1. Please introduce yourself, and tell us when did you first realize you are a poet and what lead to the realization?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: My name is Olumide Bisiriyu, but my fans call me Enigmatic Olumide. The first son in a family of seven. I am a Performance Poet, Writer and Actor. I am also into Real Estate business. I look for and apply creativity to all I do, so let’s just say I am an addict of anything creative.
I first realised I’m a poet sometime around year 1994. But I didn’t take it serious until around 98/99 when I started putting pen to paper. Well, that may be because I don’t know many poets then and I thought it’s just an expression-not something I can showcase anywhere. Then I’d write and dump my poems in places I may not even remember. Things however turned around when I met a half Indian-half Nigerian friend sometime around year 2000-2001 who encouraged me to buy a book and be keeping record of my poems.
2. When did you first start performing poetry, what made you feel the need to express yourself in this way?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: I started performance poetry sometime around year 2004, at a concert in school. The idea came after I recorded a 7 track musical album of which the 7th track was a spoken word poetry. Though the songs were commended and even got few airplays at RayPower fm in Lagos, Premier fm in Ibadan, and another fm in Abuja, the music experts I took it to for critic kept saying the best track on the CD was the spoken word poetry. Eventually, the thing got to me and I decided to put more effort in my poetic prowess. Funny enough, when I did my first performance at that concert, spoken word poetry was not common. I even thought I will be booed, but I got commendations till many months after. And when the organizers had similar event following year, as expected I was given another opportunity to do poetry.
3. Name the 3 poems you are most proud of performing, the ones that you personally cannot forget?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: (Laughs) I can’t really say I’m proud performing one poem at the expense of another o. I think one thing I’ve come to notice about me is that when I get on stage to perform I forget who I am and I allow God to drive me in whatever form He wants. This I can say is what I am proud of; after all poetry is spiritual and to connect better when performing your poems you need to allow some spirits, either Holy or otherwise, to drive you (Laughs again).
4. Do you find that people like different poems than your own favorites? Name your top 3 most performed poems.
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: Yes. Sometimes I attend event with friends or my crew members. Though I have what I want to perform in mind, I often ask them what to perform, and I find out they want me to perform something different from what I have in mind. I think my Top 3 most performed poems are ‘Fill My Cup’, ‘Spiritual’, and ‘Sex Is Not The Reason’ in ascending order.
5. Do you have one poem that you almost did not perform due to it being so very personal? Did you perform it after all? If so, please tell us about it.
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: I think I have so many. Many of which I eventually did not perform and few I performed anyway. You know, most times the inspiration to write poems are events that happen to us or we’ve seen. So when you have a poem about your ex-girlfriend and you have decided to perform it at an event only to get to the event and you see your ex in the crowd; would you perform that poem? (Laughs)
6. Do you also write short stories or pieces of literature? Which do you find yourself drawn to the most often?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: These days I write more of poetry, but I think my other art skills are fighting back. Like now I am currently working on two movie scripts and at other times I just settle down for fiction. If you check my blog you will see I write different things as they come. Check www.edimulo.blogspot.com
7. Some poets are also active in other creative areas, what are some of you favorite non-poetry or literature activities?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: I write anything write-able; movie scripts, short stories, some uncompleted full novels, music, and I act both on stage and in films. I also write motivationals/inspirational and that was what my first book was about.
8. What kind of performances and works by other poets are you most drawn to reading and watching yourself? Do you find yourself reading/ watching work similar to your own, or completely different?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: My works tend to have spiritual undertone, I admit I’ve not been able to get many people who do that to watch, especially while developing myself before now. Nevertheless I believe in creativity and I don’t allow sentiments to interfere when I watch or read other poets. The list is many but if I must mention I’d say I read/watch people like Uche Uwadinachi, Efe Paul, Sage Hasson, Dike Chukwumerije, Kughoro Samson, etc.
9. Many poets have different methods for their performing, some write on paper and then perform it, others type their work out in word document, while some others don’t write before they perform. What is your preferred style/method?
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: I try as much as possible not to have a fixed style. If it’s paper that I see when inspiration comes I use it, if it’s laptop/phone I use it, even if I have to go off hand I just do it. But I must confess I try as much as possible not to be tempted into doing freestyle poetry because I am so particular about the message I pass across and wouldn’t want to say something I would not like saying later.
10. Any other information you want to share (some personal stuff that we don’t know about)
ENIGMATIC OLUMIDE: Yes, I am CEO of EGC which is dedicated to promoting creative works especially in Books, Movies, and Photography… to make it short it is an organization dedicated to application of creative energy. We started with a book club in Lagos, but now we’ve brought other creative areas I’ve worked with before under the umbrella like photography and music/film production, and we have opened office at Akobo in Ibadan. We hope to see you pay us a visit soon, to work on your project, promote your works, or to see creative works from other people. You can call +2348176041813 to get on the train. Cheers.