Posted in NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD, Uncategorized

MAYBE WE SHOULD LEARN TO HATE

Maybe we should learn to hate.

Not to love everything, like our heart would have us do. Not to compromise on things that are more of lies, for the sake of – peace.

When they piss on the centre of our souls, quenching the one thing that keeps us going –sanity.

Maybe we should learn to hate.

To rise above the cries we have sobbed, smiling in distress, swallowing sadness while lingering pain stabs us deep in the heart where no one can see… Even in love, we offer another plea…

Maybe we should learn to hate.

Shout at the arrogance of asses that fart noises to our noses, entrenching deeper stripes into our skin as more wipes are lashed by those we throw our hearts at, as they target carefully aimed darts…

Maybe we should learn to hate.

Maybe hate should grow. Slowly, a spark at a time till it flames and enrages our being, burning every fibre to shout at every evil, stare every stupidity and not be trampled by those who live that we may die…

Maybe we should learn to hate?

 

  • Su’eddie Vershima Agema
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Posted in POETRY, Spoken word

IN THE NAME OF JAZZ, GIVE US SOME SPOKEN WORD!

There’s something about jazz. Have you ever tried listening to it as you work? You should. But there are those, who need an extra touch of soul or some words, spoken words. Ah, you must have heard of our Nigerian spoken word. Blazing through mics in the tones of Daisy Odey, Efe Paul Azino, Bash Amuneni, Anselm Ngutsav, Dike Chukwumerije, Ene Odaba, Andrew Patience – to mention a very minute number – the words come in, punch line after punch line, leaving you in deep reflection…

Have you heard of REZthaPoet? He is a spoken word artiste. You might have caught him in any of the last 8 years performing at Freedomhall, Taruwa, Defunct GAP (in Abuja), ANA (in Abuja), Wordup, The Konscious Poetry lounge, Bespoke Poetry event, The Poetry Potter, The Anthill 2.0, Wordslam (Goethe Institute), W.A.P.I (British Council), Chill and Relax, Soul Nyt 2.0 and at some private events and occasions… Okay, maybe you have. Or not.

Till a few days ago, I hadn’t. But Seun Odukoya (whose birthday it was yesterday, whoop! Whoop!) introduced me to him, and his art. I wondered what could come of it. Really, what new thing? I got a feel of him, the album Ex-Posit Deluxe Edition. I struggled through a million events and heart matters to find space to listen more, which I did eventually. It was not something I was overtly used to but the jazz fusion that accompanied sharp rhymes and lyrics filtered into my ears.

Ex-Posit Deluxe Edition is REZthaPoet’s sophomore collection. It starts gently with some jazz that could have come in from the heart of the black American pots, where the real soft music is made. As you slowly listen to the 16 second introduction, you are eased into ‘Awoof’, where REZ’s voice comes in to seize the jazz and make it all Nigerian. He paints Nigerian situations that go ahead to show that the easy way out isn’t always the right way, ‘awoof dey run belle’ – cheap things have ends that can make you sigh in the end.Exposit_Tracklist_Updated

If you have any doubt of the native content of the entire album, then ‘Asake’ clears your doubt. If this was a literary analysis, one would say REZ was picking on a strong theme of postcolonialism to make everyone know, I might have been influenced by the West in some ways – as evidenced in the accompanying instrumentals and near rap tone – but I am tied to my roots and spit rhymes in Yoruba. Gbam! I couldn’t hear much of it because of the Yoruba but I am sure I would get some of my people – maybe Yemie, Topazo, Seun Odukoya, Aidee or Belle to pass the words. I was able to catch some things like ‘Stay by my side, baby…’ and other flows sha. REZ just wanted everyone to know that he can toast woman in Yoruba. You can learn part of it if you pay attention…

If you need some motivation, then there’s ‘The Future’ where REZ becomes the philosopher putting words in the right positions to talk to your heart and get you listening. The future… is you.

At the end of it all, one comes to a problem of whether to place REZ as a rapper and his collection as a fusion of rap or soul/jazz as against the spoken word that it is meant to be. But again, who says it cannot be all – rap, spoken word, soul and jazz? Whatever it is, this album is full of lyrics, rhythm and punch lines that serenade. It is a decent production with good finishing. Ex-Posit Deluxe Edition is officially up for release on the 25th July, 2016. It is worth listening to, especially if jazz and soul is your thing. Get it if you can and if you find any place where REZ is performing, find your way there. It would be worth your while.

