Saying Yes to Nigeria [2]

Naija Movie Night

In his essay for the New York Times Magazine, A Too Perfect Picture, which examines Steve Curry’s work, Teju Cole concludes that:

Art is always difficult, but it is especially difficult when it comes to telling other people’s stories. And it is ferociously difficult when those others are tangled up in your history and you are tangled up in theirs. What honors those we look at, those whose stories we try to tell, is work that acknowledges their complex sense of their own reality. Good photography, regardless of its style, is always emotionally generous in this way. For this reason, it outlives the moment that occasions it. Weaker photography delivers a quick message — sweetness, pathos, humor — but fails to do more. But more is what we are.

I do not own a camera, only words. I’m sharing this story I wrote years ago even though my experience in 2016 is different because it remains a snap shot of who we are. I hope my lenses are strong. I hope they do more. Read about Naija Movie Night …


©Timi Yeseibo 2016

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18 thoughts on “Saying Yes to Nigeria [2]

  1. Your movie story does capture a complex sense of the theater’s reality, Timi. And it is emotionally generous. I like your acceptance of both experiences, the morning and the evening.

    When Bruce Lee’s first big movie came out, it wasn’t showing in the main theaters. My husband took me and our daughters to Manila’s Chinatown to watch it and several other Chinese martial arts movies. The theater was old and poorly cared for. People ate sunflower seeds all the way through the movie, cracking the seeds open with their teeth, eating the seeds, and then throwing the shells on the floor. We heard scurrying rats on the floor, but we just ignored it. It was a long time ago, so my “picture” of the event isn’t rounded out as well as it could be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a crazy movie experience. You did enough to paint a picture in my mind! There’s some drama everywhere I guess 🙂

      Thank you. I’ve embraced the cinema culture, for better or worse. I’m glad I have the option of going in the mornings. I went to the cinema in the night recently, it wasn’t as ‘bad’. XD


      1. Happily.
        And I tune out Soap Operas and Reality TV shows too.

        That said, I went to a play this week.
        What I found most amusing was not the play . . . but the interplay between attendees.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Timi,

    I read that piece back then and it still cracked me up when I read it again.

    The unbothered/ unhurried phone conversations inside the cinema still surprise me, I remain stubbornly unNigerian in my refusal to accept it as normal behaviour. 😀

    Warm regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved that piece then, love it now, will continue loving it the next time I make the mistake of going to the cinema any other time than the morning of a working day, and feel like throwing my phone at someone making noise in the theatre.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol@ throwing your phone at someone making noise.
      My experience in 2016, hasn’t been as noisy as the post. Are we changing?

      The panicky and humorous response in the cinema- radius of confusion, occupy baby movement- mirrors our response to problems does it not? And afterwards, back to the status quo …


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