Category Archives: Nigeria

Donna Ogunnaike

Poet, writer and Energy Law expert, Donna is arguably the most compelling voice in Nigeria’s intense performance poetry circuit today. She has been described in the only ranking effort for spoken word in Nigeria (EGC Platform) as the “queen of spoken word poetry in Nigeria” for the year 2013 and ranked amongst the top 20 poets in Nigeria in the year 2012.

She is a Partner in the Law Firm of Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun where she has earned herself the prized ranking of “Rising Star” in 2014 and 2015 from IFLR 1000 for the World’s Leading Lawyers. When she is not providing expert advice to clients, Donna invests her energies in performed poetry and was formerly a co-coordinator of the well established Nigerian platform for art expression, Freedom Hall. She is a regular act on platforms like Taruwa, Freedom Hall and Word Up (where she has been a judge of poetry slams severally and was a facilitator at their event “The Business of Spoken Word in Nigeria, 2014” where she taught a sizeable audience of spoken word artistes on perfecting their act “From Page to Stage”).

Donna has been called upon for landmark events where only the finest acts are selected such as Nigeria’s 1st Cultural Trade Show (2014) tagged “Business Meets Culture” hosted by the Nigerian-German Business Association, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival and the WS 80 (celebrating Professor Wole Soyinka). DONNA was also the only Nigerian and one of 11 women elected by ONE.ORG for the National Month of Poetry, 2014 on its “National Poetry Month: Uplifting Verses From 11 Strong Female Poets”, alongside greats like Maya Angelou and Naomi Shihab Nye.

Her debut audio album “Water For Roses” is now available for purchase, with a formal launch to follow by April, 2015

Sandra Chinonye Vivian Nwadi

Sandra Chinonye Vivian Nwadi is a lawyer, negotiator and mediator, poet, writer, singer and songwriter from Nigeria. Her poems have appeared in Reflections From Bwari, Sentinel Magazine, YNaija, various newspapers and blogs.

She was nominated as one of the top ten best original songwriters and vocalists in Opera Abuja song contest in 2011. She has also performed some songs and poetry at events in London, Berlin, and Paris.
Some of her songs and audio poetry can be found on MySpace: sandrachinonyeviviannwadi.


When Titilope first stepped to the microphone in 2007 at a local open mic, to gracing stages from Lagos to Cape Town, New York to California, Edmonton to Toronto and places in between, her goal has been to remind people that the ties that bind us transcend all of the borders we have created. She will tell you that no poem is brand new. In the telling and re-telling we are reminded that someone has walked this path before.

Titilope is a Nigerian born civil engineer, author and spoken word poet and the winner of the 2011 Canadian Authors’ Association Emerging Author Award for her first collection of poems, Down To Earth. In 2013 Titilope released her first spoken word album Mother Tongue and her second collection of poetry, Abscess, in 2014 with Geko Publishing in South Africa.

She was a resident artist at the 2011 Yemoya Artist Residency under the mentorship of acclaimed Jamaican-Canadian Dub poet and educator, D’bi Young. She was the recipient of the 2013 RISE award for achievement in the arts and the 2014 National Black Coalition of Canada Fil Fraser Award.

She has featured on stages across Canada and internationally, performing with Sonia Sanchez, Jayne Cortez, Yusef Komunyakaa, Obiora Odechukwu, Bassey Ikpi, Twin Poets and Offiong Bassey, at the 2011 Achebe Colloquium on Africa at Brown University. In 2013, Titilope was selected from over 200 writers to meet legendary poet and author, Dr. Maya Angelou.

She is the creator of Rouge Poetry, a weekly open mic that has feature local and international poets and musicians for over 5 years. She is the founding member of the Breath In Poetry Collective, home of the 2011 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (CFSW) championship winning Edmonton Slam Team. Titilope also adds acting to her list of accomplishments, starring as Eki in the Ndani TV hit series, Gidi Up that will air across Africa in 2014.

