When the team from Anambra was introduced at the Abuja Literary Festival (AlitFest) no one gave them a second glance. To the audience, they were just another newbies to be sacrificed on the altar of the greatest literary festival in Nigeria. However, what most of the Abuja poets and storytellers did not put into consideration was that this team has their root in the state of the finest literary minds – and for this condescending oversight, Abuja initiated the sudden tsunami that hit the arena.
‘Those Chiks are good’ (sic) one of Abuja finest critics confessed after the Slam.
And the other could not hide his excitement when he had this to say: ‘Those girls had power!’
From the first stage, the Team Anambra set the stage on fire and the audience could not contain their excitement. Fingers were continuously snapped as they performed, and whenever they dropped the punchlines, they remotely commanded the whole hall to be on their feet. It was an unprecedented order Abuja has never experienced.
This Poetry Stage Anambra took over in this 2019 Literary Event is the greatest Poetry Slam Stage in the whole of Nigeria, and surprisingly, this was the first time Anambra as a State was circumcised in a theatre of such magnitude. Of the 7 people that stood for Anambra State, 4 of them (all girls) flew the flag of the Light of The Nation and made every Anambra indigene in that arena super-proud. The girls are Divine Onyekwena, Edwin Favour, Cynthia Ekeka and Prudence Emudianughe.
From the first Stage of the Slam that accommodated 40 poets, the Team Anambra maintained a strong lead. 3 out of 4 of them comfortably made it to the second round and stole the heart of the judges. These 3 girls, with extreme confidence, fired themselves to the final stage – a feat most successful poets are yet to achieve. (Of the 8 finalists, Team Anambra contributed 3!) And when they seized the stage with their final presentations, success proved once again to have many friends as members of Abuja Literary Society from Anambra State started identifying with the State.
One poet, Janedu, updated Abuja Literary Society Whatsapp group with these words:
‘That Divine Issa babe. She’s from Anambra too – if you know what I mean’ (sic)
Divine Onyekwena became the darling of the stage. The decision that made her the second runner up was very technical, and she controlled just 1.6 points less than the Slam Champion of 2019. And because of her awesome display, Toni Kan of the legendary Hints Magazine enriched her account with extra 50k.
This Poetry Slam has produced the Nigerian finest writers, spokenword artists and poets like Dike Chukwumerije, Deji Ige, Debie Braids and Emma Ayoola. And of all the Slams conducted in the Literary Society, Literary Festival slam is the monarch. It is not just for the regular poets but for the best of the best; and yesterday, some of the slammers that participated in AlitFest 2019 were Slam Champions.
Anambra Literary Society is the brainchild of Chimuanya Chemo Egenti, who has selflessly and passionately promoted the Literary Society since December 2018. It was his dream to bring Anambra to the big stage, and this singular dream of his has made the whole state proud.
Today, I will introduce myself at AlitFest in this manner:
A bu m Ozii Baba Anieto
(You can be a part of this literary revolution in Anambra State. Just contact Chimuanya on Facebook)