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Poetry and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


Facts and Figures

  • Global unemployment increased from 170 million in 2007 to nearly 202 million in 2012, of which about 75 million are young women and men.
  • Nearly 2.2 billion people live below the US$2 poverty line and that poverty eradication is only possible through stable and well-paid jobs.
  • 470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labour market between 2016 and 2030.

SDG Goal 8:

Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

The Role of Spoken Word Poetry

Our vision has always been to develop a vibrant Spoken Word Poetry industry in Nigeria, Africa and beyond, thereby creating opportunities for people especially the youths to express their God given talent and make a very decent living from it.

The basis for this vision is that we are passionate about Spoken Word Poetry as a genre of entertainment, a tool to increase literacy level, and a means of communication among people across the globe.

The above are also premised on the following:

  • The foundation for any poet is the ability to read and write. In order to improve and get better in this art form, a poet has to continue to read and write. Therefore, ensuring the quality of education is improved on by the practitioners of this art form which promotes lifelong learning opportunities.
  • Spoken word is an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of word play and intonation and voice inflection. ‘It is a ‘catchall’ that includes any kind of poetry recited aloud, including hip-hop, jazz poetry, poetry slams, traditional poetry readings and can include comedy routines and ‘prose monologues’. – Wikipedia
  • Thus, Spoken Word Poetry has roots in hip hop which makes it appealing to youths and the young at heart.
  • The competition aspect of Spoken Word Poetry tagged “Poetry Slam,” is packed of excitement, nerves/ tension, intellectually stimulating performances and pure, undiluted fun.
  • It is an art form that can self-sustain itself and the practitioners as a source of livelihood.
  • Making the art form self-sustaining ultimately leads to productive employment, decent work and economic growth for the industry and the Nations as a whole.

In conclusion

Thus, Poetry loving and supporting organisations are socially responsible institutions which is in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal Number 8 i.e. ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, as well as, promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

Let me know what you think.


Olumide Holloway (aka King Olulu)


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