Wednesday, 27 January 2010



This unique platform was created for poets, storytellers, folksingers, folk-dancers, artists, theatre practitioners, art promoters/managers, culture workers and arts journalists, to display their creative ingenuity, at no cost.

The platform which was created in January 28, 2006, is wholly youth-centred and does not alienate adults who are regarded as the reservoir of wisdom from which the younger generation must drink. Today, Poetry Potter - a monthly event - has won quite the hearts of arts and literary enthusiasts.

This in an initiative taken from the entrepreneur perspective of the Creative Industry, it attempts to spur the business of poetry/spoken-word in Nigeria and Africa, and as well make the genre as lucrative (business wise) as its sister genre, music. We hope introducing some social elements into the promotion of poetry will push it a bit forward from its current point. And we promise to do this consistently with integrity.

In staying put to the orgnisation's core focus, which is “adding values to arts, and literature in Nigeria and Africa at large," we decide embark on a three months shows of poetry starting with Red-Carpet interview and picture of the audience because we believe that poetry/spoken-word is in everything called entertainment. And the business aspect of this genre in the Nigerian and African oral literature (orature) is essential for its promotion and income generation too.

Because of the fact that poets and the lovers of spoken-word are generally seen as literati/elites, therefore poetry/spoken-word is not really selling in Nigeria and for that reason, as promotion of arts: Poetry/Spoken-word, Folktale, Folklore, Folksongs, Rap, Dance, and Drama, is a basic factor in our organisational objective.

This we were able to achieve between August and October 2009 with the collaboration of two companies: HEV/Snap Pictures and Capricorn Tents and More.


In October 2009, Poetry Potter, as a moving/literary arts (poetry/spoken word) platform was chosen to be part of the maiden edition of the would-be yearly festival, sponsored by GTBank Plc; Produced and Directed Ben Tomoloju

At the GTBank Poetry Festival, Kowry Kreations Media, created the platform to discuss the theme: "Poetry - its genesis and future in the Nigeria literary arts scene," during the POETRY POTTER Youth Forum segment.

The renowned poet, Odia Ofeimun, took the youth, who were the major in participants, through the genesis of poetry, root of poetry in Nigeria and Africa, while Sage Has.son, the Nigerian spoken-word exponent tackled the present phase of poetry which is "Hip-Poetry."

During the Interview Segment, Odia Ofeimun submitted that the only way forward for poetry and spoken words was to start documenting them in books and provide more platforms for further discussion. The Poet, who wrote the “Poet Lied,” argued that New Media documentation (CD, Tape, mp3 format etc) of thoughts in lines and stanzas would make no poet out of anybody that is in the business of poetry and spoken word entertainment.  

With this project, POETRY POTTER Youth Forum, we decide to publish a poetry collection of Sage Has.son, which we hope the foreword will be written by Odia Ofeimun. This we will present during the second edition of GTBank Poetry Festival in 2010. 


Since inception, a section of the project - Guest Artistes of the Month - which is meant for mentoring creative minded youths, has hosted prominent personalities both young and old. These personalities include:

Segun Adefila - Theatre Director/Choreographer of Crown Troupe of Africa
Steve James - Theatre Director/Choreographer of Ivory Ambassador Dance Company
Jude Orhorha - An actor of immense presence in the theatre and motion picture industry   
Folu Agoi - Former Chairman of ANA, Lagos and author of many books                      
Ayodele Arigbabu - The Publisher of DADA Books, also a writer, journalist and author
Toni Kan - Author, journalist and essayist
Chief Yemi Adeyemi - An actor popularly known as “Pa Suara
Odia Ofeimun - A renowned Poet, Literary/Political Activist and author of many books
Dr. Ahmed Yerima  - Former Director of National Troupe/ Ntaional Theatre of Nigeria
Tolu Ogunlesi - Writer, journalist and essayist, author of many books
Dayo Liadi - Dancer/Dance Instructor/Choreographer of Ijodee Dance Company
Mufu Onifade - The originator of Araism, a new theory of painting in Africa.
Kaine Agary - The winner of NLNG Prize for Literature 2008
Jude Dibia - An award winning author, also an aviation expert
Wole Oguntokun - Playwright/Theatre Director/Producer of “Theatre @ Terra”
Enefiok Udo-Obon - An athlete medalist  and author of  the "Silver Liners"
Denrele Edun - Soundcity TV Presenter
Mirian Travis - Librarian, Arts/Literary enthusiast. African-American
Lesley Carter - A renowned African-American dancer and Choreographer
Tosun Buknor - Writer/Journalist/Radio/TV Presenter
Dayo Liadi - A renowned dancer
Chris Ihidero - Writer/Editor/ Film Director         
Sage Has.son - A spoken word exponent
Yinka Davis - A musician of high repute
Red Strat - The organizers of The Future Awards – Chude, Adebola and Emilia
Terry DaRapman - A renowned rap artiste
Lilian Amah - An actress and film Producer
El Nukoya - An award winning author of Nine Lives
Plus One - A new and promising music group
Felyne - A Nigerian-American female rap artiste                     
Wizkid - A new hip-hop singer in the Nigerian music scene
O.C Ukeje - The winner of Amstel Maltal Box Office 2 –AMBO2

