Home Up, Close and Personal Ibukun Ajagbe – Poetry is honest, it makes me open my heart…

Ibukun Ajagbe – Poetry is honest, it makes me open my heart…


• Let’s meet you, Name, age, sex, family background, educational background etc.

My name is Ibukun Ajagbe, 15 years old and female. I stay with my single mum and brother, and I’m in Senior Secondary 2.

• How long have you been writing? How old were you when you wrote your first poem?

I started writing last year in August 2014 or thereabout, I was 14 when I wrote my first poem.

• What inspired you to become a Poet? Where do you get the inspiration to begin writing your poems? Once you begin writing do you find it easy to finish a poem?

I was never really interested in poetry till I started my class with Atilola. She taught me how to write and the various things needed in writing. My inspiration is my heart, I write what I feel and what I think. I usually find it very difficult to end my poem, because I tend to want a captivating ending.

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• What was your childhood like – did you enjoy reading and writing poetry when you were younger? What books did you read growing up? and what kind of books do you read now? Any favourite author and why?

My childhood was very fun. I loved school as a child and in primary school, I got an award for best in composition but I wondered why (I hadn’t discovered my potential then). I mostly read books that were required in school for exams and all.

• The information you use to write poems, is it based on personal experience or other things such as facts?

Umm, I would say both experience and facts.

• What do you like about poetry? Who or what inspired you to write and perform poetry?

The thing I like about poetry is that poetry is honest, it makes me open my heart out in a way that I can’t naturally do. I was inspired by Atilola and Titi Mabogunje.

• Who are your favourite Spoken Word Poets, both locally and internationally? Do any of the artists/ poets you watch/listen to inspire your poems?

My favourite Spoken Word Poets are Janette Ikz and Ezekiel Azonwu. And yes, they inspire my poems, in a very beautiful way and God bless them for that.


• You won the War Of Words Season 5 Slam Poetry Competition, what was the experience like? What were your expectations? Did you see any other poet that impressed you? How has the competition changed your life?

It was awesome winning the competition, (trying but hard not to go all Christian on this), but It wasn’t me on that stage, it was God. My expectations weren’t that high, it was like zero. I saw Amakason and few other poets who spoke words of truth. War of words changed my life, my thinking and my perspective of life.

• Can you give us some suggestions to increase students’ interest in reading, writing and performance poetry?

To students who would want to write, you have to learn first to open your heart and share it with the world, think extremely beyond what you have because the thing we fail to see is that our minds have the ability to go wild.

• Do you think you will continue performing poetry throughout the years?

Yes, most definitely.

• What are some of your goals for the future?

My goals are to become a celebrated poet, a philanthropist, a role model to people all over the world, and most of all, to make my mummy proud.

• About how much time a day do you spend writing and performing your poems? Do you sometimes get frustrated when you are writing / performing?

Because of school, my concentration in poetry has reduced, but I try as much as possible to write when my heart is heavy or when I find my muse. I most times get frustrated when writing, things hold my thoughts back.


• What advice do you have for young people who want to be poets today? How would you encourage the youths of Nigeria to feel comfortable writing poetry as a form of creative expression?

Do not be intimidated by critics, learn to be your own self, you will surely have critics but let them be your motivation. Most people find it hard to say what they feel, but youths who want to write poetry should learn to drop their insecurities.

• Thank you for your time.

Thank you too, it was worthwhile.

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