Thursday, November 27, 2014

Music | Song Review: Ebyama – Desire Luzinda

When my good friend, Med Kimbugwe, asked for my view on Desire Luzinda’s latest song, I was a bit hesitant to really give it a lot of attention. I somehow anticipated it would be another average effort. For the bigger part of the song, she scores pretty well, vocally.

The beat is rather catchy, and without sounding too up-tempo for unfit souls to dance to. That is a plus on the production. This somehow makes it an all-weather (or is it all occasion?) song. The strong bass lines are reminiscent of the original Kwaito beats. The kind used, say, in Brenda Fassie's Vuli Ndlela, with a slight tweak.

The Cons
What are those words she mumbles in the last part of the song's supposed chorus? They somewhat get swallowed by a combination of the beats and a mixture of her vocals. It would take a great deal of keenness for someone listening to it for the first time to grasp what she is talking about.

Music is something one is supposed to relax to, and not something one has to strain to hear the words, unless their primary interest, of course, is in the beats and the visual entertainment. This is unless one is doing world music where the lyrics may not matter much.

What happens when she is performing it live? She might want the audience to sing along when she gets to this part. It's a vital break of sorts where an artiste gets to catch a breath during live performance. What words will the audience sing?

If she is to perform it to a live band, one of two things might have to be done - either the bass is reduced (very possible), or the band raises vocals so the actual words can be heard. 

On the whole, it's an apt follow-up on Ekitone, whose audio – to be fair to her – was actually released a couple of months before her nudes were leaked, contrary to popular belief that it was meant to keep her afloat in the industry. 
Written by Pastor Wilson Bugembe, the lyrics seem to have been well thought through; much better than Ekitone, in my opinion. 7/10.
Dan A.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Travel | A Rheumy Lunch Date

I should have braced myself for a catalog of surprises from the time I was received by a mini-convoy of two cars – one of them being a police escort pickup – from the airport.

Instead, Lagos continued to play hide and seek with my imagination. The scorching heat at Murtala Muhammad airport ensured that beads of sweat had started streaming of every orifice of my body by the time I completed filling the immigration form. Lagos felt like an oven at 300 degrees.  

This would soon be forgotten as I made myself comfortable in a seat directly behind the co-drivers’, a place one friend of mine jokingly refers to as the assassination corner.

I had traveled with a workmate who had been to Nigeria before. So I was briefed on the dos and don’ts, the places avoid and the food to stay away from. I felt set to face the land of the Ogas and Igwes.

I had seen a number of cuisines in some Nigerian movies. I had read about yam. I had heard of foufou and abacha. I had heard Flavour N'abania refer to Tiwa Savage as his Jolof rice in that remix of Oyi. So I looked forward to tasting many of these cuisines. The way they are pronounced makes you imagine you’ll not go to heaven if you’ve never tasted them.

My first meal largely went without incident. I did yam, which I found very delicious. Forget the flat taste from some of these species in Uganda. Nigerian yam tastes way better than our own Irish potato. It became an instant favorite of mine.

Yam was well flavored and looked easy on the eye. But I had been cautioned about making random choices, for one wrong pick could leave me nursing undesired side-effects. This is what would happen the following day, albeit the fact that it was not entirely my making.

On the fateful day, I strolled to the cafeteria and ordered for my new-found love, together with some Jolof rice and Turkey (which I almost missed because the fat lady at the other end of the food warmer pronounced it as Tow-Key). Such was my infatuation with Jolof rice that I couldn’t wait to have a bite. It would turn out to be a bite that I will live to remember.

As soon as I had swallowed the first morsel of my meal, a piercing barb shot through the base of my tongue, almost making me scream for emergency help. What had looked like shredded tomato skin in my meal was actually pepper skin!

You wouldn’t have wished to be in my shoes at that time. A stream of cold fluid suddenly flowed down my innocent pair of nostrils as I made a mad dash for my hankie. I remembered the previous day’s yam having had had no pepper. So I quickly dipped my fork into that side of my platter and into what I thought would be my haven.   

Two bites later, things turned for worse. The yam had also been spiced with pepper. A stifled cough escaped my throat, like I was choking on some over-spiced chicken biriani. A blurry film soon floated over my eyes, making the contents on my platter appear fuzzy. It would be a matter of seconds before my eyes turned rheumy.

One of my office peers had cheekily asked if I was up to the task when he saw me line up at the cafeteria, minutes earlier. I remembered his comment and I didn’t want to look in his direction. But I was hungry, and the nearest place I could find food was probably an hour’s traffic jam away, yet I had a full desk to attend to before the day’s end.

I dropped the table knife and went traditional. Hankie in one hand and fork in another, I ate on. The water dispenser a few of meters across my table became my best friend. A couple of trips ensured I would have a full stomach within a couple of minutes.

I rushed to the washrooms and straight to the sink as soon as I was done with my harrowed date. In the mirror was a face that looked like mine, save for a pair of bloodshot eyes. One would have imagined I had just had a forced rookie weed session.

My nostrils eventually began to relax as a wave of sobriety gradually took shape. In a few minutes, I was sober again. But what had promised to be a mouthwatering afternoon with Jolof rice instead turned out an experience I'll live to remember. Describing that meal as hot would be an understatement. I now know why our Naija brothers are predominantly aggressive --Naija pepper flushes out every ounce of serenity in you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tech | How to Easily Backup and Restore Skype Chat History

Skype is widely used for business and personal conversations that include video and instant messaging. Now, let’s say that you had an important call or a conversation which you feel might come in handy later. What would you do?

As far as a video call is in question, you need to decide even before you begin and then you have to record and save the call. That’s the way to create a local backup and here are 5 tools to help you do so. If it is just about a chat session, you do not have to worry; Skype maintains a local copy on your machine.

But trusting Skype’s backup alone isn’t prudent, especially if the chat is really important. I suggest that you take a backup before you are struck with some bad luck and end up losing the Skype memory. Today we will tell you how to backup and restore chat history on Skype.

Cool Tip: We have also covered on how to backup Facebook chat history. Do check that out.

Backup Skype Chat History
The steps we are going to discuss are specific to Windows 7. However, it should be easy for you to find the path on other operating systems as well.

Step 1: Navigate to the following location (put your Windows username in place of ‘UserName’):
Step 2: Find the folder that is named exactly like your Skype name. In my case it is san_aggg as in the image below. Copy this folder.

Step 3: Place this folder in a safe location to complete the backup of your chat history.

Restore Skype Chat History
It is as simple as it can get. Navigate to the above mentioned directory (on the machine where you want to restore chat history). Copy the backup folder and place it there. That’s it. You have restored the chat history.

Important Note
You need to make sure that Skype settings are active to store the chat history on the local machine. Else, the folder you backup will not carry any data. Here’s how to set it:

Step 1: Open Skype and log in to your account. Navigate to Tools -> Options.
Step 2: On the settings window that opens, go to Privacy -> Privacy Settings. Set the Keep history for attribute to forever from the drop down menu.

Backing up chat history does not mean that you can read the chat conversation outside of the application. If you are looking to do that you need to export the history in a readable form.

Users were allowed to do that in html format in the older versions of Skype. The latest upgrades do not have that option anymore. But, we’ll be talking about a workaround in another post so hit one of the subscription options on the sidebar so that you know when we publish it.

So, overall a pretty simple method but as it happens with all the simple things in life, we tend to take them for granted. At least you can knock off Skype backup from that list now.