Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Of Bards And Singers Under The Samarkland Tree


The second flight of poetry, word, music and dance last month came to be at the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu. The Samarkland tree gave leafy foliage to the collective brimming with creative fervour.
The organisers Goethe- Institut and the Culture Advocates Caucus CAC prepared this second edition of WordSlam! not only to be a continuation of the successful maiden edition but a time for fresh discoveries in the literary arts scene. It was an evening of riveting performances from the usual suspects like Awoko, Conerstone, Edaoto, Sage HaS.son, Dagga Tolar. There was a surprise appearance by Afrobeat Artiste, Stage Actor and Fela Protégé, Dede Mabiaku who performed one of Fela's old songs. Dede' sister Ayeola was also present and she did poetry recitals on femininity in all its goodness and pitfalls. Beyond Nigeria shores, the poets welcomed compatriots like Segun Ola and Seun Beckley from neighbouring Benin Republic. Wale 'Laoye brought skills from the ancient town of Ede to showcase at the gathering.
The event kicked off later than the scheduled time but the performing poets gave the audience captivating moments.
CornerStone, a Nigerian who plays root music believes “Music is in my blood purely hereditary because his late father was a singer. He presented a poem titled 'Being a Blackman is not a crime' and the last line in the poem 'Here we belong' was performed as a song to the great admiration.
'They take us from here to America, Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago .here we belong, this is our home! Our only hope, here we belong. This is our root, my colour “Oh my race here I belong” (Chorus)
Habeeb Olatunde also known as Awoko sang his poem to put members of the audience in a romantic nostalgia. 'Dance to my rhythm' is a love poem which he presented in Yoruba lyrics: “jo s'ilu mi, mo fe lulu boya waajo. Mo fe pagbo ijo boya waa rerin simi muse, Ekuro lalabaku ewa, ewa lalabaku egbo”He also sang another poem with a philosophical title: The light. “Let the light shine to cheer our hearts. Let the light shine to bring the withered souls” of what importance is darkness without light? Of what dignity is the old without an offspring? Let the light live. Let the light reign. Let the light attain the peak of its goodness”.Dagga Tolar, a TV presenter and socialist, is reputed to have published many poems. At the event he presented No sad song and One bad kidney. These poems he used their choruses as songs.
Afro beat musician and leader of the Edaoto and the Afro genius band; Edaoto Agbeniyi also presented Feni-Foro and Don't Look Back, a poem replete with advice to be progressive.
Another interesting performer at the event was Sage Has.Son who presented Love is Strange, The Televised Revolution, Music, Musing Screw Poem
Speaking to National Mirror at the end of the event Conerstone revealed he derives inspirations from his spiritual father Robert Nesta Marley. “There is problem in Africa; my music is to set the captives free. Yeah man respect! I wanna start from where my spiritual father stopped” He wants musicians to stop singing about love but to sing revolution since people are suffering.
All the performers were supported by the popular Biodun and the Batik Band.