Spoken word is a style of entertainment involving performance-based poetry that primarily focuses on the aesthetics of word play and story-telling. It often includes collaboration and experimentation with other art forms such as music, theater, and dance. Performers may weave in poetic components – such as rhyme, repetition, rhythm, improvisation, and other traditional elements of poetry.
Spoken Word is one of the oldest forms of art which started even before men learnt to write and it is a part of ourculture in many parts of Nigeria with local griots who retold stories, delivered chants and used a rhythmic form of storytelling in educating their people about history.
It might be hard to know the where, how and why, that made that form of art become near extinct in Nigeria but it is gradually re- emerging as a form of art and entertainment and we hope it becomes a money spinner soon just like the music and movies industries.
In a bid to keep spoken word art in Nigeria, is the emergence of Forte, a spoken word event that is set to hold every first Friday of the month at the Engineering Quadrangle, university of Lagos (UNILAG). Forte is a civilentertainment that helps the audience to relax and have fun at the same time unlike other forms of entertainment where one may be stressed in a bid to have fun.
Spoken words events are often found in a particular part of Lagos, Island andamong the working class group. Forte is trying to bring Spoken Words closer toMainland for other audiences, thereby allowing for easily accessible spoken words events without having to go too far or pay too much.
The pioneer of Forte Eniola Adewaleexplained that the inspiration of Forte came from the Faculty of Engineering, UNILAG. “I was inspired by the Engineering Quadrangle because it is a very beautiful place and is also very under-utilized and I thought to myself, what can I do with this space?” she said.
The main objective of Forte is to entertain and to provide a form of relaxation for people. To also make people aware of spoken words poetry. “I never knew about spoken words poetry until I saw Sheila Ojei’s Romantic Lagos at Freedom Park, Lagos, and then Irealized that I would like to do something like that with my writing too.”She added.
Forte is giving room for art appreciation and also creating a platform for other spoken word artists in the University ofLagos (UNILAG). It is also creating a network for them therefore;Forte is hereto groom students from the grassroots to the world-stage.