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Scholars@Hallwalls: Mopelolade Ogunbowale, “Ghetto-Soldiers, Charliemen and Angry-Boys: Rebellious Masculinities in Nigerian Reggae-Dancehall Music”

April 26 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Scholars@Hallwalls is a monthly series featuring talks by Humanities Institute Faculty Fellows. Please join us in the cinema space at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center!

Complimentary wine and light fare will be served for a brief, pre-talk mingling session at this free and open-to-the-public event.

“Ghetto-Soldiers, Charliemen and Angry-Boys: Rebellious Masculinities in Nigerian Reggae-Dancehall Music”

This presentation explores rebellious masculinity performances in Konto music, a reggae-dancehall styled music genre created in Ajegunle, an urban poor area in Lagos since the 1980s. Through discursive and embodied practices, Konto male musicians constructed identities to navigate the economic and political instabilities that beset their city as Nigeria plunged into economic recession and authoritarian rule in the 1980s. By characterizing themselves as Ghetto Soldiers, Charlieman and Angry-Boys, Konto musicians not only detail their agitations against the post-colonial Nigerian state, they discuss their participation in legal, quasi-legal and illegal activities to survive the “hard-life” of the city. Through a close and intertextual analysis of song lyrics, oral interviews, music videos and extant literature, this presentation introduces Konto’s rebellious masculinities into the study of reggae and dancehall masculinities.

This event will be simultaneously live-streamed via the Hallwalls website. The talk will begin at ~4:15pm.

About Mopelolade Ogunbowale, Assistant Professor of Africana and American Studies

Mope Ogunbowale is a scholar of Afro-Atlantic religions and popular music with broader specialization in urban ethnography and gender and sexuality studies. In her upcoming book project, The Spirit is the Music: Osun’s Aesthetic Manifestation in Reggae Dancehall Music, Mope explores the workings of Osun, a West African Goddess associated with creativity, rebellion and feminist resistance in the musical, discursive and embodied practices of reggae and dancehall musicians in Lagos, Nigeria since the 1980s. On the side, Mope is involved in preliminary research on Afrobeats music, a Nigerian popular music form ruling the global airwaves by storm.


April 26
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Institute


Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY United States
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