Q&A: Nigerian poets need to emulate comedians – Olumide Bisiriyu

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Olumide Bisiriyu is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of EG Creativity, talent discovery and development outfit. He spoke to IBPulse.com on the current status of poetry in Ibadan, how his organization is discovering and developing talents and what could be done to promote poetry in Ibadan.

Let’s start with your organization. What’s the goal?
Goal is Talent promotion. We want to help fish out and develop
What kinds of talents?
Any, though we have bias for poetry/writing/acting
How do you discover them?
By creating platforms especially via EGC blog, and Be Blessed. I also mentor budding poets
How is the poetry scene in Ibadan?
Well, you can’t compare poetry in Ibadan to Abuja and Lagos, but we are getting there gradually. The case of Ibadan is not the absence of poets but lack of platforms the showcase d poets… and that is the gap we are trying to bridge with Be Blessed.
Who are the favorite and gifted poets in Ibadan?
For now names are emerging in Ibadan. Yet you can’t but mention Tade Ipadeola (the NLNG prize winner) and few like Servio Gbadamosi, Femi Amogunla and myself who emigrated from Lagos.
Why did you leave Lagos?
My leaving Lagos is kinda temporary. I will go back soon as I feel the need. But leaving is connected to the poetry events I wanted to host in Ibadan and my Masters degree in the University of Ibadan.
What is unique about poetry in Ibadan compared to places like Lagos and elsewhere?
Most Ibadan poets tend to be traditional, yet the most striking thing is that unlike Lagos where everything is paparazzi, Ibadan poets don’t care about how you see them or names, they just want to let out their poems. That, to me is a great thing.
Many see poetry as boring, how can one enjoy it?
Reading too is good, but you know, it takes a great mind to read poetry and understand immediately… many people do not have that patience/gift to ponder on what they read.
I am a performance and written poet… to some extent, I know the difference and I think poetry is best enjoyed when performed.
So what makes a good poet?
Imagination, metaphor, delivery are key… Yet the list is endless
Who is your favorite poet?
Can’t say I have favorites o, if I had to it will be me. But I follow works of quite a number of poets
Like. . .
Old timers and budding poets, if you need names I’d give you Efe Paul, Dike Chukwumerije, Sage, Soonest, et al
How can poetry be promoted in Ibadan
I will prefer to talk about Nigeria… Team work. There are many poets, but this is not the time to form “levels”… we all got to work together to promote one another. I always tell them to take a cue from comedians; they promote one another and it is helping them… if we don’t promote one another, who will?
Tell me about your forthcoming event. Give me a brief description of what is going to happen on that day
It’s called Be Blessed 5; a quarterly Poetry & Sundry Talent event. It’s an opportunity for both established & upcoming Talents to perform, inspire one another, and mingle. There will be performances in Poetry, Music, and Comedy. Our special guest artists in Poetry for the day will be Iquo Eke, Ndukwe Onuoha, Jumoke Verisimo, plus a host of other popular names.

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— IBPulse.com (@IBPulse) January 12, 2014

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