WRR Literary Festival: Feast of Words 2016
It all started with a dream, a vision, an idea, a man. Mark woke up one day and thought, what if we could have a blue space where people get to interact and where we can connect people with like minds together? Mark had that dream and he never woke up from it. And so, we have Facebook.
And then another man, not far from where you and I live, not white or yellow or green, not a potbellied man with a Storex tank full of dollars; a normal man just like you and I. Kukogho Isuesiri Samson woke up one day and thought, what if we can have a place where poets; those bold enough to call themselves poets and those still struggling to hold their pen, what if we can bring them together under one big blue umbrella (not the PDP type ooo)? And so, we have WRR: Words, Rhymes and Rhythm.
It started as a page on Facebook with just one like and then two, then three…four…ten…twenty….fifty…and it grew and grew until Facebook could no longer contain it. It’s like those trees we plant in tyres. For some time, they still maintain their tyre and grow within it. But, a time comes when they tear the tyre apart and spread their rich roots deep into the earth. That was just what happened to WRR. It got to a time when Mark’s invention could no longer contain us and so we went offline.
I must confess I’m not one of the first members of WRR. I must have been one strange number…maybe 126th or 169th person to join the WRR family. But it matters not now. Whether first born or last born, we are all children and the same rope of poetry and literature holds us together.
I guess it’s no more news that I never wrote a single poem until I discovered WRR. It was through a fellow poet, Adegbite Joy. Joy’s poem on Rape had just been published on WRR Facebook page and it thrilled me. I was like, This is Joy! I know Joy in person. This is Joy’s poem with 20…30..50likes. These numbers mattered to me back then in 2013.
Yesterday, I met my family for the first time. Try and picture that feeling. You are born into a royal family that you have never met. And then you get to meet them after years of being their friends on Facebook. Nothing can be more glorious. It was a family meeting…not the type you see in Nollywood where hungry uncles sit round a small table to share the reward of another man’s labour because the man is dead and left nothing but two girls. I mean a real family meeting…where everybody is equal.
Yesterday will forever remain one of the best days of my entire life. The fish I never got to eat because I was in such a hurry, the Fanta I consumed immediately it was given to me, the little presentation I did, the beautiful spoken words, the beautiful girls, the beautiful guys, the gifts, the certificates, the books, the chin-chin, Jamesconco and his dead zone poem, The Boy Who Left and his camera, Ajijola Beloved and his beautiful voice, Emmanuel Faith and his friend-making ability (I salute that guy), Mr. Treasure, Tolulope Impact, Ananza Williams, Emmans, troublesome Blessing (I know she won’t allow me to present for this next year), My very own brother from TedX here in Ogbomoso, KIS himself… Everything! Everybody! Many beautiful names I cannot name because of space. Everything will forever remain in my memory. I can’t wait for next year.
I’m in this rickety bus now on my way to Ogbomoso. Some passengers are shouting at the driver that they want their change. (Shey he is Buhari ni???) Some are shouting at those shouting to stop shouting. Everything is crazy. But I’m not here. I’m back at The Institute of African Studies. I’m back on my seat behind Emmanuel Faith and Emmans Esaang. I’m looking at KIS standing at the back in his elegant attire. (That man did not come to do poetry…he came to steal our wives) I’m listening to Pope Jay performing Erm… Erm… Erm. These passengers are still shouting but I’m not here, I do not hear them. I will never hear them.
Till we see next year, let’s make Facebook our home. Est-ce clair?