Samuel Oladipupo Essodee
… unveils new performance troupe
As lovers of poetry get set for the World Poetry Day on March 21, acclaimed performance poet, Akeem Lasisi, has concluded the plan to release a new poetry video titled Mo n Bo (Give me an Ample Stage).
Lasisi says the video shot at the National Theatre, Lagos, is a romance, in the tradition of his popular work, ‘Eleleture’.
Directed by Sanjo, the video subtitled ‘Give me an Ample Stage’ features Edaoto and members of the Akeem Lasisi and the Songbirds, his performance troupe he recently reassembled.
Emerging actress and model, Ada Ugbor, also stars in the video.
Lasisi notes in a statement that he decided to release the video on the World Poetry Day to spice the global feast with something different.
Besides, the poet, who also recently unveiled an online newspaper, phenomenal.com.ng, says he believes there is the need to introduce something light and inspiring amid the tragic occurrences that Nigeria has been witnessing in recent times.
The Ibadan, Oyo State-born poet says, “On the one hand, you find out that there will be readings and conversations on poetry on Thursday. So, I feel that, as I usually try to do, I should bring something with a full complement of music, dance, drama and all to arena. I always want people to enjoy poetry – as much as they do films, music and drama. The same spirit is behind ‘Mo n Bo’, which is a track of my third album, UDEME: Constituency Project.
“It has also been a difficult time for Nigeria, not only on the political scene where the king is usually dancing naked, but also in terms of the tragedy that has been consuming parts of our humanity. Instructively, Pius Adesanmi’s death has pierced into the hearts of many of us like a hell-hot needle. The rate at which we have had to keep mourning him is unprecedented. As a matter of fact, I initially contemplated postponing the unveiling of ‘Mo n Bo’, querying myself if there is cause to laugh in the midst of tears.
“In Lagos, we lost 20 people to the building collapse at Ita-Faji, including pupils. While another house has also collapsed in Ibadan, recording injuries, insurgents and other strange elements have also stepped up killings especially in some northern part of the country. So, one could not but question the desire to celebrate love in the river of hatred we seem to have found ourselves. But it is also not too difficult to convince oneself that we must stand on our feet. We should not concede defeat. We must prove that we shall survive the tragic tendencies and that we are capable of rising above our fears.”
Apart from having published award-winning collections of poems that include ‘IREMOJE: Ritual Poetry for Ken Saro-Wiwa’ and ‘Night of my Flight’, Lasisi has produced six albums of musical poetry and several singles. He has also produced about 30 videos, some of which enjoy good share on national and international air space, while many of the videos are yet to be released.
According to him, the performance group – Akeem Lasisi and the Songbirds – boasts fine singers and dancers who complement and inspire him to offer the audience a total poetic experience.
In the group are Tairu Ajibode, Bidemi Akiremi, Yewande Odumosu, Foluke Olorunlana, .Popoola Osisanya, and Samuel Oladipupo Essoodee.