Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Entry for #WarOfWords (Slam Poetry Competition) by St. Rhymes

This is the entry for War Of Words (Slam Poetry Competition) by St. Rhymes. 

#WarOfWords - War of Words by ST. RHYMES

If life is a War of Words
Then I am in it to Win
Cos' I am Wired to Win.
I Win not because of what I perform
But because of who I am.
I am the Poetic Preacher
Reaching out to the depth of your soul
Dishing out, dishing out wisdom to your soul.
Who am i?
I am the Blood washed Saint
And with words I Paint the Picture of the Future,
Giving hope to the hopeless
And life to the lifeless
If life was a War of Words
Then am in it to Win
Cos' I am wired to Win
I win because of who I Rep,
I rep the spoken word, outspoken from the mouth of the Lord of Lords
I Rep Christ and that's why I Win
If life was a War of Words
Then am in it to Win
because I am wired to Win...

Watch the video via this link

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Brand ambassadorship??? em...em....what about.....???

A School of thought holds: 'Stars are made and not born'. I say, whether born or made, it is good to be a Star. Nigeria’s entertainment industry is sometimes like a theatre of comedy, especially when you put in the added spice of the involvement of telecoms companies.

All over the world its normal to see popular faces aka Stars, become Brand Ambassadors for companies’ products and services. For example, we have: Beyonce for Pepsi; Alicia Keys for Blackberry; Taylor Swift for Diet Coke; Lady Gaga for Polaroid; and Rory Mcllroy for NIKE. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal if the same thing is done in Nigeria.

However, considering the rivalry between the telecoms companies in Nigeria, one can only imagine the level it will be taken to. For instance:  

Glo has signed Waje, Omawunmi, Flavor, M.i, Naeto C, P Square, Bez, Lagbaja etc
MTN signed Iyanya, Davido, iMike, Chidinma, Praiz, Wizkid etc.

Now, this is ok for the industry, after all, money is flowing, and the Stars have paid their dues.

Funny thing though is, Glo also has actors, actresses and comedians as their Brand Ambassadors e.g. Basket Mouth, Desmond Elliot, Funke Akindele, Odunlade Adekola, Uche Jombo Rodriguez, Rita Dominic, Ali Nuhu, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, Monalisa Chinda, PSquare and Sammy Okposo among other celebrities as ambassadors too. 

But Glo and MTN are just 2 out of 4 telecoms companies in Nigeria. So I wonder what will happen when Airtel or Etisalat has a big musical concert! Who will come to play there?
After all, it’s obvious the terms of agreement of the other telecoms ambassadors will not allow them perform at the shows of the companies’ rivals. Besides, if you remove all the listed names above from the list of Nigerian Stars, I wonder who is left! 

Who will Airtel and Etisalat sign as their Brand Ambassadors? 
Who will host their shows? 
Who will sing for them? 
Who will headline their shows? 
Who will walk their red carpets? 
Who will do their celebrity adverts? 
Who will act in their sponsored movies (if they decide to do some)?

It’s about time these telecom companies look at alternatives. What alternatives, you ask? Well, alternatives like Spoken Word Poetry. Funny, right?
Well, Spoken Word Poetry is a fast emerging Art in Nigeria, and Spoken Word Poets are multi-talented and creative people, and as the saying goes, it is important to “catch them young”.
There are a number of advantages telecoms companies stand to gain from investing in this Art form, especially as it is an untapped gold mine. 

I do know not everyone can see what I see, but if they wait till the Spoken Word Poetry industry fully matures before they decide to delve into it, they just might not have anyone to attend and/or perform at their events :). Ok, I am just kidding! 

But on a more serious note, helping to develop an industry is not something many companies can lay claim to, is it? 
Creating a Spoken Word Poetry industry would provide employment opportunities for otherwise jobless but creative youths. Spoken Word Poetry as an Art form is a genre of entertainment, which can also be used as a literacy development tool for communication, information and education. 

The time is right, and the time is now, because history can be made today. It is time to develop the Spoken word  industry in Nigeria!!!

