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Friday, 1 June 2018


It was an afternoon held spell-bound with variety of battalion hard knocks. Knocks from punchlines and maxims seemingly endless at the maiden edition of PortHarcourt Literary Society Poetry Slam #PHLS 2018.

The 15 poets that made the final cut from over 50 entries prove they were no mere word slingers and players, they were gods....this was obvious in the words of Efe Paul Azino, one of the four pre-selected  judges,  after the slam, he went like * "Toby, brilliant fucking poet, what a career you are going to have"*

The slam had entries from across states in Nigeria; Lagos, Benin, Bayelsa, Ibadan, Osun and Oyo. Toby Abiodun, Envoy and Olayinka Samson Aremu (PoeThick Samurai) came 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively at the opening round.

At the 2nd Round, it wasn't surprising to see Toby coming top again, judging from his wealth of experience at Abuja Literary Slam (ALS) where he had made several failed attempts to emerge at least top three (3) before finally snatching the 2nd Runner-Up spot at the second quarter of 2016, then heading to Lagos, he emerged Winner of the maiden edition of SOS POETRY SLAM as at August, 2016.
High-scoring Vivian Braide, Envoy, McFragile, Poethick Samurai followed Toby closely in that order.

Although, the judges seem miserly as no contestant aside Toby Abiodun had a perfect score of "10" from any of the sitting judges at both first and second rounds, though, the audience had a swell time, snapping fingers, whistling and even shouting the stage names  of their favorite contestants when the need arose. Toby had the audience screaming at this round with his trademark "punchlines that punch lives to life".

Final round again had Toby spitting fire through his pidgin poem on 'hustle', almost bagging a perfect 10 each from the 4 judges, save for his breaking the 2 minutes rule with 12 seconds past; he was duly penalized though, still he had the highest score of 10, 10, 9.8, 9.7 equaling 39.5 from the obtainable score of 40.

The slam wasn't lacking in drama, glamour and glitz. The contestants with varying styles of jubilation, reactions to scores from the judges and the eventual winner, Oloruntobiloba Abiodun (Toby) found himself lying with his back on the ground, obviously soaked with anxiety missed with a pleasant surprise after his final score was announced... (pictures speak volume)

McFragile won the 1st Runner Up slot with a take home prize money of N75,000 (Seventy-Five Thousand Naira) while Envoy the 2nd Runner-Up smiled home with N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira).

The other teens category had Ude Ugo, a female 15 year old student of New Total Child Academy all the way from the capital city of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State coming top, earning the prize money of N10,000 while three other runner-ups went home with N5,000 each, totaling N25,000 (Twenty-Five Thousand Naira) cash prize as promised by the organizers.

PHLS slam set a new tone in the record books of poetry slams in Nigeria, giving each of the fifteen (15) contestants the sum of N5,000 (Five Thousand Naira) as consolation for participating in the slam.

Pictures and videos coming soon. Kindly follow @phls_openmic on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.

Weldone PHLS!

Bankole Kolawole “BankHALL”
Poet, Essayist/Spoken Word Artist based in Lagos-Nigeria.
Instagram: @bankolekolawole