Even with the soil of continents beneath her feet, the stories that are surer with each passing year, she has not forgotten where it all began. She will tell you it is simple; when your heart is cracked open and a multitude of words begin to leak from your chest, before you stain everything you dare to touch, put it in a poem.

Ndukwe Onuoha

Ndukwe Onuoha resides in Lagos Nigeria, where he is a copywriter by day and poet by design. He draws his inspiration from the many human stories that play themselves out every day, providing a unique insight into the animal called man.

He is married to a lovely blogger, who also has the rather arduous task of keeping him within the agreeable bounds of reality and sanity

Kolade Arogundade

Kolade Arogundade is a land economist, poet, world music aficionado, writer, political animal and football fiend. Recently he has started an initiative called Giants in the Land which has so far published two books of poetry. He is currently working on his first novel.

Kenneth Ibegwam

Kenneth Ibegwam was born in Owerri, Nigeria, and grew up in Lagos Nigeria. A graduate of Imo State University, he generally considers himself a “reader of books” still trying to understand the rudiments of graduate school. He lives in Maryland.

Onokemi Onojobi

Onokemi Onojobi (a.k.a Qono) is an artistic, avant-garde persona, a perspicacious lover of words, writing and all things aesthetic. A performance poet and a musician. Onokemi is also an advocate against Child Sexual Abuse amongst other things.

Olumide Popoola

Olumide Popoola is a London-based Nigerian German author, poet, performer and speaker who presents internationally, often collaborating with musicians or other artists. She has published fiction, drama, poetry and essays in magazines, journals, newspapers, memoirs and anthologies since 1988.

The scope of her work concerns critical investigation into the ‘in-between’ of culture, language and public space where a, sometimes uncomfortable, look at complexity is needed.

Olumide holds a BSc in Ayurvedic Medicine and a MA in Creative Writing. She is currently a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of East London for which she is working on a novel that expands on her interest in cross-genre work, and the notion of vernacular or hybrid languages as literary opportunities for social and cultural change.

In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award in the category Poetry in 2004 (the first Black International Literature Award in Germany).

She has received grants, fellowships and residencies from UEL, Djerassi, Künstlerdorf Schöppingen and Hedgebrook, amongst others.

Her novella this is not about sadness is her first book-length work of fiction, published by Unrast Verlag in 2010 through their ‘insurrection notes’ imprint. Her play Also by Mail was published in February 2013 by Witnessed (edition assemblage).

She aims to finish the novel that is her PhD project in 2014/15.

Odia Ofeimun

Odia Ofeimun, poet, polemicist and polymath was born in Iruekpen-Ekuma, Edo State, Nigeria, on March 16th 1950. The author of ten significant volumes of poetry, Mr. Ofeimun has also published two books of political essays, four books on cultural politics as well as editing two anthologies of Nigerian poetry.

Widely anthologized and translated into many world languages, Mr. Ofeimun has read and performed his poetry in several countries of the world including Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, India, South Korea, Columbia, Germany, Israel, Great Britain, China, the United States of America, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Sweden, Italy and Cuba.

At home in Nigeria, Mr. Ofeimun’s practice of journalism, spanning the years of military tyranny, has inspired a whole generation of journalists in print and electronic media. The principled stand of Mr. Ofeimun came at the price of random invasion of his residence, seizure of his manuscripts, computer discs and Nigerian Passport to deny him freedom of movement. Undeterred, and while practicing probably the most dangerous vocation of all at the time, Mr. Ofeimun served the Association of Nigerian Authors as General Secretary and President respectively. He has been designated advisor to PEN Nigeria Centre and is a founding member of the Pan African Writers Association.