Olumide Holloway


Saturday, May 25, 2013


TARUWA FESTIVAL OF PERFORMING ARTS IN NIGERIA (TAF) is an annual performing arts event, which kicks off this June in Lagos, Nigeria. The 3 day festival [6th - 8th June, 2013] presents ground-breaking events in Theater, Music, Comedy, Spoken Word, Dance and Fashion. Lagos are you ready?!


(The Theatre Production)
London Life Finally
The festival makes a grand opening on Thursday, June 6 with the adaptation of Bobo Omotayo’s bestselling book LONDON LIFE LAGOS LIVING live on stage with a stellar cast!!! This 2-hour show also opens with a musical performance and the one-woman play CHRONICLES OF A HEROINE by Ijeoma Grace Agu. You really don’t want to miss this!

DATE:  Thursday, June 6, 2013
TIME:  7:00pm – 9:00pm [Please be seated by 6:30pm]
VENUE: Terrakulture, Tiamiyu Savage, V.I, Lagos
PRICE: N3,000    *Get discounted tickets at N2,400 on from Tuesday, May 21 – Saturday, May 25 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pictures of Poetry lovers at WORD UP Volume 4....!!!!!!

We had over 200 people that came to enjoy Word Up Volume 4 that held on May 18, 2013 at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The audience was a mix of people that knew about Spoken Word Poetry and those who wondered what the fuss was all about. 
Well, the show was indeed wonderfully entertaining as you can see from the happy faces of the people at the event, and it made the people who knew nothing about Spoken Word Poetry become fans of the art.
Shihan Van Clief, our guest poet, was the icing on the cake, and his performance was so captivating and inspiring,  that when he ended, the audience yearned for more.
If you are a doubting Thomas about the happy faces, well go ahead and check out the pictures of people at the event.
Stay tuned for the red carpet and the performing poets pictures later this week. 

Duvy (elegant, delectable and lovely)

Shihan and Opeyemi Atte

Monday, May 20, 2013

Half Man, Half Amazing...!!!!

Sage Hasson
Half Man, Half Amazing
Sunday May 26, 2013
Time is 2pm
Venue is LitCafe, 1st Floor, E-Center, Yaba, Lagos.

brought to you by
Unchained Voices

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The need to see the bigger picture (for Spoken Word Poets).

Life has taught us not to always see things in black and white, for there are always shades of grey.
The business expert had always advised that one of the ways to run a successful business is to discover a need and fill it.
Reality has shown that delayed gratification leads to an extended run of inflows.
History has shown that pride cometh before fall.
Common sense has shown that helping others succeed will make you excel.

As an individual, I had a “9 to 5” I did and could had comfortably live off on it, with no complaints.
However, one day I had a dream with my eyes wide open and ever since then, I have not slept soundly.
I had a dream of building a business around my passion, which was to create an industry for Spoken Word Poets in Nigeria.
We all know that, no man is an island, and the wise people will say, life is life with others.
So I told my “crazy” dream to my friends and as many people that cared to listen.
Many laughed it off, some offered advice, others offered criticism, yabs, mental evaluation and the likes, but a special few decided to support this “crazy” dream of mine.

How do you write a business plan on creating an industry? Well, we didn’t.
I wrote down what I saw, my friends / partners wrote what they think I should see.
We read it, we argued, we discussed, we fought, we reconciled and then we agreed.
We started in February 2012 co-organizing, a monthly  open mic poetry show (Chill and Relax).
Co-organizing is actually a fanciful word for “apprenticeship.” Yes, we were apprentices at a live poetry show (well, we still are, and please do ask, are you a learner?).
This afforded us the opportunity to see how things were being done. We gained experience, publicity, media relations, contacts and content, (over a 100 poetry clips and still counting).

Fast forward to August 2012, and we held our own first major show, WORD UP (a Spoken Word Poetry and Soul Music Event).
People said it was a success, I personally felt we could do better. So we kept at it and since August 2012, we have held WORD UP on a quarterly basis.
After the 3rd edition in February 2013, we decided to go bigger than before and take a giant leap by inviting a foreign poet.
As fate would have it, we met Shihan Van Clief and he agreed to come for our show on May 18, 2013, WORD UP Volume 4 (hey, you are invited to attend).
Let me add that since we started, we have had support at different points in time from 3 different organizations.

