Oris Aigbokhaevbolo



Oris Aigbokhaevbolo is a writer and critic. He is the first critic to be invited for film critic academies in South Africa, the Netherlands, and Germany in a single year. He is also the Anglophone West Africa editor for the Music in Africa website, and chief film critic at This is Africa. In 2015, Oris won the All Africa Music Award for Entertainment/Music Journalist of the Year. And has had his writing on film, music and literature appear in The Guardian UK, The Africa Report, and Chimurenga. He is currently writing a book of non-fiction on Nigeria’s pop musicians from 2face to Wizkid. In the winter of 2016, Oris Aigbokhaevbolo will be writer-in-residence on the island of Sylt, Germany.

The Royal Hibiscus Hotel

Date: 20 Jan 2018 Category: TV/Film
6.0 Rating
Mo Abudu is on a mission to restore happiness to Nigerian life. The Wedding Party famously ended with a celebration. The new picture Royal Hibiscus Hotel, directed by Ishaya Bako and which showed at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, ends with a Disney favourite, something about “happily ever after”. Before we get there, we are treated to a storyline that would fit any number of children’s cartoons—not the complex newer ...

In Memory of Forgetting

Date: 13 Aug 2017 Category: Music
7.0 Rating
What is poetry these days? Soyinka’s ‘Telephone Conversation’ had humour. Wordsworth’s ‘Intimations of Mortality’ had the heft of reasoned retrospection. What do today’s poets have? Rupi Kaur has over a million followers on Instagram. Nigerian poet Efe Paul Azino has a festival known perhaps by a few hundreds. At the most recent Ake festival, South Africa’s Koleka Putuma was hailed by a roomful numbering to the mid or high tens ...

Better Late Than Never (BLTN)

Date: 13 Oct 2017 Category: Music
6.0 Rating
The title of the new Yung L album, Better Late than Never, is its own story. Mr Marley, as he’s otherwise known, is either telling a triumphant tale or commenting on a tragedy. For listeners who have followed his career, from his appearance on Ice Prince’s 2011 track ‘Magician’ to his own 2012 single ‘Red Rose’ to 2016’s ‘Pass the Aux’, there are maybe two major emotions: joy and perhaps relief. A former member of GRIP Boi ...

Sugarcane EP

Date: 22 Sep 2017 Category: Music
9.0 Rating
The Nigerian male should be unhappy. Tiwa Savage has pricked Tekno’s inflations on ‘Pana’, turning cassava to sugarcane. It is war of the sexes, Naija style. Ms Savage, who’s certainly aware of the phallic implications of her title, has played coy, telling the American publication FADER she named her new EP Sugarcane because "the music is sweet and different." Of course, no one is going to believe her, given her songs of old and this l ...


Date: 09 Sep 2017 Category: Music
8.0 Rating
The Abagas (Jesse Jagz and MI Abaga) have always had a special case of megalomania. Each one has declared superiority over his environment on several records. Last year, Jesse took the family pride off music. "Me and MI combined, there’s no bloody musician, I don’t care who your father is, that can be better...artistically," he said in an interview. Considering the early work of the Abagas, this was hardly arguable. If MI’s The Chairm ...

The African Gentleman

Date: 31 Aug 2017 Category: Music
7.0 Rating
The African gentleman is a mythical creature. Think of him as Anansi or the talking tortoise—or so said Fela, who must be sorely disappointed in Ric Hassani. Hassani, whose real name is Ikechukwu Eric Ahiauzu, has titled his debut album The African Gentleman, thus officially claiming that three-word title as nickname. Fela turns in his grave: Only 20 years after his death, and this is what his countryman gets up to? As you’d expect from ...

Ijele – The Traveler

Date: 27 Jun 2017 Category: Music
5.0 Rating
Near the end of Flavour’s new album Ijele – the Traveler, the Enugu-raised artist manages to combine flesh and faith on a single song. The album's penultimate track, Ukwu Nwata, is a call to come see the booty of his beloved. But the accompanying production—delicate strings, sleepy drums—might inspire a wave of hands as though you are in church. The non-Igbo speaking listener, in fact, might believe she is listening to some worship tun ...

Leap of Faith

Date: 08 May 2017 Category: Music
7.0 Rating
Fans of African pop music may not realise it, but they owe Juls a debt of gratitude. As banker and part-time DJ/producer working in London, Juls had made a few songs, serviceable ones but nothing earth-shaking. One day his girlfriend suggested a reduction in the tempo of his productions. This advice along with meeting Mr Eazi might have changed his life, but it certainly has changed African pop. A few years ago, a hit song as near-sedate as an ...


Date: 15 Jun 2017 Category: TV/Film
8.0 Rating
From a certain perspective, the film Isoken seeks to answer two questions: 1. How does a woman choose a mate? 2. Can a Nigerian man win the game of love over an Oyinbo in a romantic comedy? The answer to the first is, who knows. The second answer is, well, let’s just say they have a head start: Clark Gable romcom-ed his way to Hollywood history in It Happened One Night, a movie made as far back as 1934. (Also starring Claudette Colber ...

Songs About U

Date: 18 May 2017 Category: Music
5.0 Rating
A few weeks back Banky W announced his engagement to an actress, sparking fanfare on social media. Some fans might have thought: er, what happens to all of those risque lyrics over the years, those leering come-ons—bricks upon which the man’s reputation was built? His new album, Songs About U, answers the question. The house that Banky built with suggestive lyrics will be pulled down in part. His mother willl be happy to hear that; for fan ...