Mr. Ofeimun is the recipient of many awards the latest of which is the prestigious Fonlon-Nichols Award for literary excellence and propagation of Human Rights which was conferred on him by the African Literature Association in 2010. In a literary career spanning four decades, Mr. Ofeimun has distinguished himself with poetry and essays which challenge both the imagination and the intellect, crossing cultural borders and establishing new benchmarks in the articulation of the African narrative. His essays are valued both for knowledge and analysis, for what to know and for how to think about what is known.

Though only 62, Mr. Ofeimun is fondly called ‘Baba’ by the post-civil war generation of Nigerian writers many of whom have found touchstones in his works or have been individually mentored in writing by Mr. Ofeimun. For his copious literary output while engaged with anti-military rule struggle in Nigeria, Mr. Ofeimun has been called an exemplar of conscionable and consistent writing and the writerly life.


Obii is an artist and an art lover. She made her debut in Spoken word at the maiden edition of Bassey Ikpi’s Naija Poetry Slam which she won in October 2012. She has performed in major poetry events in Lagos and Calabar, Nigeria. She works as a copywriter, and in April 2013, she was recognised for her work with a Cannes Young Lions Award for Design. She also dabbles in photography.

Omo Faith Oshodin

Omo Faith Oshodin (I Am I) can only be described as The Renaissance Woman.

She is a Word-smith; a writer currently working on her first book, her work have been published locally and inter-nationally. She also performs her written works at the Free-dom Hall, Bogobiri, Ikoyi, in Lagos- Nigeria– where people from all over come to see her. One of her most popular poems RED SOIL has developed a cult like following.

She is an up-coming Jazz singer as well, who has performed to a standing ovation at the prestigious Terra Kulture during the Jazz forum which took place in the last quarter of 2010.

She has a blog called The Path of Faith which is fast gaining popularity. (

She is also quite the gifted artist who uses the medium of mixed media, oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas and water colour.

She has handled interior design projects for a number of high profile individuals.

When asked what she does, she simply says, “I am a Creator”.


A Marketing Communications specialist, Obanya has worked and managed advertising strategy for several global brands in Africa. He is a novelist and a poet with published and unpublished works. His published works are, Him Bone Poetree and Sickles Raised from Dust.

He is in the process of publishing a new novel titled, Ijambody and a new book of poems titled, Ambient Noon and other poems.

He currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria or Accra, Ghana.

Jumoke Verissimo

At age 7, her class teacher wrote on her mid-term report sheet, “Jumoke loves to write”. While that was just a teacher’s observation, it is one revelation that has remained true. Her love for words has never taken her far from it. She has worked as a printer’s clerk, assistant sub-editor, performance poet and journalist. Now working as a copywriter, she maintains a page in the Guardian Newspaper. Her poems and short stories have appeared in several magazines like Chimurenga, Bathtub Gin, Canopic Jar, Eclectica, Sentinel, African writing-online, Boyne Berries, Farafina, Kwani and several anthologies.

I am Memory is Jumoke’s first collection of poetry.

Jeff Plumbline

Poet, songwriter, political blogger ( and Hip Hop Rap/spoken word artist Plumbline was born in Lagos Nigeria, in his Lagos Island hometown.

Growing up, he was influenced by local poets like the late Mamman Vatsa and later on caught up with the works of the Late Ken Saro Wiwa.

His defining moment was when he heard Kurtis Blow’s Basketball and If I ruled the World in the Early/Mid Eighties. Having been on Michael Jackson’s pop and Boney M’s Discotheque, this was to him a paradigm shift. By the time he was in high school, he started writing his own rhymes but did not go into active recording till 2006/2007, the time he concluded his Masters Degree in Applied Geophysics, five years after a first Degree in Geology.

He is a regular spoken word performer at Taruwa, Lydia Sobogun’s Poetry/Open Mic event hosted by Bez with a fiery delivery that earned him the title Taruwa Favourite. He performs at Anthill, and hosts a Spoken Word event, Chill and Relax at Life House, Sinari Daranijo, Victoria Island. He was also one of the Poets at Rhyme and Reasons for Jos, a gathering of Artists and Comedians to decry the Jos violence.

