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Dike Chukwumerije

Dike Chukwumerije on September 30, 2016 at the first public presentation of his stage poetry production, Made in Nigeria, in Abuja.

Dike Chukwumerije is a Nigerian spoken word and performance poetry artist and an award winning author. He has eight published books to his name including the novel, Urichindere, which won the 2013 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Prize for Prose Fiction[1][2] and a poetry theatre production - Made In Nigeria - currently touring the country.

Early LifeEdit

Dike was born in Lagos, and had his primary and secondary education in that city, before moving north to Abuja and studying for an LLB Law at the University of Abuja. He later obtained a masters degree in Law and Development from SOAS, University of London. His interest in writing and poetry came as a child from his elder brother, Che Chukwumerije, an avid poet and musician, and from a childhood friend, Onesi Dominic, who both shared their poetry with him. He was also heavily influenced by his father, Uche Chukwumerije, who published a pan-africanist magazine, Afriscope, from the 1970s into the early 1980s, and by his mother, Nwoyibo Iweka, a gifted and natural storyteller, who helped him see magic in every day things.

PoetryEdit

He is a member of the vibrant Abuja-based literary group, the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) and the host of the group's Book Jam and Poetry Slam. He has won several poetry grand slams in Nigeria including the maiden edition of the African Poet (Nigeria) Grand Slam competition. Since 2013, he has hosted and directed the annual Night of the Spoken Word (NSW) performance poetry event.[3] as part of a movement to insert performance poetry into Nigeria's mainstream pop culture[4] He also hosts weekly Open Mic performances which include a mix of acts from readings of short stories by their authors to musical performances, poetry and spoken word acts.[5]

 
Dike preparing for a show on February 11, 2017

He also speaks at workshops for amateur writers.[6]

He is Nigeria’s most prolific Performance Poet with three successful Performance Poetry videos, a live Poetry show (NSW – Night of the Spoken Word) now in its 5th year, and a theatre production (the Made in Nigeria Poetry Show) that had been successfully staged seven times – in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Benin and Ile-Ife – between September 2016 and October 2017.[7][8][9]

His shows are now among the most anticipated events in Abuja, creatively fusing entertainment and a call for re-awakening of national consciousness.[10][11]

At TEDx Maitama in September 2017 [12]and at the 23rd Nigeria Economic Summit in October 2017 [13], Dike's rendition of his poem, "The Wall and The Bridge" attracted widespread public attention to his message of the need for a national re-birth and a re-awakening of social consciousness.

At The Platform [14]on May 1, 2018, Nigeria's Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo recites Dike's poem "The revolution has no tribe" during his remarks on how young Nigerians are shaping the future. "Dike Chukwumerije, reminds us in his powerful poem the Revolution has no tribe that our destinies as Nigerians no matter our tribe or religion are inextricably tied together. What affects one affects all. Suffering neither knows tribe nor tongue."[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "I want to revive performance poetry in the FCT". Punch. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Urichindere". Okada Books. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  3. ^ "Dike Chukwumerije". Ake Festival. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Dike Chukwumerije and the audacity of a dream". Daily Trust Newspaper. Daily Trust Newspaper. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Out in Abuja with the Night of the Spoken Word". Premium Times. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Creative writing workshop for environmental literary amateur writers". US Embassy Nigeria. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Made in Nigeria - How performance poetry got a standing ovation". Leadership Newspaper. Leadership Newspaper. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Journeying through 93 years with poetry". Daily Trust Newspaper. Daily Trust Newspaper. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Made in Nigeria: Chukwumerije's poetry theatre returns to Abuja". New Telegraph. New Telegraph Newspaper. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Poetry, literary works can sustain Nigeria's history, cultural values". Thisday Newspaper. Thisday Newspaper. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "An evening with Dike Chukwumerije". Village Factor. Village Factor. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "TEDx Maitama 2017". YouTube. TEDx Maitama. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "23rd Nigeria Economic Summit". YouTube. Retrieved 22 October 2017. 
  14. ^ "The Platform". The Platform. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  15. ^ "Osinbajo: How young people are building Nigeria". News Agency of Nigeria. News Agency of Nigeria. 11 May 2018.