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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.”

gerontocracy in africa

Sugar Cubes

SUGAR CUBES           || Ibiteye Overcomer

Ballot boxes are metaphors for sugar cubes:

Dazzling, inviting, brides of anthills.

Glazed cartons holding frail fragments

of truth, justice, sweetness, of anthills.

Brazen walls of power that makes their builders vulnerable,

or is it the builders that make themselves vulnerable?

Could it be that between the petulant layers of history

and the creamy strands of change,

brittleness is being used as cement?

Ballot boxes are metaphors for sugar cubes:

Bright, luminous,

dissolving on the tongues of thugs and grey-haired godfathers.

Dissolving into nothingness.

This land swallows colors and spits out shadows.

Feeble legs walk on corridors of power with

walking sticks,

while youthful lips are forced to mold into silence

and writhe beneath the whispers of fear.

Threnodies of the sixties on replay,

withered policies of the seventies on display,

masses left to do nothing but pray.

Yet, every morning, I stand by my window and watch

as the sun rises,

as it ignites hope in me.

A hope that one day, we’ll rise in our youthful agility,

flex our fingers

and rip out the brittleness in our sugar cubes,

that we’ll repair the creaky staircases of power

and climb up to leadership,

that doggedly, without compromise,

we’ll chase the anthills away.

BIO

Ibiteye Overcomer is a twenty-year-old Nigerian. She is an avid reader and a poet who uses poetry as a means to express her views and thoughts about pressing matters with ease. You will find her on Instagram @bimolaovercomer.

Read also: 4 African Authors You Didn’t Know Were Imprisoned For Activism

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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.

poet laureate

Poet Laureate Q & A: Get Your Answers Now!

What is Poet Laureate?

Poet Laureate is an honorary position conferred by Tribesmen as an institution. After a season of featuring some amazing creatives on our community, this is a season for us to vote for the most outspoken creative. Poet Laureate is translated “The People’s Poet”, to bring creatives together, tribesmen by tribesmen.

Who can participate in Poet Laureate?

Every tribesman can participate in this competition. Every creative is allowed to showcase their art and compete.

What are the categories in Poet Laureate?

There are five categories for submissions:

Prose fiction (1000 words max)

Poetry (1 poem)

Short Story (Non-Fiction) (1000 words max)

Spoken word artistry. (1 minute video)

Art & Photography ( 3-5 pieces)

Note: Art & Photography Submissions are welcome but can’t participate in the competition. We will share it on our visual platforms for appraisal. (Submit to tvotribe@gmail.com)

Also Note: Spoken word submissions can be posted on the creative’s Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account, please ensure you tag us and we acknowledge receipt.

What are the criteria to submit entries for Poet Laureate?

Make sure you meet the following criteria to be eligible.

– You are a tribesman (to join visit bit.ly/JOINTVO)

– You have your entry previously unpublished.

– Your entry fits the theme for this year’s Poet Laureate (SANKOFA).

– You follow the community on all social media platforms (so you don’t miss out on important information.

Can I submit more than one entry?

Only one entry in one submission category is allowed.

Is Poet Laureate open to only Nigerians?

Poet Laureate is open to Africans within Africa, Africans in the diaspora, and those who identify as Africans.

Is there any age limit to participate in poet laureate?

There’s no registered age limit for Poet Laureate. We appreciate creativity from any age group.

There you go! Get to work now! We can not wait to receive your entries, so get to creating!