 

Lest I forget…. PLEASE…

Buy ‘RezThaPoet’s Exposit album on the 25th of July at www.iamrezthapoet.com

Posted in EVENTS, POETRY

I WALK THIS WAY WITH QUIVERING LEGS (Amazing Words) by Ace Spoken Word Poet, Dike Chukwumerije

It is not confidence. This thing I have is not faith at all. Yes. I began to write only to comfort myself, those afternoons in boarding school with no one else to turn to. Till, one day, someone said to me, ‘Come read to us’, and I went in jeans and faded jumper. With poems typed out on a piece of paper, neatly folded in back pocket. My thinking was I would be given a quiet chair, and lots and lots of respectful silence. But I found instead a roaring hall packed with under-graduates – rapping, break-dancing, hip-hoping, and all. ‘What’s that?’ I whispered. They yelled, ‘Spoken Word!’

So, very worried, I walked up to the stage – My God! Is THAT what they think I do? Swiped wet palms down my jeans, then turned to face a difficult evening. It was the celebration of Ghana’s 50th Anniversary, you see, by the Afro-Caribbean Society (I think), at the School of Oriental and African Studies. 2007 in Central London, and I was looking at an auditorium dike chukwumerijesky-high on funk. My brother, no lie, I have never felt more out of place. What? With my ‘daddy’ jeans (as my wife still calls them), and type written poems in shallow back pocket. But, all the same, what could I do? I took a deep breath, held both hands up and – right there, right then – I told the truth. I cannot rap. I cannot dance. (Loud boo-ing in the corners.) I cannot hold a note to save my life. But (pulling out the notes I actually had) I have something to say.

That day, I clung to the lines completely, did nothing at all to modulate my delivery. No sudden highs or dramatic lows, just read the words in front of me. And at first only the sickening murmur of people talking, talking like I wasn’t there. Ah! I willed my voice to hold steady and, reading on, it began to wane; that sickening murmur of people talking, it waned and waned till there was silence. My words alone above their heads, their eyes all locked on me, as if they feared even to breathe, to gasp and lose one syllable. The feeling? Ah! I cannot describe it – to see something so powerful, so self-assured and confident; to see something so powerful stood there on quivering legs.

Yes. And it does not matter how long it’s been. Honestly. Did you know? When I walk to a stage, up till this day, I walk as if I know where I am going. But all the way there, you know what I’m thinking? My brother, I’m thinking – You this boy, where the hell are you going? True! And it makes me laugh, so I tell my friends – creativity, you see, is actually a curse. For no matter how bad it gets (and – believe me – it does) the true artist is doomed to try again. To write, and write for writing’s sake. To read a poem and trust, that words alone – no razzmatazz – can touch the listener’s heart. To seek that distant legacy, not hyped or pimped or marketed, of works that soar because they strike at something in the soul.

For that alone, we reach! I tell you. September 2013. And you know what the said? That there were not enough poetry lovers in Abuja to fill even the smallest room there, no matter it was free! They said that there were not enough poetry lovers in Abuja to put on a hundred and fifty seats! And we said, Let’s see. That night we were standing all the way to the door, not a seat left anywhere. And January 2014, it happened again, sitting on stairs, not a seat left at all. September 2014, try a larger room. Let’s see what happens with a 300-seater. You know what happened? Not a single seat left. And so they said, No way! It’s because it’s free. Just gate it and see! Poetry, my friend, cannot pay for itself.

And so – let’s see – we’ve gated it. Night of the Spoken Word. Friday, the 30th of January, 2015. Hall 10. Silverbird Entertainment Center. Abuja. N1500 regular. N3000 VIP. Why do we do it? Because every day will be one of two things – the beginning of the new, or the continuation of the old. Yes. If this is you too, then walk with me…

Dike Chukwumerije is a Spoken Word Artist, Novelist, and multiple award winning writer. Follow his blog here… and ensure you make out time – wherever you are in the world – to attend Abuja’s NIGHT OF THE SPOKEN WORD 4!