Also, Taiye Olaniyi, FRC, the Assistant Public Relations Officer of NIPOST, Bose Afolayan and Rasheed Otun, both lecturers in the English and Creative Arts departments from the University of Lagos respectively, have presented papers in our Quarterly Workshops/Paper/Drama presentation.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Soyinka meets Shakespeare at Poetry Potter

By Ireyimika Oyegbami

January 6, 2010
Next Newspaper

It was an eager crowd that gathered for the last Poetry Potter, which held on Saturday, December 27, at its usual venue, the Rotunda Hall, National Library, Yaba, Lagos. The monthly art event was the last for 2009 and the organisers chose to celebrate this fact by tagging it ‘The Wine Party'.

This probably informed the abundance of rich wines which people had brought along as requested by the organisers. It was also poet Jumoke Verrisimo's birthday; Verrisimo was all smiles as she received birthday wishes from some of those at the event.

Seun Ajayi, who emceed the event was brisk in calling performing poets to the podium; perhaps in a bid to make up for lost time as the event started an hour behind schedule.


Cornerstone, a regular, was the first to perform. Performing to the accompaniment of a properly tuned guitar, the reggae musician sang ‘Don't wanna be here again', which he composed after watching a distraught woman who had been raped during the Odi crisis narrate her ordeal at the Oputa Panel. The fact that the woman has yet to get justice informed the song. Cornerstone's second song, ‘I don't wanna wait in vain' wasn't any more cheerful, though.

Kafayat Quadri's song ‘Mo wo'oke mo wo'isale' was a lesson on being grateful despite perceived shortfalls in life. She obliged someone in the audience who asked for her ‘Wanna be free'. Awoko, the songbird, thrilled the audience with his amazing voice and guitar. He also sang two songs, ‘Lekeleke' and ‘Oro Ife'. Chinyelo Onwubuya performed ‘Sugar' and ‘Zombies' while Bob did a spoken word performance titled ‘Revolution'.


Next was the cast of ‘Soyinka in the eyes of Shakespeare', a play directed by Lekan Balogun. They entertained with a juxtaposition of the major characters in Shakespeare's play ‘Macbeth' and Wole Soyinka's ‘Death and the King's Horseman'. The performance was well-staged and held the audiences' attention for well over an hour.

It was a funny moment when Lady Macbeth, who set out to seduce the King's Horseman sharply corrects his pronunciation of perfume after she is rejected by the man who responds to her amorous advances by lamenting, "If only you knew what brought me this far." Macbeth, who is held in the same mansion as the King's Horseman by the comedian, Bilkins, causes a ripple of laughter when at a point he replies, "Man is not meant to be hungry all the time", to Bilkins' admonition that man does not live by bread alone. The costumes were of the Elizabethan era. Macbeth's tormentor, Malcolm's paper dagger, somehow undermined the seriousness of the latter's supposed anger.

The crowd certainly enjoyed the performance and rewarded the cast and crew with loud ovation.
Soon after, the wine cocks popped and rich wine flowed into the cups, and with it exuberance and cheer from the lovers of poetry and art. Ade Bantu, Segun Adefila, and Kolade Arogundade, a lecturer from the University of Cape Town were some of those at the event.