One of Nigeria’s fastest growing female poets, Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye, is this weeks Poet of The Week (#POTW).
In her young career, Shade has been featured in the University of Abuja Fellowship of Christian Students Magazine with her poem Hell n Heaven and an upcoming poetry anthology tagged ‘TREASURES OF PHRONESIS’. She has also won top prize in the #WhatCanWordsDo? poetry challenge.
The native of Osun State, Nigeria, is one of the most dedicated student at Words Rhymes & Rhythm College of Poetry with countless poetry challenge wins to her name.
Known in social media circles as a very warm, friendly and very likeable individual.
For someone who just crossed the threshold of childhood to adulthood last year, you can’t help but agree with that this Nineteen year old is doing exploits.
She presently lives and works in Abuja and hopes to study philosophy in a Nigerian university in the nearest future.
In this tete-a-tete with with WRR’s Sam De Poet, Miss Shade talks about herself and her journey into poetry.
What prompted you to begin writing poetry?
A friend, I read through his notes and had this desire to try it out. I sent him my first gibberish and he was shocked. Then, he became my teacher.
What inspires your writing?
Life. The good, the bad and the ugly. Be it light or darkness or everything in between.
Do your poems have any predominant themes?
Shade: Hmmm, I strive to send a message through my poems, so yes I think they do.
Why is poetry important to you? Do you get satisfaction from them?
Well, for me it is my means of communication. To hear and be heard. Yes, I do. A satisfaction that can not be measured.
Are there any specific poems or poets that have influenced your style as a poet?
Oh yes, plenty of friends and their poems. They do not only influence your style as a poet, they broaden your horizon and thoughts and I think that’s a great thing.
How much do you think life experiences influence our writing?
A hundred and ten percent if we are to scale it.
How much of yourself do you inject into your poems?
Pretty much all of me, I once wrote that a poem is the mirror to my heart and map to my soul. So when you read any of my poems, you read a part of me.
Are there certain conditions in which you write better?
No, not really.
What role do you think poems and poets should and can play in society?
A very tangible role that can not be over emphasized. Poets and their poems are very much needed, they are voices, strong ones when brought together
Most poets write in English. Now, what is your position about traditional poetry written in local dialects?
I love that, it’s unique, different and promotes ones culture. Too bad am not familiar with my dialect. Sighs
Any word for young, aspiring poets such as yourself?
When you write, be you.
Rules are good, but make yours too, never seek to write like anybody else. Your pen and you. That’s the beauty of style.
We noticed you’re gradually building an enviable name for yourself at WRR College of poetry, what is the secret behind this feat?
Wow. If that is the case, then am humbled. All thanks to Sir Kukogho Iruesiri Samson(Kis) without him creating a platform like this one, there wouldn’t be a college for me to express myself, all in all, it all boils down to hard work and dedication.
Facebook: Shade MaryAnn Olaoye
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.