DATE: FRIDAY, THE 30TH OF JAN 2015
VENUE: HALL 10, 4TH FLOOR, SILVERBIRD ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE
TIME: 7PM
ENTRY: N1500 (REGULAR) N3000 (VIP)

Tickets are available for purchase at:

The Salamander Cafe – 5 Bujumbura Street, off Libreville Cr, off Aminu Kano Cr, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja
The Lifestyle Media Store – 4th Floor, Silverbird Entertainment Center, Central Area, Abuja
Discoveries Edutainment World – Suite 8-9, Grd Floor, Jamnab Plaza, Sapele Street, off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki 2, Abuja 

NSW4

Posted in EVENTS, LITERARY MISSIONARY

PREPARE FOR ABUJA’S ‘NIGHT OF THE SPOKEN WORD’ JANUARY 30TH 2015

‘Simply Poetry’ in collaboration with The Abuja Literary Society presents the 4th edition of

Slam Champion Dike Chukwumerije
Slam Champion Dike Chukwumerije

NIGHT OF THE SPOKEN WORD

Nigeria’s number one Performance Poetry and Literary show! 

Hosted by award-winning Performance Poet, Dike Chukwumerije

featuring

Reward Enakerakpor (aka The Storyteller) – ALS Poetry Grandslam Champion (Abuja)
Paul Word – 2014 winner of the War of Words (Lagos)
Anchorman –  Runner up 2012 National Poetry Slam (Jos)
AND Bash Amuneni, AP, Dami, Bilzee Bilnigma, Eketi Ette, Michael Ogah, Oga Obeya and many others

PLUS

Showing for the first time on the big scren, ‘So, Where Is Jos?’ – a Poetry Video by Dike Chukwumerije

DATE: FRIDAY, THE 30TH OF JAN 2015
VENUE: HALL 10, 4TH FLOOR, SILVERBIRD ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE
TIME: 7PM
ENTRY: N1500 (REGULAR) N3000 (VIP)

Tickets are available for purchase at:

The Salamander Cafe – 5 Bujumbura Street, off Libreville Cr, off Aminu Kano Cr, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja
The Lifestyle Media Store – 4th Floor, Silverbird Entertainment Center, Central Area, Abuja
Discoveries Edutainment World – Suite 8-9, Grd Floor, Jamnab Plaza, Sapele Street, off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki 2, Abuja 

NSW4

Posted in EVENTS

LITERARY BUZZ: PURPLE SILVER OPEN MIC SESSION (25th May, 2013): READING

READING BUZZ: The Symbols Cuisine Gallery. 8:20pm.

It was the Purple Silver Open Mic session. WE had our discussion forum and continued with our readings/performances.

We had six performances – largely, okay, all poetry. The first shot was from Kenneth Apine, received with some criticism. Next was Ode Attah with ‘Inner Peace‘, a beautifully written poem that didn’t have a performance to match. Samuel Ikyobo read ‘Irony’ a poem that balanced irony and paradox in the same seat. Lots of people agreed that the poem might have been better if they had copies to go through… We put that in our thoughts (sound system) … Anselm Ngutsav read ‘Red Wine‘ a poem that praises red wine and red lips. The applause was much, especially from the ladies 😉 … Ene Adama performed ‘Hand made god’ in true Spoken Word form – from her head. Her hat gave her a look of a magician with words flowing from deep within…

The last poem was from Jennifer Jasmine Yahaya who read ‘African woman’, a woman of great pride and great breasts feeding lions. She started by craving our understanding as she was performing for the first time. Hmm. We expected the worst but she was really nice. The feeling I had was of Chimamanda Adichie and Toni Morrison in some strange combination. It seems I wasn’t the only one affected as there was a general ENCORE cry. She performed beyond par.

A few questions were asked on inspiration, themes and the like.

Announcements: Well, first and foremost, SEVHAGE in collaboration with the Writers’ League is bringing award winning poet, writer and deep critic, Prof. Musa Idris Okpanachi to Makurdi on Wednesday for a reading at the Benue State University, Makurdi. The main book to be read is his great new book, From the margins of ParadiseTime is set for 4pm and the tentative venue is the ALGON Hall.

Anselm (Purple Silver’s Coordinator) announced that book donations were sought in order to enlarge the library of the Orphanage home. A few other announcements and yup, it was time to call it a day. We thanked everyone for coming, invited them for our next reading on Saturday 1st June, 2013 and took our leave…

It had been some long evening but well, it was definitely worth it. More, please…

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