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POET LAUREATE INTERVIEW WITH DAMILOLA OJIKUTU

The poet laureate is easily one of our biggest events as a community. Just as the Nobel Prize is bestowed on an individual who has done exceptionally well in a particular field, with the poet laureate, we seek to honour and crown an outstanding creative every year.

We make sure that our themes border on heavy African narratives. For last year, we had “sankofa yenkyi”, a Ghanaian word from the Akan tribe that means “it is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”

african futurism

Call For Submissions: Africanfuturism!

 

Nnedi Okorafor defines Africanfuturism as “a sub-category of science fiction that is similar to ‘Afrofuturism’ but more deeply rooted in African culture, history, mythology, and point-of-view as it then branches into the Black diaspora, and it does not privilege or center the West.” 

Here at TVO TRIBE,

We believe Africanfuturism transcends science fiction. We want interested writers, poets, scribblers, and artists to explore what Africanfuturism specifically means to them. Do you think Africa is evolving or not? What are your projections for Africa? We want you to create timeless pieces by making a blend of African culture, history, myths, and literature. 

In the month of May,

TVO tribe will be talking about Africanfuturism. We will attempt to explore all of its mysterious depths and lay bare its many hidden layers. You are an important part of this discussion, and so we urge you to join us.

Dissect this theme with us.

Write your opinions laden with facts about Africanfuturism, express yourself artistically by making submissions relating to the theme. Write to us aesthetics, contents, and everything that lies in between. TVO TRIBE is a safe space and we are open to everyone. We accept articles, poems, personal accounts, stories, creative nonfiction, and photos that relate to the theme.

We want to read your fears, the things that please you, your beautiful writings, the ones that are stuck in your throat like a fishbone. Show us the pieces you think are deviants and the ones that conform to rules. Send us everything you have!

We encourage you to be as expressive as possible, stylistically pleasing while creating aesthetic pieces as your submission. Please check our submission guidelines for further details.

Submit to: contributions@tvotribe.com

Deadline: 1st May, 2021

For more info, please visit: www.tvotribe.com/contributions

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SIX Poems for every Black Woman on Women’s Day

We compiled six beautiful poetry pieces to share with your African Prima-Donna and to make sure you let them know how much you love them.

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Black Woman by Leopold Sedhar Senghor

Naked woman, black woman

Clothed with your colour which is life,
with your form which is beauty!

In your shadow I have grown up; the
gentleness of your hands was laid over my eyes.

And now, high up on the sun-baked
pass, at the heart of summer, at the heart of noon,
I come upon you, my Promised Land,
And your beauty strikes me to the heart
like the flash of an eagle.

Naked woman, dark woman

Firm-fleshed ripe fruit, sombre raptures
of black wine, mouth making lyrical my mouth
Savannah stretching to clear horizons,
savannah shuddering beneath the East Wind’s
eager caresses

Carved tom-tom, taut tom-tom, muttering
under the Conqueror’s fingers

Your solemn contralto voice is the
spiritual song of the Beloved.

Naked woman, dark woman

Oil that no breath ruffles, calm oil on the
athlete’s flanks, on the flanks of the Princes of Mali
Gazelle limbed in Paradise, pearls are stars on the
night of your skin

Delights of the mind, the glinting of red
gold against your watered skin

Under the shadow of your hair, my care
is lightened by the neighbouring suns of your eyes.

Naked woman, black woman,
I sing your beauty that passes, the form
that I fix in the Eternal,

Before jealous fate turn you to ashes to
feed the roots of life.

I am a Black Woman by Mari Evans

I am a black woman
the music of my song
some sweet arpeggio of tears
is written in a minor key
and I
can be heard humming in the night
Can be heard
humming
in the night

I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea
and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath
from my issue in the canebrake
I lost Nat’s swinging body in a rain of tears
and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio
for Peace he never knew….I
learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill
in anguish
Now my nostrils know the gas
and these trigger tire/d fingers
seek the softness in my warrior’s beard

I am a black woman
tall as a cypress
strong
beyond all definition still
defying place
and time
and circumstance
assailed
impervious
indestructible
Look
on me and be
renewed.

To a Dark Girl by Gwendolyn B. Bennett

I love you for your brownness
And the rounded darkness of your breast
I love you for the breaking sadness in your voice
And shadows where your wayward eye-lids rest.

Something of old forgotten queens
Lurks in the lithe abandon of your walk
And something of the shackled slave
Sobs in the rhythm of your talk

Oh, little brown girl, born for sorrow’s mate
Keep all you have of queenliness
Forgetting that you were once were slave
And let your full lips laugh at Fate!

My Black Triangle by Grace Nichols

My black triangle
sandwiched between the geography of my thighs

Is a Bermuda
of tiny atoms
forever seizing
and releasing
the world

My black triangle
is so rich
that it flows over
on to the dry crotch
of the world

My black triangle
is black light
sitting on the threshold
of the world

Overlooking deep-pink
probabilities

and though
it spares a thought
for history
my black triangle
has spread beyond his story
beyond the dry fears of parch-ri-archy

spreading and growing
trusting and flowering
my black triangle
carries the seal of approval
of my deepest self

To Black Women by Gwendolyn Brooks

Sisters,
where there is cold silence
no hallelujahs, no hurrahs at all, no handshakes,
no neon red or blue, no smiling faces
prevail.
Prevail across the editors of the world
who are obsessed, self-honeying and self-crowned
in the seduced arena.

It has been a
hard trudge, with fainting, bandaging and death.
There have been startling confrontations.
There have been tramplings. Tramplings
of monarchs and of other men.

But there remain large countries in your eyes.
Shrewd sun.

The civil balance.
The listening secrets.
And you create and train your flowers still.

