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A Philosophy student of the prestigious University of Ibadan, Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, has emerged winner of the February edition of the BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) 2016.

Kanyinsola, a poet, short story writer, essayist, and award-winning campus journalist, who was the second runner-up in the BPPC 2015 (September), clinched the keenly contested prize with a romantic acrostic entitled ‘THE FOLLY OF EVERYTHING: RISE TODAY’.

His poem beat Philibus Kichime Elisha’s SYMPHONY IN THE NIGHT and CALL ME A NIGHTINGALE by Green Author Prize (2015) joint-winner, Vanger Fater, to second and third places respectively.

The Osun state indigene has been published on various outlets such as Kalahari Review, Saturday Tribune, WRR Poetry, Kreative Diadem, Parousia Magazine, and the BPPC 2015 anthology, WIND OF CHANGE. Kayinsola was also been shortlisted for the Eriata Oribhabor Food Poetry Prize and named a co-winner of the 2015 Sampad International Creative Writing Contest. He is also multiple-award-winning campus journalist at the University of Ibadan.

The February contest was themed around LOVE in keeping with the spirit of St. Valentine.

Below are the TOP TEN poems:

  1. THE FOLLY OF EVERYTHING: RISE TODAY (ACROSTIC) by Kanyinsola Olorunnisola
  3. CALL ME A NIGHTINGALE by Vanger Fater
  4. SHADES OF LOVE by Emmanuel Faith
  5. FOREVER KNOWN by OGEDENGBE Tolulope Ayobami
  6. MY SUM by Akinbode Oluwatobi Israel
  7. IN YOU by Mesioye Affable Johnson
  9. BIKO EBELA AKWA (for Enugu) by Goodness Lanre Ayoola
  10. EULOGY OF MY HEART by Lekan Malik


The fire in her eyes seared my soul coal-black,
Heaves of despair slouched her small, scrawny back,
Engraved on her spirit was a weary lonely lack.

For the first time, I fell for a street-side beggar-girl,
Oh, my poor mind was in a wild wild whirl,
Left stricken by the virgin thunder of agape affection,
Lush compassion for this stranger became all I knew,
‘Yond the hills and valleys of frivolity, I flew.

Obscene, the world’s excesses slowly seemed to me,
For roses die, chocolate melts and the taste of wine will cease to be.

Egregiously, we relegate ardor to a yearly Valentine,
Virulent is this madness, I enclave myself in quarantine,
Ensconced blindly in a palace of dearth, our humanity fades,
Ruthlessly clueless, we sit upon a throne of blades,
Yanked away from us is the true meaning of amity,
Taking its place is cold-blooded insanity,
Harlequin romances and flaming libidos,
Is that all there is to showing love?
Nocturnal meetings of Juliets and dreamy Romeos,
Grave desecrations of the will from Above.

Rise, my brother! Flood your sight with the ocean of truth,
It is not a season to kiss Aunty Becky and smooch Sister Ruth,
Spend your kisses on the wounds of the homeless,
Expend your sweets on the bitterness of the hopeless.

The real love I speak of transcends lustful thoughts,
On divine wings, it flutters past this Babylon of rots,
Do let not the folly of everything cloud your sky,
Around the world, a million starving beggar-girls need someone,
You owe them love, make their hearts shine brighter than the sun.


In the cozy couch creeps of my sleep
Calmly reclined in the creepy thoughts of you
Your warmth-wallowig waves enulfs me whole.

I grope deeply in the symphonic dark
Of your silhouetting caresses
Thinking of you again and again.

Your symphonic webs of sweet snares
Holding me in the captives
Of your enmeshing tendrils.

Woven in the symphonic embroidery
Of your calm turmoil
Sweetly seducing the silent snooze
Of my sizzling singe of your warmth.

Your symphonic adrenalin
An opiating euphoria!
Sending me the delusive spooks
Of the sweet torments
Of your embalmed-eerie presence.

My heart palpitates
My head twirls in the throbbing thrust
My eyes rivets in the reeling realm of your seductive snares
While your oscillatory symphony
Weaves her harmonic heaves
In my meekly-feebled heart.

Haunting and hugging me sweetly
In the only symphonic night’s silhouette
Of your cocooning symphony.


I am a mortal on this earth,
So I stand afar from spirit-worlds
As light and darkness exist,
And that has caused my failure
In possessing winds to the heavens
That I may rain songs to soothe your ears.

Yet my spirit shall fight this weariness
By rendering unto me a drum of words,
That I may pull its strings of eulogies
And produce a sound echoing beyond Africa –
The land whose shadow your skin wears –
Coercing the Nightingale for my rescue.