Ok, why all this “history and development?”  well, because, we saw a need, “unemployment” and we decided to fill it. We saw the bigger picture of the various ways Spoken Word Poetry can be used. It can be used as a genre of entertainment, a tool to increase literacy level, and a means of communication among people across the globe. Ultimately, we can use Spoken Word Poetry to create employment for poets to earn a decent living from their amazing performances.

But all these might never materialize if we don’t consistently and persistently organize Poetry Shows, create awareness, promote poets and remain in the public eye through providing them with relevant content.
Do we get paid from these? NO.
Do we have a big sponsorship deal? NO.
Ok, do we have any sponsorship deal? NO.
Do we make money from the gate takings? NO.
Where do you get the money to finance it from? From personal savings.
But why do it if it is not profitable? Nobody will pay you for what you want to do,  but they will pay you for what they have seen you do. Money follows value.
But what is the essence of doing it if you are not getting paid? Simple, delayed gratification. In other words, we are looking at the bigger picture, and not the immediate “Naira and kobo.”

Industries don’t grow if the “beneficiaries” go insisting that they must get immediate gratification.
Go ask Ali Baba and Opa Williams.
Of course one or two “beneficiaries,” might be making money now, but one out of many is nothing.
There is even a saying that “a rich man in the midst of poor people is also a poor man.”
Besides, if building an industry was that easy, why didn’t someone do it earlier?
Building an industry requires forgoing self, and becoming selfless.
It requires sacrifice, putting yourself on the line to make the dream a reality.
For instance, imagine if some 10 to 20 years ago, only Ali Baba went to perform at shows, do you think the comedy industry would be where it is right now?
Ali Baba took people like Basket Mouth, AY and the likes along with him to shows, so that people could see it was more than just a one man thing.
If Ali Baba had been concerned about having to share the “Naira and Kobo” he was to be paid, would he have taken others along with him?
And pray tell, is Ali Baba still not relevant in the industry?
Is there any comedian or even any one, that can claim not to know “Night of a thousand laughs?”
Can anyone authoritatively say all the comedians that performed there got paid? Both the well-known and the unknown.
Opa Williams started Night of a thousand laughs comedy show which helped grow the comedy industry in Nigeria.
As at when Night of a thousand laughs started we had maybe 2 or 3 well known comedians. If they had insisted on getting paid before featuring on the show, I bet you the comedy industry would still be in a state of comatose.
But look what we have now, these days many comedians command decent performance fees, because you don’t need to explain what comedy is all about, people know it.

As Spoken Word Poets, we all need to see the bigger picture and come together to make this thing work. Life is a team sport, playing as a lone striker/ player means you might not get the passes you need , or might not be able to hold on to the ball long enough for someone to get a pass from you. Thus you play till you are worn out and the desired results won’t be forthcoming.

Let me conclude with this,  “He who waters will also be watered himself.” The general principle of a great life, is that of living for the good of others, because in doing that, we shall be profited ourselves.

Olumide Holloway

Monday, May 13, 2013

Spoken Word ENTERTAINMENT versus Poetry.


Spoken Word vs. Poetry. If a spoken word poet cannot show that they are strong on paper, should they be labeled an entertainer, NOT a Poet?

