January 25, 2018


A Performance Poetry With Bash Amuneni, took place on the  20th – 21st of January, 2018, at the Colours in Ice Cafe and Lounge, Abuja. It was an amazing session with young talents in the ‘wordsmithing industry.’ I appreciate Bash himself who danced to the familiar yet rare melodies of generosity.
In attendance were other facilitators like:
* Bello Muhammad Bello, an aphorist and author of the book “Small World Golden Words.” In a session titled, “Original Thoughts,” Bello Muhammad, who holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the district of Columbia, Washington D.C, USA, gave insights into why people write.

Aphorism and Bello Mohammed Bello.
Bello Mohammed Bello, the aphorist!

He further solidified his points by listing certain influences in the world of self-expression. Influences like Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, Lichtenberg, Haki Madhubuti, Nelson Henderson, Calvin Coolidge, Robert Brault, Epictetus Adorn, G. K. Chesterton, Jim Rohn and a host of others. While giving participants some quotes from these writers, Bello Muhammad, himself, an aphorist, said:
The earth is filled with resources in the form of ideas, material goods and services. Tap from them, and create jobs for yourselves and others. Let that be your résumé/CV.

* Stella Uchechi Nnodi (AKA, Dgrammar Queen), a graduate of English language and Literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Language and Communication Coach, as well as a  Training Consultant/HR in Abuja, Nigeria, was also present to guide the participants.
Stella Nnodi, is also an editor who pays incisive attention to  details, while helping organizations grow the capacity of their human capital via learning and development sessions. This was clear in her session with the participants titled “Grammar, Elocution and Diction in Poetry.”

Stella Nnodi, a language consultant
Stella Uchechi Nnodi, Language Expert.

Apart from her delicate beauty, and the many relevant pieces of information she passed across to the participants, Stella Nnodi, opined that to be a poet is to be deviant. This is because poets are writers who are particularly creative, rebellious and enjoy colouring outside the lines.

Participants during the performance session with Bash Amuneni.Participants during the performance session with Bash Amuneni.

* Shittu Fowora is an award-winning writer, editor and critic. In a voice, calm as a settled sea, Shittu brought a rather poetic mental awareness to participants.  Shittu, whose works has been read even by non-Africans, gave an explanation to the three “I”s of Ingenuity namely: Inquiry, Imitation and Innovation or Invention.

Some participants during the short break.
Some participants during the short break.

Participants were appropriately informed about the relevance of mind mapping in the process of writing any poem.  He also introduced participants to the Ying-Yang theory (dualism), the ‘Liwuli,’ as well as the importance to expanding vocabulary by naming colours, flowers, clothes, etc, appreciatively and meticulously.  Shittu Fowora is not just a poet with a good grasp of imagery, but also a man who believes that poetry is an elevated language and should be treated as such.

  • Basiru Sunday Amuneni is a banker, an architect, a performance poet and author of “There Is A Lunatic In Every Town.” His first spoken word poetry album ‘Freedom’ was released in 2005.
Bash Amuneni's
The book, “There is a lunatic in Every Town,” by Bash Amuneni.

Basiru Amuneni, whose artistic work is laced in intimacy, folklore, memory and human condition, has performed at various platforms including The Lagos International Poetry Festival.

Voting by participants at the session.
Voting by participants at the session.

Bash, as he is popularly called, gave the high point of the session when he introduced participants to the nitty-gritty of performance poetry. His presentation on, voice and articulation, performance intelligence and preparation, as well as negotiating, was punctuated by a performance of his two poems titled, “Don’t Ask Me Why,”  and “Isi Ewu,” to the excitement of all. Participants also had the opportunity to watch some videos of interesting performance poets in Nigeria. At the end of the day participants were filled with thoughts about how they can best portray their characters through voice, facial expression and body.

  • Su’eddie Vershima Ageme, the CEO of “Sevhage Publishers” (www.sevhagereviews.com) and a multiple award-winning poet and winner of the ANA Prize for Poetry, 2014 as well as Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, the CEO of Authorpedia (Words-Rhymes-Rhythm Publishers; www.wrr.ng)  and author of a collection of poems, both gave informed opinions about the publishing industry in Nigeria. They did this successfully by addressing the pros and cons of the ‘Traditional,’ ‘Vanity’ and ‘Hybrid,’ types of publishing.
Participants during the performance session with Bash Amuneni.
Participants during the performance session with Bash Amuneni.

“Performance Poetry With Bash Amuneni” became even more interesting with participants performing poems.

In line were the following:
Akinlade Oluwaseyifunmi Sky

Uche Michael

Emmanuel A. Anzaku

Adaeze Anah

Anastesia Doowee

David Francis

Ekene May

Jonathan Oluwatosin

Eseosa Osagie

Zainab Ele Mohammed

Alice Ameh

Hadassah Ochanya Agada

Falilat Shittu.

Michael Ihenacho.

Uchechukwu Chigozie Ndubuishi Ezeogu (AKA Nuches).

From Left: Bash Amuneni, Sue'ddie From Left: Bash Amuneni, Sue'ddie Agema and Kukogho Samson.
From Left: Bash Amuneni, Sue’ddie Agema and Kukogho Samson

(Images by @call_me_nubia and Anastesia D.)

Author: David Francis


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