Thenewblacknetwork’s Blog

Just another weblog

Archive for Sway

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’.

Picture 2

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:


New Urban Features: Shifty


Mr.Scratch&Sniff met up with new film acting sensation Riz Ahmed over the weekend, watching his directorial work on a new multimedia event called ‘Salaam Peace’ at Manchesters Contact that featured a mix of young men from Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh backgrounds all looking at the theme of Islam how the experience is affecting the 9/11 urban generation.

Riz is a well assured individual and its not surprising he’s featured in a range of films such as ‘Road to Guantanamo’, ‘Britz’ and is currently in the new film ‘Centurion ‘ a feature just completing post production that also features David Morrissey (Red Riding) and Noel Clarke (Adulthood).

After sending a major press release of his work, you find he’s worked with Massive Attack and Nitin Sawhney on the BBC Electric Proms as Riz MC. With a varied range of tracks to his credit, its not surprising he’s waxing lyrical in the new feature and lead star of ‘Swifty’, developed as part of Film London’s Microwave Scheme for new films.

Have a chk and peek at his lyrical vibes with an exclusive video from the original motion picture soundtrack of ‘Swifty’ also co- starring Danny Mays, who features in the new Spielberg film ‘TinTin’. The track features Riz MC with Sway and Plan B, and is produced by Blue Bear from True Tiger…