Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wordslam IV Feast Of Poetic Flights goes to the Schools

ORGANISED by the Culture Advocates Caucus, CAC, with support of the Goethe-Institut , Lagos, the periodic WordSlam, A Feast of Poetic Flights, in the last one year and half, has become a must attend-event for both established and up-coming poets in the country. Its past three editions, have drawn audience from across the various stratum of the society.
However, on occasion of its fourth edition, the WordSlam... has decided to live to its birth-vision -- to “take live Poetry Performances to the streets and the schools”. Thus last week, as a prelude to the fourth edition, which holds on saturday in the premises of Goethe Institut, Lagos, secondary school students gathered in a large classroom at Bola Ige Millennium School (Tolu School Complex), Olodi Apapa, where they were initiated into the ‘art of performance poetry’.
More than 10 students from each of the about 10 schools in Tolu School Complex, participated in the ‘School Outreach Programme’ under the tutelage of the Germany-based Nigerian-German international act, Ade Bantu. the workshop was coordinated and moderated by poetry major, and culture activist, Dagga Tolar.
It was not the first time the organisers had organised a workshop preceding the show. The third edition in fact featured a two-day workshop at Studio 868 on Victoria Island, Lagos. The poet Lari Williams and Bantu had handled the workshop, working with fellow poets who had been regular features on the WordSlam stage.
The most remarkable students from the current workshop will be presented to the public on Saturday. However, Ade Bantu and his ‘sound of Fufu’ — a mixture of hip-hop, reggae and afro-funk — is the major act for this edition of the show, which will also feature equally reputable performers, including Sage Has.son, Awoko, Edaoto, Cornerstone, Uche Nwadinachi, Ayodeji Akinremi, Ayeola mabiaku as well as new comer WordSlam stage, Funmi Aluko among others. There will be the usual Open Mic segment, which is always the most fascinating of the gathering.
On the opening day of the workshop, the students blew the minds of everybody present, including some of their teachers, when they reeled out authors they loved and had read. Some of the authors mentioned include Williams Shakespeare, Buchi Emecheta, Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe.
The impact of these books in their growing career, so to say, was noticeable in their creative expression at the workshop. They made it clear in their presentation segment at the workshop that the beauty of a classroom and serenity of the environment do not define education, but robustness of the mind.
“The Student Workshop is the next phase of WordSlam in our quest to take poetry back to where it belongs — in the minds and lives of the people, whose daily struggles and personal stories inspire it”, said the creative heads at the CAC.

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