Writing and poetry never seems to get old or humdrum when placed in the hands of prominent figures like his, a Nigerian writer, poet and performance artist who believes that words can make more meaning if they are lifted from the pages and given life through vocal performances. Indeed, Efe Paul Azino is Making Impact.
Meeting Poetry & Re-inventing the Wheel
Born in Lagos, Efe Paul Azino made a huge influence in the land of his birth by being the founder and director of the Lagos International Poetry Festival and also the director of Poetry at the Lagos annual Book festival. Not only did he write poems; he also built platforms to help upcoming poets and encourage poets thus creating an immense impact in the Nigerian writing and poetry space.
Most recent of his achievements is being featured in Nigeria’s Heritage Bank’s commercial adverts.
In 2015, his first collection of poems titled For Broken Men Who Cross Often was published by Farafina books while his second poetry collection, The Tragedy of Falling with Laughter Stuck in your Throat is set to be released later this year.
Creating Poetry Platforms & International Influence
Poems written by Efe has spread across Nigeria and they have been internationally accepted with some of his works having been translated to Afrikaans, French, German and Mandarin due to the massive acceptance of his work outside Nigeria. The International acceptance of his poems globally has led to massive profits through the sale of his publications and accruing royalties paid by such publishing companies, of which Kachifo Limited (Farafina) is one.
After he founded the Lagos International Poetry Festival (LIPFEST) in 2015, which is referred to as Nigeria’s biggest gathering of poets, performance and conversations; by creating a platform for poets and writers to perform their works, With this medium, Azino has undoubtedly created a cabal of poets who use their writing to impact others by performing their poems thus bringing the real essence of their words to life.
Staying Creative with Spoken Word Productions & Making Money
Efe Paul Azino has made lots of profit through writing but his poems are not his only source of income. Though his works have enjoyed much global acceptance, he has also gone a step further by being creative with his poems through local and international poetry events and spoken word theatre productions.
He produced “Finding Home”, a spoken word theatre production that explores and tackles several questions based on identity, displacement and the International Migration of Africans.
The production which premiered in Berlin and then came to Lagos, was a ticketed event.
He has also featured in several local poetry events like the Lagos Art and Book Festival, the Kaduna Books and Arts Festival, the Aké Arts and Book Festival.
Internationally, he has been a major player at the Johannesburg Arts Festival, the Lights Camera Africa Film Festival, the Berlin Poetry Festival, Spier International Poetry Festival, Cape Town, Taipei Poetry Festival and the British Council Festival.
By featuring at these events both home and abroad, he has been able to spread his ideals and use his writing to impact others. However, Efe Paul Azino has made huge financial gains from his works; being able to make profit through writing as all his books and poetry collections are up for sale at the writing exhibitions, poetry and art festivals he performs at both locally and internationally.
In 2017, YNaija magazine named him as one of the most powerful young persons under the age of 40 who are getting things done in the culture space; showing that he been truly writing to impact.
Efe Paul Azino teaches us to stay creative with our craft, just as when people thought poetry was boring or mundane, Efe Paul Azino is Making Impact, and chose to spark things up a through performance poetry.
Don’t give up on your craft so easily, instead, consistently find ways to make it interesting to all, which when appealing to audiences will indeed reward the artist, in financial and other ways.
To sum it up:
- Efe Paul Azino didn’t just write poems but he decided to use his writing to impact by performing them so people could grasp meaning from them
- He also created platforms for poets to speak up and perform their works with the Lagos International Poetry Festival (LIPFEST)
- He was able to make profit through his writing as his poem collections have been widely accepted both locally and internationally as they have been translated into other foreign languages
- Efe Paul Azino also sparked up intriguing conversations with his spoken word production “Finding Home” which was centred on identity, displacement and African migration
© 2018, Demilade Olafisoye. All rights reserved.