As the year 2013 slowly but surely comes to an end, we have nothing but thanks to give unto God, who has kept us all through the year 2013 and has been an ever present help all day, everyday.
The year 2013 was a great year for us, and we think it fit to share our testimony even though we did not achieve all we set out to achieve, it is still good to give thanks to God and appreciate all those who played a part in our dream to create a vibrant and rewarding Spoke Word Poetry industry in Nigeria.
- We organised 8 major events without sponsorship by any organisation.
- We organised four Word Up events: Word Up Volume 3 (Da Love thang) in February, Word Up Volume 4 in May, Word Up Volume 5 (1 year anniversary edition) in August and Word Up Volume 6 (Stop the Violence) in November.
- For Word Up Volume 4 in May, we brought in Shihan Van Clief (HBO Def Poet and an Internationally renowned Spoken Word Poet). This was his first visit to Nigeria and first time he will perform in Nigeria.
- We organised two Poetry seminars tagged, The Business of Spoken Word Poetry in Nigeria. The first seminar was held in May and our main facilitator was Shihan Van Clief. The second seminar was held in September and our facilitators included Donna the Poet, Olajumoke Alawonde-James (Freedom Hall), Kelvin Orifa (MTN) and Shina Atilola (Sterling Bank).
- We organised two Slam Poetry Competitions in June and December, and they were tagged, War Of Words 1 and War Of Words 2. We got over 50 video entries for both events and an average of 15 poets competed on stage at each event. The winner of War Of Words 1, Titilayo Mabogunje, is a 15 year old girl and she won $300, while the winner of War Of Words 2, Chika Jones, won $500.
- We have featured most of the major Spoken Word Poets in Nigeria at our events. Poets such as Plumbline, Torpedo, Donna the poet, Ivori, Efe Paul, Sage Hasson, Bob Ekat, Uche Nwadinachi, Enigmatic Olumide, Eleri, Onimisi, Ndukwe Onuoha and many more.
- We featured the youngest Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria, Increase, a 14 year old boy at our events.
- We have also featured new and upcoming poets at our events.
- We have discovered so many new poets and are mentoring some of them.
- Toni Payne, Aderonke Adebanjo (Smooth FM), Yemisi Jacobs (Nigezie) and Yeacah Adamu (Soundcity) came to perform at our events.
- We were hosted on radio by IK Osakioduwa on Silverbird Rhythm 93.7 FM and also on Metro 97.7 FM.
- We were interviewed live in the studio of NTA 5 TV Station on numerous occasions.
- Silverbird TV, TVC, Galaxy TV, Hitz TV, Nigezie, Prime TV, NTA 5, Soundcity and ONTV have covered one or more of our events during the year.
- Our video with the theme, “Stop the violence,” (centered around the United Nation’s “International day for the elimination of violence against women”) was shown all over the world on November 25, 2013.
- We were asked by UN to nominate a young female poet to come perform in Geneva (all expenses paid) and we nominated three poets, out of which they chose Atilola, who has performed severally at our events. She performed at the UN event on December 19 and received a standing ovation.
- Our twitter account @wordup411 has remained vibrant and active with over 500 followers.
- Our poetry entertainment website https://wordup411ng.com finally came online and our blog http://wordup411.blogspot.com is still very relevant.
- We were invited to come perform, speak and/or lecture at various events.
We appreciate all those who have helped in bringing us closer to actualizing our dream of a vibrant and rewarding Spoke Word Poetry industry in Nigeria. We thank you all for your calls, texts, tweets, facebook messages, comments, and prayers, and we pray you also find help when you need it.
We are happy with what we have done so far, but we are not satisfied with what we have done. Our dream, to create a vibrant and rewarding Spoke Word Poetry industry in Nigeria, is our driving force and we fully intend to make it a reality by God’s grace.
We have Black Ice (HBO Def Poet) coming to perform at one or two of our events in 2014, and we are in talks with some other internationally renowned Spoken Word Poets who are ready and willing to come perform at our events in Nigeria.
We have plans to take Spoken Word Poetry into Secondary Schools, Universities and other tertiary institutions.
We have plans to hold the biggest Slam Poetry Competition in Nigeria with a prize money of N1 million for the winner and we also have plans for an African Slam Poetry Competition involving poets from Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Namibia.
After this, we will go worldwide, USA and UK, please take note.
We don’t have sponsors yet, but we can’t afford to sit down and do nothing while waiting for sponsorship. We intend to continue to add value to poets, youths, people, the society, the Nation Nigeria and the world. Thus, sponsors will have to play catch up.
Silver or Gold, we have none to give, but that which we have, we will freely give, over and over again, until the end of time. And we pray that the year 2014 will be a great year for us all in Jesus name. Amen.