Meeting him for the first time online after enjoying ‘Listen’ (one of his poetry film), I knew we were in for a joyride with his second poetry film aptly ‘Where The Road Leads’. When we got talking on the feature, he was receptive of the idea and was generous to get back to me on time considering his travel engagements all over…
First off, he absolutely values his personal space to a fault and yes you are expected to and should understand (a poet needs his quiet time to be productive). To drive home this point, let me allow him talk about how important silence means to him;
“ I love the silence of my room. I need that silence to pay attention to the voices in my head. In addition, I sometimes go out all alone to give myself a good treat, especially after a long period of writing, or to celebrate the acceptance of my work in a journal I admire, or after a successful execution of a major project. However, this does not mean that I am a complete loner. No. I have a few friends who are also very busy people. So we get to meet once in a while to hang out and discuss music, literature, academia, and politics over soft background music and good booze.”
He loves shoes. Listens to all genres of music and would prefer to focus on piano and the organ for now. He also bears the name Omenyi as a sobriquet. Omenyi is the short form for Omenyiliora, which literally translates to “the exceptional”, or “the extraordinary one” in the Igbo language. His favorite colours are white, black, ash, and blue.
For inspiration, he always goes back to Christopher Okigbo’s “Labyrinths”, Audre Lorde’s “The Black Unicorn”, Afam Akeh’s “Letter Home & Biafran Nights”, Ladan Osman’s “The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony”, Collected Poems of Derek Walcott, and of course, all works of Pablo Neruda which are in my possession. That said, he admires the quality of works coming from some contemporary African poets who have, in a sense, become revolutionary by having their works nodding to arts for art’s sake.
His brand of poetry is freedom and cannot be put in a box in agreement with Uche Nduka. He is especially grateful to Dami Ajayi who saved him “from the shackles of forced rhymes”. He tries to communicate sublimity and show that poetry is transcendental. In addition, there are recurrent themes on love, death, and music in his poetry as evidenced in his last poetry film “ Where The Road Leads”.
He’s a budding rapper in the making and I won’t be surprised if he ‘slays’ that art form too. He would love to explore films too as an actor and producer . He shot his first short film in England last year and has successfully produced three poetry films. Apart from poems, he has written short stories, reviews, and articles. Currently, he works on a column at Praxis Magazine for Arts & Literature called Tracks & Pages (a column on popular music and books)
For now, he writes part-time considering there are other jobs that pay the bills. Lest i forget, he is a perfectionist extraordinaire;
“For now, I’d say I pay attention to details and I never seem to get a hundred percent satisfaction with my productions especially when they are out there. I always have this feeling that my work could be better even when they are praised out there. That might be the negative part or effect of evolving, but I’ve come to understand and wholeheartedly embrace the vulnerability that comes with being an artist. However, that does not imply that I have no confidence in my work. I strongly believe in my work and I’ve embraced the rejections that come with being a writer (or poet). Once my work is rejected, I conclude that I sent it to the wrong place, and not that the work itself is deficient. In addition, there has been a major shift in my kind of poetry and style of writing.”
A few years ago, his poems were always burdened with themes on bad governance, severe sociocultural issues, and rhymes sometimes but has now evolved to about anything and everything. He has had floetry block which can be frustrating too but reads great works to put him back on track. He has over forty-six poetry collections on his desk and is working on making them over a thousand before the year runs out!!!
According to him, social media offers not just opportunities for marketing but has created a platform for creative people to showcase themselves and their works. This has given express connection to publishers on social media to promote the works of artists and creative beings. He only discovered after I almost wanted to snap at him that he isn’t great at promoting his wonderful work on social media considering he has a new poetry film which I happen to love. We should probably employ me to do this job, what say you Omenyi? Lol
You can find out more about this interesting poet called Omenyi on:
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echezonachukwu_Nduka
Praxis Magazine for Arts & Literature