Monday, 7 May 2018


LUSTFUL LOVE BY PENJAMIN At the beating of my heart, the world trembles. At the sound of my name the heart of humanity skip thousand beats; I am the heart of civilization, out of me springs the issues of life, legal or illegal, good or bad, peace or strife. Everyone dances to the irregular beats I produce whenever I strike the drum of desire with the stick of necessity. The love of me is the root of all evil, the lust of me is the root of all evil, I am not the root of all evil, but the lustful love of me. I am the gold bold enough to glitter in the sun, I am the sun hot enough to met the best of gold. Humanity pay homage to me with tears on tired skins, ocean from weary eyes, aches on heavy heads, shoe of dust on wandering feet of unemployed graduates; with poetry in the heart of innocent children whose parents are buried by bomb in catacombs, with imagination of luxury in the mind of penury, with wishes, dreams and aspirations of victims of fate putting on the rags of poverty. I am not God, but I'm worshiped with tongues on the pulpit of those that say I'm mammon, neither a small god, but I'm worshiped with incantations and dancing cowries thrown on the platter of deception. I am not the root of evil, but the lustful love of me. I can't buy you peace of mind, but I can assure comfort and satisfaction of buying many things and using few; I can't get you child, but I can give you the memory that would make another person's child yours forever; I can buy you the confidence your child need to speak amidst peers, for money speak in the congregation of the rich, but in the gathering of the poor humility speaks - poverty makes man humble. I am not the root of evil, but the lustful love of me. Those who say I'm the root of all evil are aliens in the planet of riches. You lust me lovingly, love me lustfully, with everything that makes me you man: you slaughter truth with lies, and wear deception all to have me; you kill your integrity on the altar of desperation all because of me... The love of me is the root of all evil, the lust of me is the root of all evil, I am not the root of all evil, but the lustful love of me. You lust me lovingly, love me lustfully, with everything that makes you woman: you fill your breast with milk of contempt, your nipples nibble on the soul of men till they are left with skeleton of devalued essence. You hate love, and love hatred, yet call me root of all evils when you are the Miss Ruth of all devils. The love of me is the root of all evil, the lust of me is the root of all evil, I am not the root of all evil, but the lustful love of me. I submit myself on the table of power, power became powerless. Take me away from government, and greedy humans will lose interest in power, for where there is no sugar, there is want of insects. Money doesn't make man mad; it only gives him two options, either to be mad, or to MAD - Make A Difference.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018



Here is a poem on this painful truth by Abiola Inioluwa

Dear Baaami,
I want to remind you
Of how we lost our way on a night
Where Libya slit our future with daggers of horror
And we became a poem on slavery's archive

I saw voices sinking like a fallen dream,
I saw bodies, dropping like fading sighs
Tears- tatooed on scalp of naive sands
Noices, slay silence on a night of wounded memories.

It was a night where our smiles limped off our jaded faces
And fear cracked our soul with claws of brutality
Dreams buried- we became the sad song of a barren night

My brother's blood crawled to kiss my scar for the last time
And to give her blessing on my quest with my newly found buddy- slavery.
The cry of our sisters would spank my bald conscience-
Whenever their undefiled thighs appease fuming fangs:
In their eyes, I could see a young girl whose dignity is stolen

Chains, whips, punches, kicks:
Like a father would say to his child
"Do not die until you have made a mark on the pages of life"
The quote is fulfilled, but our backs became the pages of life,
And the whips made their mark on us.

We died papa, even before death rescued us
But papa, do not forget this:
We are silhouettes that won't feel the face of a new dawn,
And remember that when dream falls, actuality becomes a mirage

I go papa, never to return to you.

Curled from

Friday, 26 January 2018



Mandela’s Been Dead
Mandela died in July
And all the country cried for his body,
Outside the hospital 
Not knowing he was dead.

Ever elegant you
escaped your body in front of our eyes.
Black Pimpernel,

They searched for you in 1962
At train stations and bus terminals.
From your mansion in Rivonia 
To your little home in Orlando. 
It was better before they knew where you were.

When they found you
they stole your whole middle age.
When they gave you back
We stole your old.

Today your grandsons are going crazy
And everyone wants a piece of the cake
wants a piece of your face,
I feel for your name.
They have been borrowing it 
to every newspaper with ink.

No wonder you ditched your body
At the feet of that bleeping machine.
While the party debates the date to tell us
And your family fumbles
To accommodate the frenzy 
Of what your funeral will look like.

I imagine you are watching the show,
You, in the crowd for a change.
Watching us perform vigils at your corpse.
Don’t worry,
Let Zuma do his dance for the cameras
They will bury you in shoes that he could never fill.

Now that you are alone for a while
Unbutton that collar, 
sigh, Madiba,
Weep, tata.
The ancestors will not blame you.
Confide in them openly about the mistakes you made. 
And laugh at how funny it is 
That you can finally be human now.
They will not judge you.
They have already borne witness to Freedom, the play.

You, lion
Mouthful for the praise poet!
They have not told us that you are gone.
And I thank them for their quiet. 
The only way you could rest in peace 
Is if we did not know about it.


