This isn’t just the story of a little boy from one 1980 established Ado-Odo High School or that of a local champion, rather It is a step towards thousand more leaps into youth empowerment; lighting the proverbial match that burns a million miles, thousands of years…
I wouldn’t want to delve into ‘too much details’, though, the context demands same. Daring rationale behind hosting a ‘poetry-inclined’ event in a village where modern spoken word poetry is hardly heard of, save for local chants (ewi, ijala and the likes) is indeed unheard of, maybe unreasonable, but then, great ideas are usually laughable, weird at first instance. #HomeWord as the name connotes came from the ideology of bringing spoken word poetry homeward as expressed by her chief host, Olayinka Samson Aremu (the Poetic Samurai), a product of Ado-Odo Local Council Development Area in Ogun State-Nigeria.
From an eye-witness narrative, an active participant and a co-facilitator, I must state here that HomeWord holds one memory I am not in a hurry to forget, at least for the next few decades. Peeping into this historic event, from the articulate master of ceremony, Babatunde Ayo Raphael to the near-perfect mix of rare discussions on sick and sic music, taking responsibility, building a career, to rib-cracking comedy rendition, out-of-this-world traditional and contemporary poetry performances from Poet Loaded; the magical urban bard’s in-depth, filled-with-comic utterances to the dancing African Michael Jackson of the day; BankHALL alongside his Afrocentric diva; Mide-Fash, then Aditu Jesu, an A-List stand-up comedian from Faaji FM, it was a repertoire of art, life and a surprise to all, especially when viewed from the eyes of the town’s leading clergy, Prophet E. O. Babatunde, who was obviously impressed at show of emotion, determination shining in the eyes of almost every performing artiste that mounted the stage.
For me, one of those moments that held me spell-bound was that of Tomisin Osoba (daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Olaide and Tomide Osoba). This little girl is barely 10; her words speak a million language so much that High Table Guests were moved to dashing her cash prizes from right, left and center. It got Poetic Samurai leaping for excitement, fulfillment. A brighter rewarding future awaits the ancient city of Ado-Odo. She got an autographed copy of Funke Awodiya’s book titled, Farmer’s daughter.
The live musical performance from that sublime soloist, Fabiyi Ayodele AKA Sunfab Darichest, was not unnoticed. The love note in his song is a didactic tune to turn lust to love and turn lost love around.
It will amount to understating the power of brilliance, eloquence, angry determination of that bad boy gone bard if I fail to mention the impeccable audacity of “omo Iya Alagbo” (the herbs merchant)’s shining sun, convener of #HomeWord, Poetic Samurai’s eye-catching, insightful, yet entertaining spoken word rendition. He was made to perform several poems from the archive in his head, one of which had this indigenous Yoruba undertone, in a sing-song manner, he chanted, “Oku Abacha ti a lo, ain! Won o ti e to shia rara, ain!, won o ti e se raisi rara, ain! ori eni ti a joko si e, ni be l’ama yagbe si” (the funeral of Abacha we attended, there was no chair, rice or drink….we had to sit and ‘shit’ on mats..), causing the audience to sing along with thunderous applause from the sitting, current democratically elected chairman of Ado-Odo LCDA, Engr. Saeed Olabisi Alagbe, along side other equally important dignitaries like Hon. Rotimi Rahmon Arugbo, Princess Temitope Akapo, all offering a standing ovation to this little shining super star! I do not envy him here.
We had a wild time criss-crossing the streets of Ado-Odo, taking pictures and short videos at some historic junctions with Dr. Adefunke Awodiya; one of Nigeria’s most traveled poetess who coincidentally happens to be an indigene from the clan of Ido-Elero by maternal right, like me too from Idosaye. Wonderful moments captured in pictures and videos at random, wait for it!
Let’s do more at the next edition, Sound Of Sages (SOS) will be putting all hands on deck to ensure an even much more remarkable experience at #Homeword 0.2
The journey has just began, Aremu, a mouse trap cannot stop an elephant, itakun to ni k’erin re o ma wodo, tohun terin ni o lo.
Bankole Kolawole “BankHALL”
Poet, Essayist, Performance Coach based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Poet Loaded Akinwemimo Idris (Editor-in-chief, Nibstears Press) has this to say of #Homeword:
The next edition of the event would be greater than the first edition due to the exposition of the first edition brought to the town of which stimulated the gathering of the youth to share the same idea at a point in time. The best way to address the heart of youth is through constant gathering and repetition of the school of thought the youth are being expected to channel their reasoning.
In addition to this, the first edition woke the political spirit of the youth who were in attendance. The presence of political leaders is a re-awakening evidence of the dividends of peaceful politics for the growth of Ado-Odo community. It would definitely give the youths the medium to have second reasoning on the medium to remove the hindrances of the growth of the community without considering the political perspectives and school of thought. It was really a place to be for Nibstears Press.