Olanrewaju Moses Oluwatobi is in the spotlight as out Poet of The Week (#POTW).
Born on the 6th of August 1997, the first male child, third out of five children, Olanrewaju hails from Abeokuta South in Ogun State, Nigeria. He studied at the Local Government School Two, Sango Ota, and Community High School, Igbala, both in Ogun State.
Olarewaju’s writing journey has seen him win the winner of Leoplast Foundation Essay Writing Competition 2012/13. He is ardent lover of Theater Arts and good music — a Westlife fan with a bias for rhythm and blues.
Olanrewaju is a devout Christian and an executive member of World Changers Club of Heal the World Mission Inc.
He hopes to study Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile – Ife.
He tells us what makes him tick in this interview with WRR’s Sam De Poet:
How and when did you start writing poetry
Moses: I ventured into poetry about 2011, when I was in my first class at senior high school. I took it up when I discovered that there was no better platform to share my hurting feelings, since a problem shared is half-solved. True.
I always got a tingle of happiness each time my co-students read me, and that gave me enough hope.
What inspires your poems?
Moses: God is my ultimate inspiration. The thought that there’s this ‘big guy’ up there, who created the whole world inspires me that I could create my own world too, with my pen. Also, the situations around me, tense or rosy, inspire me to pour out my emotions.
Do you look up to any poet in particular? Can you say your works mirrors the style of a particular poet? If yes mention.
I have no role model in particular, but I try to climb the shoulder of the likes of Oswald Mtshali, Langston Hughes, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and, of course, Williams Shakespeare.
Beyond poetry, what other things are you passionate about?
Apart from poetry, am also very passionate about acting. I love music too as I love to sing and play the piano, but not as much as acting.
Every writer experience a momentary block every now and then, how do you handle writer’s block? What do you do to get out of them?
(Laughs) If I can comprehend that term, it means that time when the pen is on a “strike action”, instead of striking the soul and the book.
I try to read new books, that are far different from my scope, or from what I usually read.
Through that, I get something “quite confusing” to ruminate on, and Mother Muse comes visiting.
Do you believe that poetry is a tool capable of enacting a change in the society? If so, how can this be made possible?
I so much believe in the poetry. It is so obvious that the society is ailing, hence, it is rather obligatory that poets heal it.
Poetry is not a mere display of writing skills, it is a display of healing skills.
A true poem should carry thick and blatant messages that could even cause a lion to meow. Through that, the wicked ones will drop their weapons, and the society will be salvaged.
What makes your poetry unique? Does it have an identity? Can I tell it apart from others’?
I try to create a unique impression about my poetry by bringing to the fore the malaise of the present compared to the past, and using the future as the umpire, who knows not consequence of the former duo.
I mostly use the word “Now” in my poems, to emphasize the present situation.
Your views about African poetry, how do you think we have fared so far flying the flag of the continent? Can you say your poems are rich in African content? Can you say you are one of the flag bearers?
Wow! African poetry is the child of the past experiences and clamors of the medieval Africa. It mirrors the situations surrounding various parts of Africa. Like the Negritude Movement pioneered by President Léopold of Senegal was established to raise African culture above French culture, that was the objective of other poetic movements too.
Nigeria has fared really excellently in bearing the flag of African poetry; this is manifested in the laudable feats of titans like Wole Soyinka, late Chinua Achebe, J.P Clark, and Ngozi Adichie.
I urge other poets out there to fasten their belt so as to do better. I, more so, hope to be a flag-bearer soon.
I derive virtually maximum satisfaction in poetry.
Classify your poetry, what type of poems do you write most? What theme is most noticeable in your poems?
I write political satires, aesthetics, and I try to write love poems too. The most noticeable theme in my poems is “theme of malaise” I love to criticize unpleasant situations, from any angle of life.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years in poetry?
In the next five years, I see myself where God wants me to be. I believe God wants the best for me.
Give a parting shot to aspiring poets who are interested in venturing into this art like you did?
To the aspiring poets out there, I’m so glad to use this medium to tell you it is never always easy. It is only in the dream that everything is either always rosy or always tough.
Growing in poetry is challenging, and those challenges will build you up. I promise so.
“Never say never”; let that be your watchword. Thanks.
Facebook: Olanrewaju Moses-Poet