‘Say my name?’
And the refrain goes on and on as you are sweetly drawn either by the sweet smiles or the sonorous sounds pouring from the lips of the artist…
Then, you either hear the answer said by an accompanying artiste or the lady herself: ‘DianaAbasi’… You must have heard her perform or perhaps, read her book? You haven’t? But you know Iquo na… Of course, you do.
Iquo DianaAbasi Eke is a poet, fiction writer, performer and mother whose presence fills a place with warmth that can easily leave you marveled. She has the face of a friend who you think you must have seen before. I was fooled once. Seeing her for the first time, I searched the catacombs of my mind, through the maze of a million memories seeking where I had lost the knowledge of this one… When later, we spoke and she mentioned that she was sure she knew me, I smiled thinking: ‘I knew it! Yes…’ The next question was ‘From where?’ Turns out, we were siblings on the social scene who had crossed each other’s paths a couple of times. Thinking, I discovered today, the first place I came across her was on this a post (click HERE for it). Turns out SEVHAGE was releasing the second edition of my first collection of poetry, Bring our casket home: tales one shouldn’t tell at the same time as her own book. NOTE: Iquo’s book went ahead to be longlisted for the NLNG Prize in 2013 and also the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry Prize (read on that HERE).
Iquo’s Symphony of Becoming is a collection of easy flowing poems that would capture the spirit of any reader. It is told in free flowing verse that is simple to the eyes, sweet to the tongue and an easy glide on the mind’s plate. Iquo has performed her poems in different cities of Nigeria and not a few ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhhs’ have punctuated her offerings.
Iquo can easily be found in any literary gathering (and notably belongs to the Lagos Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors), especially if it would be somewhere in the Western part of our lovely Nigeria. I should know! Last year, I caught her at three events in succession from Lagos to Abeoukuta and Ibadan – from the Lagos Book and Arts Festival to the Ake Festival and finally at the Association of Nigerian Authors’ convention (respectively matched to the cities mentioned). Trust everyone to be singing her name at these places. I guess it wasn’t just because of her works and performances, plus her warmth. There’s that warmth that I am sure is punctuated by her being a mum. Yup! Two great kids…
Hmmm, I should probably not start this paragraph with her name … but again, oh well… Iquo has a blog (click HERE for it) where she writes prose, poetry and does some good reviews too! I didn’t know she did reviews too – but she does. And hopefully, we will get to feature her on our SEVHAGE reviews.
In our interview of the week at SEVHAGE Reviews, we speak to Iquo on a lot of things including her writing, her life and much more. Click HERE for the interview and do leave a comment. More, spread the word and let’s get talking about our writers and people who matter to us. If we don’t celebrate ourselves, who do we expect to? So, say her name…and read that interview!