F-Factor Magazine was the beginning of my foray into entrepreneurship. My friends and I were always broke and given that writing is a common ground we started a Satire Magazine,
In trying to distribute F-Factor Magazine, I started attending literary events, and in one of them tagged, Celebrity Read, I saw Spoken Word Poetry live for the first time. Even after seeing, I still thought maybe someday I try it. But when a friend came with me to the event and sang a song and everyone wanted to meet him. I realized the power of sight and sound and my spoken word career was born.
I thought I will get discovered and “BLOW” as a poet. So I was a regular at Freedom Hall, Taruwa and one or two other poetry events. So I started doing research on writing and performing Spoken Word Poetry, event organizing/ management, and related activities.
But aside Freedom Hall and Taruwa, other poetry events were few and far between. So my friends and I started talking about organizing a major poetry concert with all the paparazzi, red carpet and all. I did more research and started writing and sending out proposals for sponsorship.
Late 2011, Plumbline had mentioned moving “Chill and Relax,” a poetry open mic event, from Victoria Island to the mainland. We took on the responsibility to find a venue and host it. This experience served as our period of apprenticeship for poetry event organizing, promotion and management.
We started WORD UP, a spoken word poetry and soul music, with all the paparazzi and red carpet we had seen at music events. Once we kicked off, we started organizing WORD Up, every quarter.
Along the line it dawned on us that there was not enough poets to perform at WORD UP and we could end up repeating the same poets at every WORD UP event. Though, we were meeting new poets at Chill and Relax monthly gig, but they had no “poetry history/ pedigree.”
This gave birth to War Of Words Slam Poetry Competition, an event that would help us build capacity in young poets and provide them with “poetry pedigree.” Thus, we looked out for stage presence and performance expertise in poets that perform at War Of Words, and who we can then promote to the WORD UP stage. And isn’t it awesome to be introduced as:
Please welcome, Grrraciano, winner War Of Words Season 3, or give it up for The God Father, Wayne Samuel, back to back winner of War Of Words Season 6 and 7.
Truth is, winning (or even being a finalist at) War Of Words is no mean feat. The event is guaranteed to bring you out of obscurity as a poet into the lime light, and even, make you top of mind in the poetry circuits and beyond.
To be continued…..
Olumide Holloway (aka King Olulu, not from Zulu)
Building Capacity in People using Words and Poetry.