TBR: How are you adapting to the cultural shift?
Nothing much has shifted; just the socio psychographic approach to their cultural life in general. More so, it is more of a lonesome or reclusive life here. Each man to his own tent, unlike in Africa where the business of everyman is the business of everyone. This space is economic, vigilant, fast paced, ambitious and potent with opportunities.
TBR: Who are your literary influences?
I have a long list of literary influences from Amos Tutuola, Rumi, Eddy Murphy, James Allen, Salman Rushdie, Paul in the Bible, King Solomon, Atilla the Hun, Victor Banjo, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Helon Habila to Wole Soyinka. I love the works of Helon Habila for his creativity, dexterous use of words, and succinct use of metaphor.
TBR: Are you working on anything now?
Yes; too many dreams not enough sleep. I have had long winded nights of works upon works. I have plots in my head squirming to be seated still on papers or prints. I have things to write about and many literary quarters to explore. The artistic enclave is a cosmos of endless nudge to create and recreate, examine, interrogate and recreate. So, a writer as a creator needs to keep his muse engaged. I look forward to my first novel being published this year and to also produce more spoken word pieces and be more active on social media.
TBR: Are you organizing any event in the UK, soon?
I may attend or organize a few online masterclasses, and other programs as a spectator. I will finish some projects with Lagos Poetrython. I am really working on many things and need some space to breathe as I am still soaking in the interesting weather, space, and the splendor of the erratic Sun that eats the night up all day - and then let it reign for a short while. I will be attending a couple of events in Newcastle upon Tyne, South London, and beyond. Fingers crossed. I may premier my stage play. *chuckles.
I still need to build enough clout for that though; and better still, just engage the celestials for some esoteric intervention.
TBR: Where do you see the African literary space in a few years?
Africa is the mother storyteller, the soul of artistic expressions and manifestations and the future of art. I am confident that the next few years will be a turning point and a sort of revolution in the space.
We will have more audacious writers, poets, intelligent minds with ruthless fangs to tame the small minded custodians who are just in the space for having been there and then the charlatans in the space crusading a cultural path they were just privy to by the reason of happenstance, mercy and fate and will be smoked out and shamed. It is going to get more- interesting and more cultural talents will come to fore and have the privilege of having an easier pathway to greatness. I envision an Africa with prosperous writers and delectable griots who would not go to the government or organizations cap in hand for crumbs to power cultural programs and I see the patriarchs and contending curators burying their hatchet and fostering development for the benefits of all and merry at the happy feet of renaissance.
BR : What makes a good poem ?
Intensity. Nakedness . Relevance and the cadence of elocution. A good poem should float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. A mix of fire and ice. And also be like water, light but consuming.
BR: Thank you for your time.
Oloyede Michael Taiwo is a poet, storyteller, copywriter, scriptwriter, screenwriter, spoken-word artiste, playwright, producer and philo-math. He has appeared on different TV and radio stations, propagating the gospel according to poetry and holding conferences on politics and economic issues. He wrote and produced the play, "Wrinkles, dimples, naira and bets," during the Lagos Theatre Festival, 2020, in partnership with the British Council. He has performed in several literary events and one of the largest gospel concerts in Lagos-Cross Concert. He curates diverse didactic and literary events, such as: Learning With Celebrities Conference, Lagos Poetrython, Fireflies & Bumblebees and the Lagos Poetrython Spoken Word Academy. He has been shortlisted for the Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize and long listed for the Quramo Writers' Prize for literature. He loves psychedelic music and the riff of bass guitar strings. A fellow of the institute of management consultants. A google certified digital marketer. He is an associate of the Academy of Modern Applied Psychology and also an associate of Financial Freedom Academy, a financial solution organization based in the U.K. He is also a transmedia content architect, product developer, integrated brand marketer and a certified finance and investment analyst. He plays the drum set and konga drums at leisure and also loves to meditate and enjoy the tranquility of liminal transcendence.
Taiwo's poetry album is due for release and his anti suicide project, I am in love with life, which involved a chain of fantastic artistes has garnered lots of media views across channels.
Taiwo has been endorsed by the Arts Council of England and he is now resident in the United Kingdom where he is gradually influencing the cultural life in his locality. He is slated to perform at the Chronicles of a griot later in the year and would also be performing at a book launch in Newcastle upon Tyne on the 8th of September.