There are areas of relevance of Spoken Word Poetry to individuals, companies and the Country as a whole. These are basically the benefits derivable from poetry and categorized into what I call the 8 Es. They are as follows:
Education: the minimum acceptable standard for a poet is the ability to read and write. For a poet to get better, he or she has to keep reading and writing, and this helps increase the level of literacy among poets, the audience and the general populace. In addition, the art form makes learning fun and enviable.
Employment: this art form provides jobs for talented individuals and businesses for related services. The Jobs are in form of themed poetry performance, script writing, drama, article writing, teaching etc. While the businesses that poetry brings to related services include stage design, ushers, sound engineer, video crew, hall rental etc. The development of a vibrant poetry industry will provide jobs for over a million people in Nigeria and much more in Africa.
Entrepreneurship: this art form creates the room for poets and related art forms and services to start businesses. This is further illustrated in the diagram below showing the various products a poet has to offer to the society.
Expressions: the art form gives children and adults a means to express themselves, as they are able to say things they might normally not be able to express in normal conversations. The art form provides a platform that encourages freedom of expression, thus they are able to express deeper thoughts and stronger feelings hidden within.
Entertainment: the art form is intellectually inspiring and excitingly enlightening. When it comes to poetry there are no foul words, no half naked vixens, and no soft porn, you can safely listen and watch with children.
Empowerment: with the acknowledgment of a poet’s talent come recognition, appreciation and compensation in form of money and bigger platforms. It helps with information dissemination, builds self-confidence, increases knowledge base, and improves presentation and public speaking skills.
Emotional Therapy: with the various issues facing us especially as regards rape and acts of violence, Poetry is therapeutic and be used as a form of therapy to hurt broken minds. This based on the fact that that words are powerful, and can make or mar an individual. Hence, the art form has a ability to uplift and motivate people.
Emotional Intelligence: this is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. This ability uses Poetry as a tool to manage one’s emotions and the emotions of others.
Olumide Holloway aka King Olulu, not from Zulu