Monday, 15 January 2018


Watch your tongue when your irate heart goes agog
Watch it when your eyes see a SECRETing bug
Watch it when you sip drugs and grog
Is it not the dialogue that dictates the epilogue?
So wash your tongue else nothing will be left of what is right.
I have a new spelling for the word ‘white’
It is WYT
The best thing you can do with your tongue is to use your tongue to count your teeth after listening to this piece
Wash your tongue
Brush your teeth
Keep brushing
Wash it
The tongue is an ocean
It can literally drown a nation
The tongue is a knife
Always willing to cut lives
and break hearts
The tongue is a perforated basket with leaky jaws and a weird wide mouth
Always willing to swallow solid secrets
At the expense of disposing it through her bottomless holes
Because she can never hold one bit of a secret
So wash your tongue else nothing will be left of what is right.
Watch the words your tongue lays so you don’t slay the next one by what you say any way
Anyway pray that you may not be dismayed
When you awake to see that your tongue has been detached from your mouth the next day
As a result of what you said the previous day
So wash your tongue else nothing will be left of what is right
Each day you awake, wash your tongue
Because the tongue is filled with dirty words, deadly chemicals and mundane phrases no praises
The tongue is a chameleon it can bless and curse
Save and slay
Make and dismay
It can hire and fire
Impress and oppress
Heal and kill
So wash your tongue else nothing will be left of what is right.
Wash your tongue cause whatever boils out of your breath Evaporates into the atmosphere
And the only time you can catch it back is when you try to catch your breath at death
But don’t swallow it
Because if you try to swallow your words in a gulp rush,
They will choke your throat and swell your belly after all
So wash your tongue else nothing will be left of what is right.
The tongue is too simple but complex in nature
That is why she is being manipulated to do too much chores
Hence she becomes tumultuous
Well, the tongue is not entirely dry though
If well-bred,
she reverberates the breath of God.
She buys miracle from the divine oracle
She is holy and she’s a holy weapon
A tool for spoken word
My tongue is my tooth pick
I use my tongue to prick my teeth
My tongue is my chewing stick
I use my tongue to count my teeth
So wash your tongue else nothing will be left of what is right.

Editor's Note:
Dima Chima is a young spoken word poet based in Lagos-Nigeria. As shown in the video above, he performed this particular piece at #WarOfWords; one of Nigeria's biggest poetry slam competition.

Monday, 8 January 2018



I was that bastard
The product of a one-corner dance,
whose vagabond lips stained mucus from forgotten dreams,
whose stubborn feet slap a street of blood-hungry men.

I was in that womb when bombs broke like a water pot
Laboured breathe dragged like a pipe on shisha pot
Mother's eyes became broken sunglasses
Too shocked to remain in their sockets!

I was born by  a woman
who became a talking drum that couldn't utter a word;
a woman whose hymen died in the hands of high men,
high men who care less of diamond, silver or gold.
Men who only dream to keep themselves awake
behind sleeper cells to plan bloody raids.

I was that bastard whose mother's thighs fell fighting;
fighting third legs forcing toes into her (w)hole,
mobilizing warship to desecrate her temple.

I was that bastard!


Picture credit:

Wednesday, 20 December 2017



To win the prestigious FIFA World Cup and Best Player Award, CR7 had to conquer the world, and to win the WarOfWords, you need to beat words so well that you beat the world words' best. Here, SoundOfSages (SOS) defending poetry slam champion, Njoku Paul Chibuike Henry "Fr33zinPaul" kept hope alive with his trademark #KeepHopeAlive masterpiece, bagging the 2nd Runner-Up space at the semi-finals of one of Nigeria's most prestigious poetry slam competition, the #WarOfWords6, heading straight to the grand finale, slated for Saturday, 16th December, 2017.

To further poke what we stand for at SOS - 'educate, entertain and chastise', we bring you Fr33zinPaul's performance at the last round of the said semi finals...You can motivate that person losing hope next to you by simply playing the audio of this poem, downloading free from ..

We hope this saves that blind soul, seeing only  from the angle of depression.

Keep hope alive!