He has since teamed up with BigFoot (Micworx), Kraft (Kraftwork), and Steady of STOMProductions on an ambitious Hiphop/Spoken Word project.


Jumi who holds qualifications in Dental Surgery and Medical Informatics is the Creative Enthusiast behind IMOLE, Jumi’s Spoken Cabaret is an innovative compilation of ten inspirational tracks of ironic weaves of recitals, songs, poetry, word games, wit, metaphors and subtleties set to varying genres of music.

Jumi sees poetry as a fascinating tool that gives expression to a passionate and unorthodox voice. She clearly feels very much a part of her audience and believes that in listening incisively they will find twists, turns and whimsies of our collective destiny food for inspired thought.

A “proudly Nigerian” poet, vocalist and lyricist with a tender tough stripe of cultural louche and spiritual commentary, Jumi’s artistic style is bold and imaginative with a conversational voice that sounds almost reticent.

In Jumi’s Spoken Cabaret, she maximizes this compelling and inimitable style to ride hot currents for the pain and pleasure of swooping around spiritual, pure, social, maternal and fragile subjects. Whilst doing this, she clings to images of reality that are firmly embedded in what she perceives to be the public’s consciousness, acknowledging issues people feel they are familiar with or can relate to, offering a speculative but entirely plausible view.

Exposure to Yoruba griot sounds, classical forms of music plus a need for and hunger to express truth’s tale becomes tension released in distinct ways in each of the ten tracks on the CD. From deep sentiments to an indigenous groove set to a lush vocal background to epics of gratitude carrying a sensual earthiness, the entire production is a consolidation of international and traditional styles fused into a deeply personal approach.

Jumi is happily married to her friend Kola and has three daugthers.

Efe Paul Azino

Born and raised on the sub-urban streets of Lagos, Efe Paul Azino has evolved a poetry uniquely his own. His poems are welcomed in the realm of academia and acclaimed on the streets.

Widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many of the nation’s premier performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa. For over a decade, Efe has continued to deliver Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally, gracing platforms at seminars, workshops, conferences, tertiary institutions, community development fora, as well as churches.

Reflecting the sufferings evident in numerous African societies and the hope that keeps them going, Efe Paul’s poems resonate with the high and the low, cutting across social and religious boundaries. His poems are centered on socio-economic and political themes and are enhanced by a strong voice, keeping his audiences entranced for the full length of his performances.

A one-time member of the Editorial Board of The Effective Manager Monthly, pioneer Editor of Mageuzi Magazine and Next Generation, a monthly Newspaper dedicated to raising youth awareness on socio-economic and political issues, Efe Paul is a vital contributor to national discourse and his essays are featured in national and international dailies and journals. A curious student of life, his readings and learning span various disciplines.

The voice of a generation, a seeker and speaker of truth, an entertaining poet and performer, Efe Paul leads a generation of poets in successfully lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and making it accessible to the people.

Dolapo Ogunwale

Oluwadolapo meaning “The Lord has poured (things of) substance together” is an embodiment of her name. Her poetry speaks of her inner experiences, either thought out or lived through. She writes in the hope that her words connect with another’s inner self and begins a deep inner reflection that will cause lasting change from the individual to the entire world.

Dolapo’s spoken word delivery has been described as theatrical and deeply moving. Applying her background in music, dance and stage acting into her live performances, she does not resemble one who only began this genre of artistry in August, 2010.

Born to yoruba parents as Oluwadolapo Ebunoluwapo Ogunwale in the city of Lagos, she hopes to find listening ears and open hearts on the world stage.

Dami Ajayi

Dami Ajayi was born in 1986 in Nigeria and has been penning down poems since he was 11. His debut collection of poems, Clinical Blues, which has notoriously remained in manuscript form, was shortlisted for the 2012 Melita Hume Prize. His poems have appeared in several reputable journals in Africa, Europe and America. Dami is also a medical doctor.

