The last edition of Poetry Potter has come and gone. This was my first edition and I had a swell time for many reasons. It was a bumper package: the Potter himself (Aderemi Adegbite) was a year older; there were so many interesting people on the guest list (Terry the Rapman, the three members of the REDSTRAT team); not forgetting the beautiful renditions of the spoken word. It was indeed a beautiful symphony of words, music and stories... a real Poetry Potter.
I arrived there a little beyond schedule thanks to leaving home late and Lagos traffic, however when I entered the hall, I knew that I had not missed so much because there were less than fifteen people seated and it was obvious that the invited guests were not yet around. So I sat down and enjoyed Cornerstone’s musical performance as he sang a reggae number. As if the guests knew I was around, they arrived in minutes one by one: Terry, Adewole Ajao (winner of the AMBO 4), and the Redstrat team.
Next performance was Lanre Ari-Ajia’s poetry rendition about two things: a beautiful woman and Obama. The beauty of his poetry lies in his native Yoruba tongue and his ability to play on words through the use of pun or as the Yorubas say “oro ase”. He later rendered them in English for the non-Yoruba in the crowd to enjoy, which revealed the obvious effort to make the words rhyme. Both poems got the crowd cheering particularly the rendition in Yoruba.
Terry the Rapman was upstage next as he was locked in an interview session with the MCs. The questions bothered on his humble background in Kaduna; his musical influences; his first album called “I am Nigerian” which sounded like Eminem’s song rhythmically; the evolution, revolution and business of rap music in Nigeria, among other things. For me through this session, he showed that there is hope for qualitative music in Nigeria and that you don’t have to “belong” by being a part of the current trend of singing “jargons” that sounded alike.
Chude Jideonwu, Emilia Asimuta and Adebola Williams, the brains behind the Future awards soon took the stage. The MCs questioned again: their untold story that led to the FUTURE glory (days of pasting posters themselves, sweeping, carrying the red carpet, etc.); progress report; the significance of people to them; the dynamic nature of their challenges as the years progress. The one lesson that I picked from them was that challenges would always come and the “challenged” has to decide to use it positively because work has to get done and most times it is by you.
Next was a “musical relief” that came through a performance by Ayo, a female guitarist and singer. The title of her song was “Freedom”, and one could feel freedom around as she strummed the strings of the guitar and sang with a slightly masculine voice. She is a star to watch out for (take that from me!).
There was the last interview session with all the invited guests as they responded intelligently to questions from the audience. Whats next for them? Terry closed the session saying that he was working on a 2-in-1 album and videos; his guiding philosophy is to live life as if death was due tomorrow and plan as if he has forever to live.
There was an open mic session to round off the day; key among the performers were Brainstorm, Uche Uwadinachi, Nonnie, Jubril, Segun Eluyemi with his magical nose (Sege Black) with each of them bringing their uniqueness to each performance.
How else could I start my weekend? What else can I say?
Long live Kowry Kreations...
Long live Poetry Potter...
Long live creativity in Nigeria...