Poet Laureate Interviews 2020: Meet Ogunkeye Tobi

• Tell us more about you?

I’m a simple, quiet, and collected person; my hands and brain speak more than my mouth does.

• How long have you been writing for?

About 8 or 9 years now. I started with prose, now I’m basically into poetry. I am looking forward to simulating the three forms of literature though.

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

 I felt a “this is meant for me” kind of thing. I was absorbed by the title.

•  What does Sankofa mean to you?

 “He who knows not his past has no fuel for the drive to future” -Ogunkeye Tobi.

Tell us about your entry?

 The poetic piece centers around Africa’s fall as a sweet continent, her toil through the ruins caused by her own ignorance; and the solution to her ordeal.

• Did you have any challenges in writing your piece?

 Yes, I did. I got to know about it late; about 3 days to the closure. I could’ve done much research on the topic, but I didn’t doubt the potency of my entry

• What is the future of literature in Africa?

The future of African Literature is like the sun which rises every morning, and goes home at night only to repeat the cycle again. The people it shines on feels its impact and grow old, but it doesn’t.

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

One of my goals in life is to die empty. I believe pouring out my all, adding to everyone who has an affinity for knowledge and beatification of African minds will make me close to achieving this goal.

Sound bite, anyone?


Read Tobi’s post here now!

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