Chiedu Ifeozo

Chiedu Ifeozo is a young Nigerian; he was born in Lagos in the early eighties and his family is originally from Ubulu-uku in Delta state, Nigeria. He completed his secondary school education at Kings College Lagos, and graduated with a master’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Surrey, England. He returned from his studies in England in 2006. Although a keen engineer, he has always had an appreciation for the arts. From an early age, he began by drawing comic books and illustrations. Reading and writing became a passion in his teenage years, drawing inspiration from events in his daily life as well as in his Society. Thoughts on a page is his first book, a collection spanning over 12 years; it focuses mainly on topics such as, politics, social commentary, youth empowerment, inspirational poetry and romance.

He also edits and prints a quarterly anthology titled poetry for charity that raises funds for various charities. These include “These Genes”, a charity that supports sickle cell sufferers and the “Rose of Sharon foundation” which provides scholarships and reading materials for orphans as well as financial aid and skills acquisition programmes for widows. The contributors to the anthology are gathered from many diverse countries using facebook’s social networking platform.

Aj. Dagga Tolar

Tolar is a front line activist, a social crusader, and the publicity Secretary of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Right CDWR, what was formerly known as Campaign for Independent Unionism (CIU) which was one of the pro-democracy groups in CD, UAD and JACON, in the struggle to end military dictatorship in Nigeria. He also doubles as the publicity Secretary of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) and the Editor of the Socialist Democracy, the organ of the DSM.

He is also a school teacher, and an active member of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT)


Aka Teraka

Aka Teraka has been described as “a postmodern polyglot, a man of many forms” who writes in three languages: Igbo, English and German. He is the author of several poetry collections and works of prose.

He grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and worked for over ten years in the aviation industry before recently turning his attention fully to literature and the arts. He currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany.


Razaq Ivori is a prolific writer who began his career in writing as a ghost pen for the rich and famous. He wrote their auto biographies for a fee until his last book Elevating the Women for Mrs Titi Atiku. He moved on to the institute of journalism where he studied multimedia techniques and began working for an Abuja firm soon after his HND in journalism.

His literary works include blood and kin a Sci-Fi African drama piece and the adventures of illinick slyed a radio drama written for the BBC but was never submitted.

His current literary scheme is to bring back the art of the quintessential Town Crier poetic semantics: he dubs narrative news. A system where actual news content is infused in free flow prose rendition though in English but not without the characteristic melodic chant of the past.

For six months Ivori premiered this art at the Bogobiri lounge in ikoyi, where some say the uproar it generated prompted the proprietors to establish a full scale stage house next door for performance poetry.
Today the poet, writer, journalist has put all away to make his theatric experiment a reality. The full content like he humbly puts it will give birth to SAO [THE STANDERD AFRICAN OPERA].

Ralph Tathagata

Ralph Tathagata was born in Obiohia-Bende, Abia State. He lives in Lagos. He is poet, a writer, a journalist, a photographer, a culture activist and a former general secretary for Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos State.

Ralph is convinced that the core of his poetry is to create works, ready to respond and stand the test of disastrous times.

Sam Umokoro

Sam Umukoro has written for Vanguard and The Guardian newspapers in Nigeria. He has recently published an anthology of poetry, Heartstrings and he is also the author of Once Upon A Monday (collection of short stories) and currently working on another collection of short stories.

Sage Hasson

Sage is Nigeria’s premier spoken word poet. He has featured in over 400 events, both small and big, across the country. He has done about a 100 brand poems written specifically for certain organisations and products including MTN, Coca Cola, Harp, Satzenbrau, Gulder, and Unilever. He has performed at different shows including Hip Hop World Awards in 2006 and 2010, Big Brother Nigeria, Arts Alive in South Africa. He has recorded and released two spoken word poetry albums. He is also a regular guest on regular TV and radio.