My soul shall never get dim before your presence
Since your eyes have insisted of conjuring glows
To grow flowers on my vain-yard
Whose beats surge at the parting of your lips,
Exiling sleep at the heart of the night to feast wakefulness…
Your thoughts resting on the corners of my bed.

The fraternity of your legs with the head
In watering black locks to conglomerate
Shall forever continue to strangulate my spirit…
Stressing it on a faraway land of wonder and wander
That I may encounter a Nightingale – my friend
To compose for you its transcendent melodious hymns.

I have accepted to be pegged with chains of buffoonery,
And be led down the dungeons of adoration
If the gaoler’s necklace is to be hung to dangle on you.
Since no muse has offered me a tune to sing you eulogies,
I shall beat my drum of words to echo beyond Africa,
And summon the Nightingale – my saviour.

SHADES OF LOVE by Emmanuel Faith 

Love isn’t;
Emotions flowing in astounding motion
Expressed in fierce fiery passion
Bodies melting in synchronizing symphony
Mellifluous groans in melodious cacophony

Love isn’t;
The persistent infatuation encroaching your imagination
A game of gamble, permutation or combination
Emptying your account on Val’s day for what doesn’t count
Engaging in lascivious acts you can’t give account

Love is unity in diversity, treating all with dignity
Beauty in simplicity; respecting our royalties
Neglecting tribalism, abstaining from nepotism
Banishing the rising tide of ferocious favoritism

Love is casting aside prejudice, forgiving our weaknesses
Correcting in humility, condoning our excesses
Beyond boundaries and bodies,
Embracing our mothers-land

Hausa drinking with Igbo, Yoruba dining with Edo
Isoko and Urhobo embracing the Idos
Coming to the reality of our amazing entity
That makes us alive and thrive without trepidity

Helping the old man on the street
With crinkled skin and wrinkled feet
Or the scared child cross the road
Walking her safely to her abode
This little kind acts and deeds
Is what I call love.


Winds have blown, birds have flown
Even the ocean had long overflown
Yet, you still remain my own.

Years have passed, months have gone
Ever the morning sun had shone
Yet, forever we will be one.

I remember those days-such daring
Days of our beautiful beginning,
At the stairway of Empire building…

Days when we rove far and wide
Along the steep greening hillside
Till we parted under the moonlight guide.

Oh, how would I forget those days?
Those frolic days we loaded our trays
With fresh fruits of summer holidays.

Days when issues were begotten
Yet, amicably settled and forgotten
Indeed, they are memories unforgotten.

In fact, those moments we spent together
At our beautiful alma mater
Will be treasured forever after.

Wind have blown, birds have flown
Even the ocean had long overflown
Yet, you will forever to me be known.

MY SUM by Akinbode Oluwatobi Israel

Let’s rest our bodies on this log of logarithm,
Dividing Love to a proper fraction,
Raising your lovely figure to a power of infinity,
Your beauty in high indices will be my song.
Your eyes integrates my differentiation,
You alone simplifies my bracket with your squares,
Your cheeks makes me definite like a right angle,
My mean, My median, My mode.
My better denominator without decimals,
A chord that connects two points in my circle,
Only you alone walks through my circumference
Without having thin legs at the end.
Your words makes me even; deafening the odd,
Your slopes and lines plots my graph
With your X axis over my own Y,
A graph of love against lust.
My mathematics teacher,
No Longman nor Oxford,
No four figure tables,
My sum.

IN YOU by Mesioye Affable Johnson

In your eyes is the room with curtains of trust
hung on the fears soaked with teary memories
from the pinching stars hovering the blue nights
which wrapped our silences and tied it with our sighs.

In you I breathe in the running winds of emotions
with the nostalgic nose of my longing skin.
See, your morning smile is an inquisitive wayfarer,
Smashing the blurry frames of vacuum veiling my heart.

On your face are sparkling pages of burnt memories
and the plain sheet of many unwritten confessions
waiting to be stained by the mystery that shades us
with the unseen lines of joy that passes through my soul.


Our silences have covered the lenses of the night,

But I found a path clustered with names,
With your sprouting name winking under the jealous sun
as a rare blossoming plant in the desert of femininity.

With your care have I chewed cuds of more longings
and tasted the regurgitating sweetness in the happiness
lurking behind the salivating shadows of gone bitterness.

In you is the door to many worlds,
And your soothing voice, window to many wishes
behind the pillar where my happiness is a regular drunkard.

