By Uboho Bassey
Talk about high culture. Did anyone feel the pulse of Uyo last night? You must have! Throbbing. Pulsing. Vibing. Racing! Last night was a jolt of electrifying creativity! It was the first outing of a co-ordinated high culture of poetry reading, music, dancing, singing, and jazzy tunes, dubbed POETRY ALLEY.
Such a beautifully diverse and talented group of people from all walks of life, creating their stories or muses with such verve and authenticity! It could only be meraki; a display of pure soul, total love and creativity.
POETRY ALLEY was Lit! Powered!
It was where each artist poured out their essence; putting both heart and soul into that special piece they brought into existence. It was moments of meraki in all we had the undeniable pleasure of experiencing last night as artist after after artist took the center stage. The readings, the story telling, the dancing, the Opera singing, the musical performances, the poetry deliveries; the spoken words, and an audience totally captivated!
This event coincided with the end of Poetry Month, and was organized under the auspices of IBOMORALITURES, in association with QUICKMARK BROADCASTING CORPORATION.
It is said that reading and writing cannot be separated. Reading is breathing in; writing is breathing out. But what about the place of speaking? For how can one read, or write but not speak? How can one breath in and out, without a pause in the cycle?
Now, that’s where speaking is birthed, in the fraction of that moment of inhaling and exhaling; the silence. In the words of a phenomenal poet, Dike Chukwumerije, “It is silence that gives speech weight. It is thought that gives talk depth. It is the soul that gives the spoken word flight.”
Indeed, words took to flight in the two hours event held at Emerald Lounge, as the city lights twinkled from the distance in a blaze of neon colours from the Dakkada Tower and other real estate such that the skyline became a marvel of wonder to behold. It could be fortuitously proclaimed that the soul of Uyo came to a long delayed reawakening last night.
On hand to kickstart events for the evening was Aarney, the engine powerhouse of Quickmark Broadcasting Communication. He welcomed the guests, an assemblage of students from the State based University of Uyo, members of Uyo Book Club, Authors, Readers, partners from the academia, and other literary inclined folks.
Talk about finesse, and class and the petit anchor of events for the occasion looms to prominence. Josephine, an OAP (On-Air-Personality) with Inspiration FM handled the evening with such brilliance that one could hardly feel any gaps or disjointed hiccups marring the sweet flow of proceedings.
Dr. Udeme Nnana, Founder, Uyo Book Club read the poem, “A Reader’s Creed” to a rousing audience of poem enthusiasts. Dr. Martin Akpan, read a poem from one of his books. The roll call of performing artists include Sele Legacy, Peace Sunday, Augustina, Blizz Bassy, Kayeon, Prest, K.O.O, Tapsly, Wise1, Uboho, Aarney, Veejay, and Gennifer.
We listened to artists with a knack for and twist of words; a compelling and deeply introspective dissection of societal ills, and an underlying feeling of impotency, frustration, and anger towards the ruling political class. We felt the uncomfortable lashes of LECTURE HER a stinging tribute to highlight the character of a few lecturers. Indeed, it can be said that Attitude took one into a compelling spell of ART-ITUDE.
We felt poetry as a waterfall cascading down the chambers of Emerald Lounge.. every one present felt the tickles of the splashes…erupting in clapping, shouts, and applause in between presentations. Warm light filtered through the windows of the two-storey penthouse as I sat snuggly back in my seat thinking, “My God! What a night. I have seen the Meraki today.!”
It is an indisputable fact that in sane climes, ideas rule, and people with ingenious mindsets are greatly respected. The importance of ideas can never be underscored as we acknowledge the brain behind IBOMORALITURES, Prof. Solomon Obotetukudo who’s spent his years lecturing in the USA. He has been able *to think out of the box in visualizing a future where Ibom culture and literature will marry and converge in oral expressions of Poetry, dance, proverbs, witticisms, folklore, drama, and songs. The beauty of ideas is that it creates an opportunity for creative minds. It is this platform that will drive the renaissance of awareness, growth and appreciation of our language and disappearing cultures back into the global stage.
Maybe the accompanying pictures will capture the flavour of the night. Perhaps, they’ll simply document these timeless memories for posterity; on how dance, poetry, words, dedication, courage, and dreams could land someone on a performing stage.
All in all, it was a fulfilling journeying into the power of poetry and ingenuity; the influence of readers, the power of creativity, and the rebirth of contemporary society.
Perhaps now, we can begin the month of May with new lessons other than the realities we faced in April.
“We got Uyo reappraised!”
We already own a diamond mine.
We are ready to mine it!
Turns out we are walking the Alley of greatness through poetry!
Akwa Ibom… There will be many more stories to tell. We will continue to share your stories to the world.
May God bless our Land and her people!