija.com – All That’s Cool on Naija

BellaNaija was created on 1 July 2006 as a blog, but five years down the line, it has morphed into a full-fledged website with well-written material for that avid community of Nigerian internet readers. It is certainly one of the most popular websites of its kind in Africa – enough for its founder to appear on Oprah and CNN! Every day, over twenty thousand unique visitors from across the globe check in for inspiration, entertainment, and useful information.

Columns range from News & Features to Movies & TV. The Music column is a dynamic platform for both the underdogs and the established in the Nigerian music industry. Relationships, perhaps the most frequently visited of all ten columns, has a predominantly female community converging to discuss love, life partners, heartbreaks and marital stress. Comments can get as long as 750 words! Beautiful writers like Glory Edozien, Ejire, and Wana Udobang always bring fresh perspectives to seemingly over-flogged subjects.

The Wedding section is another high-traffic corner – readers swallowing the latest weddings, and commenting on planning, gowns, décor, photography, love story, exotic cars, and expensive suits. Career and inspiring stories are not left out of the mix with periodic features and in-depth interviews with some of Nigeria’s best – innovators, young leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Whatever gets on BellaNaija immediately gets cool, and it’s testament to the incredible hard work of the team behind it. Well done guys.

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This review was first published in the Issue 2 of Y! Magazine (October-December 2010), but has been slightly modified here.

Last Week in Posts: A Day at the Precious Pearls Home & My Articles in the R.S.V.P Edition of Y! Magazine

Hello friends,

Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a beautiful Easter celebration. Today, the gubernatorial elections held across Nigeria and the conduct in my polling unit in Somolu Local Government Area of Lagos was quite peaceful.

It’s been quite busy in the last few weeks, but I’m happy I’ve been able to keep up with my goal of two blog posts per week (usually on Tuesdays and Fridays). Last Monday, I had a post on Bella Naija. It was a recap of a Christmas event I took part in on Monday 27 December 2010 at the Precious Pearls Orphanage, in the Egbeda Area of Lagos. It was a special experience for me because that was the very first time I would take part in any activity at an orphanage (apart from making donations on different occasions in the past). It was wonderful to share in the fun of the season with the kids at the home. Thereafter, I interviewed Ms. Rita Omovbude, founder of Street Project, the organisation which had organized the event. I am still happy I took the introductory piano lessons that day. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make more significant contributions to the home, as well as similar efforts in the near future. Kindly read the full story by clicking this link: A Day at the Precious Pearls Home with Rita Omovbude and the Street Project Initiative.

In other news, have you seen the latest edition of Y! Magazine, Nigeria’s foremost youth culture magazine at the moment? The Issue 4, tagged the R.S.V.P Edition, is truly a collector’s item. It features a no-holds-barred interview with President Goodluck Jonathan, a first-of-its-kind interview with the president in any print magazine in the country. Anyways, I have two slots in that edition of the magazine! My exclusive interview with Debo Olaosebikan, winner, The Future Awards (Best Use of Science), a PhD student and rap artist at Cornell University, which was first published on BellaNaija.com, was republished in this special edition Y! Magazine. I also have a website review in the #Hashtag section of the magazine and it is about Naija Stories.com, Nigeria’s fastest growing online platform for Nigerian writers, at home and in Diaspora.

Keep watching this space as I keep working to bring you more interesting news and general musings. Do have a productive week ahead! GN

Photo credit: Gbenga Awomodu; www.ynaija.com