Entertainment vs. Life in Literary Motion

As a writer, I have always had a need to read my work to someone. My ear's have to hear the creative work of my mind come to life as these lips work like an assembly line. I know that I am a part of the mass majority of most other writers out there, ESPECIALLY poets. Poets tend to be odd creatures. We are very egotistical on the outside, but our true existence consists of completely insecure kindergarteners hoping and praying somebody will know that their green elephant really is a purple snowman. Enter: Poetry Readings.
Do NOT confuse poetry reading with Spoken Word Poetry. Poetry readings are held in places like libraries and tea houses...Starbucks and churches. Spoken Word Poetry Venues are just that...venues. They are loud. They are ruckus. They are spiritual. They are humanitarian. The Spoken Word is sexual and sensual...emotional and philosophical. The Spoken Word Poetry venue is ENTERTAINMENT through and through!
Which brings me to the debate at hand. Spoken Word vs Poetry. Are both Poetry? Or is Spoken Word entertainment?
My answer is this.
If a spoken word artist cannot show you their piece on paper...if that piece is not on paper without grammatical and spelling errors so drastic that you cannot easily read the piece. This person is not a poet. If a spoken word artist freestyles more than they spill ink...then I am more apt to label him/her a rapper/entertainer than a poet. If a Spoken Word artist has never even considered publishing a chapbook, I question why?
A poet writes. A poet cries tears of blood. They dream in stanzas, and wake in the wee hours of the night...unable to fall back to sleep because poetry refuses to allow it. A new poem, that new born child lying next to the Poet in the bed... whimpering and whining, screaming and crying until the Creator agrees to finish...and the Poem and Poet can sleep. This Poet? This Poet is the Poet that gets on stage and leaves sweat in pools on stage. This Poet leave tears on the cord of the mic. This is the one who steps off stage and can barely speak because everything just short of life was left on that stage in the name of Poetry. This one... is a Poet... not an entertainer.
Spoken Word vs. Poetry
Entertainment vs. Life in Literary Motion

Friday, May 10, 2013

A hint of what to expect from Shihan Van Clief at Word Up Volume 4!!!!!

I could write pages and pages about Shihan, and yet the words would not capture all what I would want to say. 
His words are so deep, and its such joy knowing we will get to enjoy this live at 
WORD UP Volume 4 
on May 18, 2013 
from 2pm 
at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria. 
Don't miss it.

Meanwhile enjoy the videos below, they are just a hint of what to expect from Shihan Van Clief on Saturday at #WordUpVol4

Deep words!!!

Shihan at DPL doing a piece titled  "Family"

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Video entries for "War Of Words" is now on......!!!!!

i2X Media 

(organizers of WORD UP, the biggest Spoken Word Event in Nigeria)


War Of Words 
(A Spoken Word Poetry Competition)

 This June, Spoken Word Poets will grace the stage like never before to kiss words and make them dance.
Up for grabs
  • $300 for the winner and
  • The top three poets get to perform at the next edition of WORD UP on August 17, 2013 alongside popular international  Def Poet – Black ICE.
 Do you have what it takes? Here is all you have to do  
  1. Submit an original poem that is in English, pidgin English or a combination of both. Please note that All non-english words used in the poem must be explained in the information box of the video.
  2. Ensure The title of your poem  contains the official hashtag #WarOfWords, else your entry is not valid.
  3.  Ensure  your name/ stage name, email address and wordings of the video are in the information box of the video. If the information box cannot contain the wordings of the poem, send it to stating your name and title of the poem with the hashtag in the subject box of the mail.
  4. Ensure your  video submission is not be more than 3 minutes long and remember it must be uploaded on your Youtube channel. If you don’t have a Youtube channel, please open one.
  5. The submitted video must be one camera, one poet and recorded specifically for the competition. No live performance videos and no special effects. Please note that all poets are limited to one submission ONLY.
  6. You will be required to post the link of the Youtube Video in the comment section of  any posts  on,  to render your entry as valid.
  7. You will also be required to tweet the video link with the official hashtag #WarOfWords to @WORDUP411
  8. The theme of the video entry is, “In it to win.” 
Ready to WOW us?

Video submission starts NOW till Midnight of June 14, 2013 !!!!!!

Follow us all on Twitter: @WORDUP411 , @Olulu4ever , @talk2duvy , @DonFabrino , @ikekhuahdan 

The Actual datevenue and time of the competition will be communicated once we have our finalists.

A total of 15 poets will be chosen from the entries for the competition. The first ten will be chosen by our in-house judges. The last five will be chosen based on most viewed, most liked  and the videos with the most comments.

Thus, if you are a Spoken Word Artist, Performance Poet, or a Wordsmith, 
then you should not miss this one chance, to  kiss words and make them dance.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

LitCaf (the social club where books are the liquors).

