Bio: Poet. Thought broker. Copywriter. Personal finance coach (FFA,UK). Polymath. Troubadour. Had a fling with Accounting, University of Lagos.
RLN: You are a stakeholder in the Nigerian Poetry scene as the convener of the Lagospoetrython, what is the driving force behind the Lagospoetrython?
TO: The desire to have a level playing ground for all creatives. And the attempt to fill the lacuna between the established and budding poets so as to see poetry prosper irrespective of style, genre or space – and to reach more audience with consumable poetry.
RLN: What is your view on the poetry scene in Lagos and Nigeria in General?
TO: It is still sectarian but beaming with hope. We have a lot of sects. A few have benefited from the career path and social value inherent therein and perhaps trying to keep all the opportunity to themselves. We need to show the path and have more players in the industry; and else we keep running to the ancient poets to come listen to our works. We need be reminded that art is subtle but needs to reach out to more people for desired effect and change for which the art is being curated. If your art is for the micros in your sphere of your influence, then, you have a really small mind. I want us to raise fearless poets across generations.
RLN: In ten years from now what remarkable difference do you want to see in the poetry scene in Nigeria?
TO: A United front. A concert of poets and grown audience across the globe. Where poets now function both as academics or consultants as regards copies and ads on of great social need and value.
RLN: Which genre do you write?
TO: Fiction, non-fiction. Semi-fictions. Satire. Just as the muse pricks my hands.
RLN: You have been shortlisted for a few renowned prizes; can you tell us more about this?
TO: I was short listed for the Etisalat prize for Flash fiction, and then Quramo prize for short fiction, 2018.
RLN: Are you planning on publishing a book soon and what genre would that be?
TO: Yes, my premier anthology and then a fiction; as soon as the Lion accedes to my proposal.
RLN: What has been the major highlight of your writing career?
TO: I met a friend, through writing, in Norway, and he has been a good part of my life alongside his family. He flew down just to see me and shoot some videos. It is amazing. And to know your writings ain’t just a stanza in the anthem of your soul but are also reverberating in the soul of others. It is like you are struggling to hold your light in an enormous darkness and you start stumbling on others with beautiful lights too. Joy it is.
RLN: Which spoken word poets in the Nigeria poetry scene really inspire you by their craft?
TO: Sage Hassan. He discovered the path here; and he is real, helpful and fluid.
RLN: As a spoken word artiste, can you let us know the biggest stage you have performed at?
TO: World intellectual property day organised by temple music.
RLN: Any advice and tips for upcoming poets?
TO: Believe not those who say the upward way is smooth, lest thou shouldest fumble and stumble in the way – can’t remember the author of the latter line. Dream, but loathe idle sleep. Awake your volcano.