Before his performance career, Sage was a star reporter with Ovation magazine. He has acted on a stage play, and now he is angling to write his first made movie and is currently establishing himself as a life coach with a newly written inspirational fable that has been snagged by a publisher.

Bethel C. Simeon

Born and bred in Nigeria, Bethel .C. Simeon, a singer, a songwriter, and a preacher, describes himself as “an amalgamation of divers treasures that will retain the stamp of immortality until the call of purpose has been fully answered”.

He earnestly strives to pull down the heinous walls of unacceptable manifestations while entrenching the pillars that aid the actualization of destiny.
B.C. Simeon, a trained journalist and a law student at the University of South Africa, presently resides in Cape Town. He has performed on the church platform to an audience peopled mainly by the youth. He is compiling his first anthology.

Uche Uwadinachi

Uche Uwadinachi also called Flames – Priest of poetry, is a spoken word artist and the author of poetry collection SCAR in the HEART of pain and it’s Spoken Word audio Album.
He is the winner of ANA Lagos (Association of Nigerian Authors) Poetry Performance Festival Prize 2006 and Pakistan June ‘Poetrycraze’ contest 2009. 2nd Prize Poetry Winner of Ken Saro-Wiwa Contest, USA  2010, won the June Loudthotz Poetry contest 2011 and directed the overall winning Poetry performance of district 5 Education Board for the Lagos State Jam Feast Competition 2011, his poems have been published in the ‘Lime Jewel’ collection-London 2010 and other publications. His poetry performances has been seen on Bookshelves-LTV8, 9ja TV, Tinapa Trade Expo 2008, Lagos State Trade Fair EKO-EXPO 20011, Wordslam 1,2,3 & 4, Poetry Potter, Potters Lounge, Anthill, Pen Society among others,  presently, he is  an independent television presenter with Konto Music and works towards his new spoken-word-rap album titled E’FI MI LE’ joo’or.

Vincent Nwilo

Vincent Nwilo who writes under the pseudonym Nwilo Bura-Bari, Vincent was born on the 15th day of September 1987 in Rivers State, Nigeria. He had his formative education in the city of Port Harcourt under harsh conditions – from dilapidated facilities to subhuman living spaces like the violence-ridden Mile 3 and Ogbunabali. He chose poetry and the short-story as mediums for the expression of his anger. Stories from Bori and other Poems, is his first collection of poems. He is the founder of Words Not Swords. He is a screenwriter.

Yewande Omotoso

Yewande Omotoso was born in Barbados in 1980 and grew up in Nigeria with her Barbadian mother, Nigerian father and two older brothers. The family moved to South Africa in 1992.

Yewande trained as an architect at the University of Cape Town, to which she returned after working as an architect for several years, to complete a Masters degree in Creative Writing. The product of her degree is her debut novel Bomboy published in 2011 by Cape Town publisher Modjaji Books. Bomboy was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Literary Awards as well as the MNet Film Award, it won the South African Literary Award (SALA) for First Time Author Prize. Prior to Bomboy Yewande authored several stories, among them The Piano (2nd Place, People Opposing Women Abuse, 2005) and Maude Hastings (Honourable Mention, John La Rose Short Story Competition, 2007). In addition she has published Heroes with online crime fiction magazine Noir Nation and Two Old People in the anthology Speaking for the Generation: Contemporary Stories from Africa. Yewande’s poetry (Stranger and The Rain) has been published in the ‘Baobab Literary Journal’ 2009. The Rain was shortlisted for the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Awards 2012.

Omotoso, for whom writing is a means to make sense of the world, is interested in the complexity of human experiences as well as the incongruities of life. Loneliness is a recurring theme. Omotoso views her writing as a tool for compassion and evoking self-examination. For her talent and the intent to tell stories, she credits her parents and a childhood steeped in reading and the sharing of ideas.