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Archive for Samir Mallall

Special Events: Afrobeat and the Art of Lemi Ghariokwu


The impact of the African states on world wide culture has constantly provided a steady source of creative inspiration that is building momentum especially in the world of film, music and design. Even the business worlds taking notice with the Cass Business School, London, hosting a key seminar on Nollywood that provided a unique insight to the World of ‘Nollywood’ and the opportunities presented to distributors and exhibitors of Nigerian film in the UK.

Mr Scratch n’ Sniff met up Lagos based Nigerian Lemi Ghariokwu in a marathon chat by the the graphic designer at Manchester’s Nigerian Centre. With over well over 200 record sleeve designs for Nigerian based Polygram records over the years, people may know him for his design work on the Afrobeat godfather, Fela Kuti working with Fela’s stance to produce his early album sleeves..


Lemi’s early design archive is on show at Rich Mix featuring as a key part of Punch Records BASS festival thats featured a key UK tour with Mercury nominated and MOBO award star SWAY and a number of artists also delivering a focus on creative Africa.

Listening to Lemi talk for a number of hours was like a whistle stop tour of Nigeria and Lagos history from politics to culture. Whats remarkable is that Lemi work is not confined tojust music. He spoke about his creating artwork for the documentary feature ‘Nollywood Babylon’ that was launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 from the award winning team of Ben Addelman and Samir Mallall who bought us ‘Bombay Calling’.

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Receiving a phone call from Canada, Lemi’s experience of design for Fela Kuti’s albums and other artists such as Tony Allen was picked by the makers of the film who asked him to create the poster for the feature documentary.

Lemi’s back in the UK in October with a new show, so do catch up with him then, a fascinating man with a unique perspective of on life that is brought to life through his graphic illustrations.

Nollywood Babylon trailer and details on the film and directors;

Lemi’s Blog:

BASS Festival:

Rich Mix: