by Isi Esene
After almost twenty years away, spoken word artiste, Bassey Ikpi who has cultivated a successful career in America, has returned home to Nigeria, making her longtime dream of performing her poetry in her homeland a reality.
With a YouTube video in May announcing her intended trip, while asking for entries from poets ready to go against one another in a poetry competition, Ikpi’s goal is to facilitate and support the growth of Spoken Word in Nigeria.
Her visit which kicked off in August with the New Yam celebration in Calabar, and headlining shows in Lagos and Abuja, will come to an end with the Bassey World Live Nigeria show on Friday, September 14.
After getting her shine five times on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, Bassey Ikpi orchestrated her own solo show: BasseyWorldLive.
The show, an avenue to give a taste of Bassey’s innovative approach to the art of spoken word in an evening of poetry and thought-provoking discussion, has held in some cities in the U.S, and now, she is bringing it home.
BasseyWorldLive: Nigeria, like her previous shows will see the Nigerian-born poet/writer take center stage, with support from celebrity guest judges, including Kemi Adetiba, Sage and Bez Idakula.
The event which holds at TerraKulture, Lagos serves as the first national poetry slam, where finalists selected from a handful of YouTube video submissions will compete for the coveted first place position.
According to Ikpi, “Spoken word in Nigeria has tremendous promise and heart but needs a platform that encourages growth… It has produced amazing talent but I would love to see it really blossom.”
At the red carpet event, a new side to celebrities like Denrele Edun of Channel O and Dolapo Marcy Oni of Studio 53 Extra, will also be unveiled as they perform poetry.
This is definitely an event to keep a date with.
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