Poet Efe Paul Azino introduces us to the thriving spoken word scene in Lagos and – through their poems and stage performances – the priorities of its young people. From the political to the personal, by listening to them we get a picture of what’s happening today and how they feel about it, whether it’s disillusionment about the upcoming elections, or their thoughts on navigating the challenges of life in the megacity. Lagos’ spoken word scene – from new monthly ‘Poetry Cafes’ set up by Efe, to the Lagos International Poetry Festival – affords a platform for a vibrant movement in which women in particular are creating important work. Young people are seeking to make their voices heard where they’re otherwise marginalised. The current crop of spoken word poets is conscious of the city’s historical contributions to the creative and artistic life of the continent, and the ghosts of Nigeria’s heroes of dissent, from Chinua Achebe to Fela Kuti, set the tone of some of the work being performed. But spoken word in Lagos isn’t just a vent, and the new generation are carving out their own path: there’s room for joy and the deeply personal, and a craft and beauty to the best work being created. The pulsating city makes its presence felt throughout the programme as Efe takes us around Lagos gearing up for festival season in autumn 2018, and we meet the people the poetry scene draws in.
Listen here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cswp70