When Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, the author of The Light Bearer (also available in the U.S.) asked me, if I could attend an event of high significance for him, namely his debut introduction to his readers in Nigeria, I was eager to do so. While I couldn’t be there physically, our cellphones managed to enable us a bridge between the continents. My words of endorsement of his poetry appear below, in the form and content I compiled them within a short amount of time that I had (not due to Kolade’s negligence but rather our time zone difference but also my heavy work schedule). I hope my enthusiasm will be well-served so that you may be interested in informing yourselves with this poet of rare talent who happens to be very young but his life view and lyrical analysis of life issues exceed many heavily aged individual’s capacity. Please read my text picturing my actual presence there in the gathering room for his event, addressing his audience before he begins his book reading.
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A rare talent in composing poetry but also in raising awareness for world issues that matter against the backlash of pitifully mundane ados – perhaps the youngest peace ambassador.
This is hülya yılmaz from State College, Pennsylvania-USA. A warm hello to Lagos State, Nigeria. I feel privileged to be one of the guests at your unique event today in honor of Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom. Knowing Mr. Olanrewaju has been a privilege all by itself. There must be many who are eager to talk about his poetry, so I shall keep my comments on his rarely found poetic work brief. I allow myself to judge as such based on my extensive university career in teaching literature in all its various genres. There is a quote on poetry I am particularly fond of, and it is by the American poet and writer Charles Bukowski: “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.” Kolade’s lyrical work demonstrates the materialization of the Bukowski conviction. Mr. Olanrewaju’s poetic voice demands attention. For its clarity, genuine spirit, innovative and creative symbolic imagery, engaging diction and for its musical composition at the same time. There are many, just too many poems in his first book, The Light Bearer, that I could refer to and comment on and on. But, as I noted before, I am not the only one at this literary gathering who wants to shout out to all attending as loudly as I can what the significance of this unbelievably young but incredibly matured poetic genius. I will mention the titles of a few, almost all from about the middle section of The Light Bearer. While I do so, I want to hope that there will be time enough for someone to read these poems aloud for everyone to hear – hopefully again and again. One of them treasures his book on its earlier pages, “My Tongue My Culture”; the others, more toward the mid-section: “Doves in the Sky”, “The Pillars of Peace”, “Let Me Speak My Scars” and later in this notable book, “Beautiful Petals”. Obviously, I can’t and won’t manipulate the time allotted for your event, and will, therefore, only give you a poem by Kolade through which I got to meet him. I will always cherish that time.WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUY PEACE?
I sit on a mammoth mountain
Holding the map of a nation
Stare at map with fondness
While I savour the smell of peace
But mood wouldn’t be retained for long;
Map suddenly bleeds
Blood flows like the Red Sea
Children’s tears deafen my ears
Adults wail in agony
Brutality and cruelty kill without ceasing.
Peace is sick in Syria
Should we call violence to treat?
Love is jailed in Syria
Should we employ hatred to defend?
Humanity is assaulted in Syria
Should we call inhumanity to Judge?
Death is thief in Syria
Should we call Deaths to arrest?
War is a whore
It seduces death to be its lover
While being engaged to catastrophe.
Confusion parties within me
Violence must halt
But certainty of identity
of the STOPPER
How can peace be so costly
When all we need to purchase is love?
An example of what he offers in the face of the prominent tribal mentality among the world leaders at large, isn’t it?
I promise, these will be my last words (for this event) – words that Kolade Olanerwaju’s poetic power practically gave me the insight to write about his book: Is creative writing a learning objective or an innate quality, constitutes an age-old question. With Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, the answer is multi-faceted, as his poetry eases the reader to a phenomenon of rare talent and impeccable ability in self-teaching. No ordinary evaluation criteria will do. [My own words from The Light Bearer] Thank you all for listening, Thank you, dearest Kolade, for mediating my words through what I am sure to be an utmost lovely reading voice. Continued success to you, dear young friend!