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Centre stage Clem Olaniyi


1. May we know you?

. A poet. Philosopher. Novelist. Orator. Farmer.

  1. When did you develop a love of poetry?
    As long as I can remember. Perhaps the age of 14.

  2. What has been the reception from your contemporaries on your poems?
    . Encouraging. They love and cheer for my style of writing. Some have my poems hung as mnemonics on their walls. That’s quite impressive and humbling for me

  3. What type of poetry do you favor?
    . All types. I write about anything. Everything. All things.

  4. Please share with us a bit about what you write about and why?
    . I write about life in general, even death. Talk about love, music, just anything. I’m always inspired to write at all times. Even at moments of grief and times of wild cheers I’m game on

  5. Have you had any of your poems published formally?
    . No. Not yet. Working on it definitely. I’ve had few suggestions and some offers to present my work for UNICEF in helping African children

  6. Do you think poetry can be used to change an attitude?
    . Surely, yes! Poetry is a way of life. Even every breath we take is hewn in poetry. Poetry is life. With poetry, a dirge can turn into a wild happy ballad. I just can’t be imaging life and nature without beautiful, orchestrated pieces of poetry in it. But to know what it is, you must feel it. If you’re not swinging in, you can’t mediate it.

  7. How often do you write?
    . Very often. It could be anywhere at anytime. Several times I’d wake up in the middle of the night to write. It could come by things I observe on the roadside, market, children, even the flowers. Just think of anything I’m there
  8. Share your dreams.
    Just a little I’d share. To see my name etched on the pillars of history. To create an awareness and help people realize their dreams. To help people know that poetry is not an odious thought or activity. Without poetry all forms of endeavors in life become vegetative
  9. When you look at your environment, do you see poetry gaining some level of recognition or popularity?
    We are a bit short on that right now in Nigeria of today, but we are getting “relocated” into feeding those who are bereft of it. So I believe someday, it will hold ground again. Those of old were taught with poetry. That’s why they still edge above newer guys of now. That’s why nothing exceptional has been well noticed because we are sold to a life of mundane activity devoid of creativity.

  10. What do you think of young poets liking the spoken word as a form of protest or expression
    .They yearn for fulfillment. They know that’s the only language the core of all hearts feeds on. They know a drop of water can suddenly become an ocean with poetry.

  11. Please tell us about your favorite poets, old and young
    William Shakespeare. Prof. Wole Soyinka. Those are ones still touching the strings and stirrings of my heart

  12. Which poet has had the most influence on you?
    William Shakespeare
  13. How do want to be evaluated by your peers and society?
    A phlegmatic Astute Observer. I am a clinical realist…I am evermore an alchemist of positivity, an adherent of an austere life. A man blessed with so much to offer but few of interests to be shared, who, when others don’t, does see promises in your eyes, the spark smoldering in your breasts, giving it tinder to see your soul ignites to passion
  14. Thank you coming on Centre stage
    It’s a great pleasure ma’am.

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Resolutions…..what are they?

“How did they come about anyway?” my daughter asked me
We were discussing new year resolutions and I had asked her if she had thought of any for this year. You know I never really thought that it originated from somewhere.

Do you think new year resolutions started from somewhere or as a result of something? I don’t think so though, but I sense that it must have started from the human mind deciding to review its past activities and checking for itself how far it has gone towards achieving a goal or a set of goals.
Remember how we set so many goals for ourselves, it is indicative of the prayers we make too. Not one prayer point, but several in fact in the space of a minute. We do have a lot we want. So I asked her what she had set for herself as a goal this year. She frowned then gave me a questioning look.

“Mum, I am not being rude, but If I tell you, Iam going to have a hard time working at it as you will be checking me out to know if I am working at the resolution. I think resolutions are private you know”
I swallowed as I acknowledged the truth of that statement. But can we give our ourselves resolutions? How dowe teach our children, the importance of resolutions? Is it supposed to be at a particular time of the year?
I remember that for me my resolutions or review tends to be as I approach my birthday. It is that time of year when I wonder what the Creator wished I could do with my present incarnation and as I take my first breath my contract begins .

I used to think that is when I review what I have done in the past year. For me the first day of January is just the first day of the new year but not the first day of my new year. They are other days of similar importance in the calendar of my growth to a goal. So it generally is part of a collective review.
I thought of all these as I chatted with my daughter. She asked me why I had lapsed into such silence, so I smiled and shared my thoughts. Her eyes opened wide in surprise and she nodded.
“You know mum, actually, I sense a day should be a review. We could make each evening of our lives a review of what he had done and make a resolution against the next day”

Now it was my turn to stare and give silent thanks for the opportunity of experiencing this gem.
So, resolutions? What are they really? There are the decisions we take each time we give ourselves a chance to honestly review how we have acted and make a resolution to improve on it.
If we take it one day at a time, we stand a pretty good chance of keeping, maintain and sustaining our resolutions.
My daughter smiled, and touched my shoulder, “and you didn’t like pastors mum?”
I stared and she laughed blowing me a kiss
Happy new year everyone