On your palms is the countless treasure like the dew,
With its massages fermenting my fantasies under dark clouds
into the heart of dusk housing many breathing dreams.

But in you only is the reality in nightmares,
The certainty holding firm sands of tomorrow at bay,
Whose axiom is the truth floating on drowned reminiscence.

IMMORTAL LOVE by Enemuo Chineze Gift

Remember the bond made a millenium ago,
The past when the bliss of love is flawless.
Those vows written in the plates of Zodiacs,
Of our love myth read by all Jacks and Roses.

Though reincarnation tore us far apart,
Gratitude to the unbroken wheels of time.
Over the elds, I wore diverse colours and races,
Yet my beauty was preserved for you alone.

I have not forgotten how handsome you were
That night you’re crowned king of our tribe.
I received the diadem of being your queen,
My hourly homage was my soft pretty body.

I still recall the sacrifice of my maidenhead.
For centuries I carried that unfading ecstasy,
Climax of all pleasures, the feelings of you in me;
Your little prince kicked in me like great Pele.

Who are the women that takes you away?
They know nothing of our immortal love.
They stood not by you when the dark cloud fell.
Have you forgotten the princess destined for you?

Death, the thief has never put an asunder;
He kept postponing the utopia meant for us.
Come to me before death returns again.
Come my love! I have waited for a millenium.

BIKO EBELA AKWA (for Enugu) by Goodness Lanre Ayoola

the place of coal…biko ebela akwa
as i whisper farewell into your night
when morning shall swallow me into the songs of home…

home beckons loud in my ears
or what does a man do when home calls?

enugu…please remember…i love you…

shall i forget the spell of your beauty?
when on you the sun glimmers like a polished gold
yes! i mara mma nke ukwu
ahuru m gi n’anya…

i dim ma
when light flourishes your skin of nights
and in your seasons of rains
how i laughed at the thundering jokes of your lightening…

o what sweetness! when i kissed your delicious lips
the inviting lips of your okpa…

o what sensation! when my fingers caressed
the body of your akpu robed in the sleeves of hot ogbono
such sensation that sprang amazement for my bowels…

the restless taste that comes with the sight of your agwa
embroidered in the flesh of fried potatoes
such that a man cannot resist…

enugu…amya m na ele gin –adi m uso
o the grace in the cheerful beads of your gaits
and the lofty cadence of your sweet music…

enugu…please remember…i love you…

i have needled the rhythms of your tongue
into the empty clefs in the pouch of my adam’s apple
i have taken the soil of your soles and here in my heart
i shall mould you, an immortal remembrance.

‘biko ebela akwa’- please, do not cry
‘i mara mma nke ukwu’– you are very beautiful
‘ahuru m gi n’anya’- i love you
i dim ma- you are lovely
‘amya m na ele gin –adi m uso’- i admire you
‘okpa’- an Eastern Nigerian delicacy prepared with a special type of beans (Bambara bean)
‘akpu’- cassava flour
‘ogbono’- soup prepared from the seeds of bush mangoes
‘agwa’- beans


Oh! how beautiful you are my only bride.
Come to me, I need you by my side.
For your love is delightful to be a pride.
In your heart I want to reside.

Rejecting me would be a great pain.
My tears alone would make a mighty rain.
Now you are mine, it’s a pleasant gain.
I have your beauty picture in my brain.

Whenever I behold your angelic face,
My heart quakes as if I am on a race.
Loving me for real, you are an ace.
Your kiss alone is a massive grace.

You are my love, my one and only.
Because of you, I am righteous and holy.
The song of love I sing when lonely,
Unveils your beauty to me so lovely.

Kayinsola’s winning poem will be awarded the top prize of N5000 cash prize while all the poems in the TOP 10 will be automatically entered for the ALBERT JUNGERS POETRY PRIZE (AJPP) 2016 and published in the BPPC 2016 anthology. Each poet will receive a certificate and free copy of the anthology at the WRR Literary Festival in October.

“An avalanche of talents: this is what best defines the February edition of the BPPC. The scores were so tight that dozens of poems vied for precedence as never before. It was imperative to determine ever finer criteria to select the top ten, one of which was to choose an array of styles as vast as possible among nearly equally good poems. So no poet should feel bad about not making it to the final selection. All deserve a hearty ovation.” — Brigitte Poirson

The BRIGITTE POIRSON POETRY CONTEST (BPPC) is a monthly writing contest aimed at rewarding young poetry talents in Nigeria. It was instituted in February 2015 in honor of Brigitte Poirson, a French poet and lecturer, editor, who has over the years worked assiduously to promote and support of African poetry.

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