Black Woman by Georgia Douglas Johnson

Don’t knock at my door, little child,
     I cannot let you in,
You know not what a world this is
     Of cruelty and sin.
Wait in the still eternity
     Until I come to you,
The world is cruel, cruel, child,
     I cannot let you in!

Don’t knock at my heart, little one,
     I cannot bear the pain
Of turning deaf-ear to your call
     Time and time again!
You do not know the monster men
     Inhabiting the earth,
Be still, be still, my precious child,
     I must not give you birth!

© by owners. Republished by TVOTRIBE for educational purposes.

We hope you had a nice, heart-warming read!

If you’re new to us, welcome Home.



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Call for Submissions!

TVO TRIBE presents an open call for articles, poems, personal accounts, photos, etc on the community’s theme for March:

GERONTOCRACY IN AFRICA

This is to give African creatives the opportunity to express themselves about the recent turn of events in the African political space. All contributors are therefore required to submit works that relate to this theme.

Why Literary Organisations Ask For Previously Unpublished Entries


A number of people still view publications from the stand point of what it was some years back when the only thing considered as published are those ones put down in black and white as hard copies. This would still remain the truth in the absence of evolving technology.
The evolution of technology has undeniably changed the face of everything we do as humans. Over time, technology has become the measure of value for our thoughts, actions, decisions and even our ability to be creative as writers.
Publication is a noun derived from the Latin word “publicare” which means to make something public. Vocabulary.com defines a publication as something made to communicate with the public. This explains that works posted on a website, blog, social media page, an open e-literary journal or any other media, which is accessible by the public, is a published work.
It is no news that most literary organizations clamor for unpublished entries when they call for submissions. Most people wonder why this is now a governing principle in the literary world.

Read also: How To Win A Literary Competition

Why Do Literary Organisations Call For Unpublished Entries

Imagine a situation where your aunt promised to get you a pair of shoes. I’m sure you will be excited. Now, imagine her giving you the same shoe your cousin wears or the exact shoe you got two months ago. That will definitely be way lower than what you expected. Just like you, organizations need spanking new, unconventional, exclusive, and original entries.

An unpublished entry is a test of creativity. Literary organizations believe that you as a creative should be able to prove and defend your creativity at any given time.

The need to stay away from copyright infringement is one major reason why any literary organization will insist on having a piece that has never been published.

Nobody goes after what he already has, we only go after things that aren’t within our reach. A reader who has read your already published entry will not be enthusiastic about seeing the same thing on another space. Literary organizations believes readers are hungry men and they want to feed their hunger with something unusual every time readers turn to them for milk.

Thanks for reading through!

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Poet Laureate Interviews: Meet Temitope Komolafe

I am Temitope Komolafe, a student of Medicine and Surgery in University of Ibadan. I am a very spiritual person and I believe God is and should be the integral factor in life. I write and specialize in screenwriting. I love reading and am very open to learning from everything because I have come to discover that the more we know, the more we discover how much we don’t know

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Poet Laureate Interviews 2020: Meet Salim Yunusa

Tell us more about you?

Salim Yunusa is a content creator, a bilingual writer and translator. He’s the founder of the literary organization, Poetic Wednesdays Initiative and a Co-Founder of a national NGO, Project Grassroots Nigeria (PGN). He graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He’s pursuing his MSc in Disaster Risk Management Studies from the same institution.

Several of his creative pieces have been published by Daily Trust, ASIRI magazine, The Art-Muse Fair, PIN, NorthernLife, Tribesmen Review, Writers Space, DesignWorld Magazine, The Campus Watch, and several anthologies.

He was a finalist for Michael Afenfia and TVO Tribe competitions. He is also longlisted for the 2020 Aminiya Trust Hausa Short Story Competition.

Salim is currently working on his debut poetry collection, From The Potter’s Kiln.

How long have you been writing for?

I’ve been writing for nearly all my life. When other boys picked balls and girls picked skipping ropes, I picked up pens and papers. Though, I only became serious with writing around 2016.

What was the first thing you thought of when you saw the ad for the contest?

I was like, this is cool. It’s something I may enter. I didn’t enter though, until the last day.

What does Sankofa mean to you?

Sankofa represents yearnings of every black man, woman and child in knowing their roots and filling in the gaps, gaps caused by colonialism and slavery. It is of paramount importance that we all know where we are coming from. Knowing our roots; knowing how deep and wide those roots seeped in this vast stretch of space called earth would give everyone a sense of pride and belonging.

Tell us about your entry.

Musings of Mama Africa is a poem that started as a feeling, not a thought. It was something that I have always felt but lacked the words to perfectly describe.

In the poem, Africa is a woman who yearns for all her children; the ones stolen and dragged across the Atlantic and the ones pillaged right here. Being the Mother of Civilization, she has seen all and known all. Despite the carnage done to her, she still is very proud of her children and hopes that one day, they will return home to a grand homecoming.

Did you have any challenges in writing your piece?

I don’t really remember because I wrote the piece back in 2017. So, I actually dusted it off and made few corrections.

What is the future of literature in Africa?

The future of literature in Africa is now. We’re seeing how powerful and important the voices of people – young people – are in shaping our continent today. With a lot of young people embracing the arts and Literature as a means of expression, the future is vast and endless.

What does being a tribesman mean to you, and how do you think being part of a community will influence African literature?

Being a tribesman is nice; it means I’m not alone and I’m part of something bigger than myself; which is all we all ultimately hope for. Being part of any literary community gives one a sense of belonging and responsibility, just like one would in any family. It is our job to spread the gospel and make that change right from the grassroots

Sound bite, anyone?

Read Salim’s entry here!

See how to vote here!