In Nigeria, there are many places for the lovers of music, wine and other forms of entertainment to unwind or socialize but there is hardly a place for the lovers of books to share information or pick a book to read under a relaxing and socially stimulating environment.  

The Literary Café or LitCaf Nigeria can be described as the social club where books are the liquors, where the music is not deafening, where the lights are not so dimmed, where the dancing steps are the gesticulations of individuals who have come to socialize under an intellectual milieu. It is the
place where the pickup line of a gentleman to a lady is not just ‘can I buy you a drink’ but also is ‘have you read the book by John Maxwell?’ 

The Literary Cafe is different from private library in being sensitive to the things that will make book reading an enjoyable experience to the people. Unlike libraries, there will be in the literary cafe soft music, chatting, eating, and even the chance to meet with invited personalities on occasions.
Other services beyond the physical cafe, includes the planning, research, writing and representation of work. 

LitCaf promote worthy books with indelible values. Please find below how you may like to engage them:

Publishing firms- There is room for publishers of any genre to liaise in the publicity of their books. . LitCaf Nigeria  will accept only publications fitting to its definition of good literature and which may have been suitably certified by recognized bodies.

Corporate Organizations- they facilitate capacity development for company staffs subscribed to LitCaf Nigeria through recurrent seminars.

Institutions- LitCaf Nigeria moderates and provides the avenue for students from different institutions to connect with the aim of having debates, discussions and other inter-school activities.

Public Officials and Figures- they provide the worthy connect between public officials and the public through talk shows and through the coordination of polls and surveys.

Individuals- they organize book parties every fortnight; an avenue for book lovers to connect, discuss and enjoy books which may have been voted in preceding  parties to be the highlight of the day. 

LitCaf is the place where even better histories are written. They go out on occasions, taking their events around the city. 
Back in the café, they will be having smaller versions of those events. But  the literary cafe is not only about talk shows; 
it is a place where individuals across ages all ages can come Mondays to Saturdays, 8am to 11pm to enjoy our light dishes. 
Their ice cream and desserts will only make your reading more wonderful. 

In LitCaf, you get a chance to talk to people like you. 
Who knows; you might just grab an idea that will make us want to invite you to share your thoughts. 
And be sure that they love music as much as you do! Looking forward  to seeing you at the hippest Café in town.

LitCafe is located on the 2nd floor Ozone Cinema, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.

Supporters of WORD UP Volume 4...!!!

WORD UP Volume 4
supported by
McAtte Photography
Don Fabrino
Duvy World
GT Entertainment
Maximus Media
F-FACTOR Magazine (
Dj Swaggz
many more

WORD UP Volume 4

Featuring the best of Naija A-list Spoken Word Poets such as
Plumbline, Efe Paul Azino, Atilola, Bob Ekat
Olulu, Elisheva, Dolapo, Donna K, Obii, Arch Angel,
Enigmatic Olumide and many more.

Special Performance by
(the award winning
internationally renowned Spoken Word Poet)
Music by Lumynos, Kentoxygen and other Sensational Soul Singers

Emcees of the day are: Duvy and Don Fabrino

Date is May 18, 2013

Venue is Terra Kulture Hall,
Plot 1376, Tiamuyi Savage,
off Ahamdu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Doors Open from 2pm

Gate Fee:
Regular N1,000
VIP N5,000

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Joke on us...............!!!!!

The first time I saw and heard Obii perform on stage, I was wowed.
Funny thing, that was her first on stage 
and she blew everyone away.
She won the Naija Poetry Slam that night in August 2012, 
and ever since then,
She has become a constant performer at WORD UP events.
The video below was one of the poems 
she did at WORD UP Volume 3.
It was one of my favourite poem at the event.
You need to watch the video and listen to the words, 
especially the last line, 
to realize, 
the joke is on us...!!!!

Spoken Word Poetry by Obii at Word Up Volume 3, Lagos, Nigeria. 
Word Up is the biggest Spoken Word Poetry Event in Nigeria.
 It features the best of the poets across the globe all on one stage.