Now in the sixth year, annual #EGCtop50 Contemporary Poets Who Rocked Nigeria is here again. The rating/figures were gotten via online survey. When we called for nominations (received in categories) of Poets people felt made impacts in the outgone year in Page Poetry, Spoken word Poetry, Poetry promotion, and Crossover of Poets into other art forms.
Please note we are not saying one Poet is better than the other in the ranking/rating. All we are saying is that, from nominations, this is how people who responded to the call for nominations felt they impacted Nigeria in the outgone year. To view #EGCtop50 for year 2015 please click
Before we go to the top 50, we appreciate everyone who responded to our call for nominations. You are the best. We also appreciate the Poets who are older than 50 that were given “Honourary mentions” in Nominations: Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, Eriata Oribhabor, and Tade Ipadeola.
We introduced something new in the list of all entries last year, the top 10 in each category. This year, we will just name Poets who topped each category as our Poets of the year.
POETS OF THE YEAR:
- Page Poet: Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
- Spoken Word Poet: Graciano Enwerem
- Poetry Promoter: Dike Chukwumerije
- Cross Over Poet: Sage Hasson
TOP 50 POETS WHO ROCKED NIGERIA IN 2016, according to accumulated points in number of nominations are as follows:
50. Toby Abiodun (The Writehand)
49. Neofloetry Edwina Aleme
47. Ken Ike (Slam Master)
46. Aj Dagga Tolar
45. Adigun Olusola Clinton
44. BankHALL (Bankole Kolawole)
43. Inioluwa Abiola (Iniabi)
42. Valentine Mbagu (Vabec)
41. Philip Asaya
40. Rez ThaPoet
39. Arc Angel (Airwick D'Angelo)
38. Taofeek Aswagaawy
37. Bash Amunemi
36. Paul Word
35. Uzo Nwamara
34. Ayoola Goodyness Olanrewaju
33. Andrew Patience
32. Osigwe Benjamin
31. Saint Rhymes Solomon
30. Obari Gomba
29. Mesioye affable Johnson
27. Hillary Uzomba (Hillarioux)
26. Maureen Alikor Berry (Purpleberry)
25. Aajijola Habeeb Da Beloved
24. Torpedo Mascaw
23. Luknan Dumbin (LDXXL)
22. James Ademuyiwa
21. Su’eddie Vershima Agema
20. Olamiposi Omoyele
Her strength lies in content development and project coordination. Omoyele rocked the year more for her writings online and with the promotion of Be Blessed Poetry event in Ibadan, all the way from Lagos. She is a much sought after fish who takes time in choosing the water she swims. From nominations received, Omoyele was rated number 3 Page Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
19. Edaoto Agbeniyi
A Poet cum singer who is always playful, he is an extra-ordinary talent who apart from rocking the year with his music got featured on Akeem Lasisi’s spoken word Poetry videos. He has also joined the growing population who promote budding Poets in Lagos. From nominations received, Edaoto was rated Number 6 Cross over Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
18. Foursyte Bogani
Poet, rapper and actor, Foursyte has always been known to stand in-between being a spoken word Poet and a rapper. He delved more into the latter this year and has a growing population of fans to show for it. The Port-Harcourt based Poet also ensured he traveled as far as he could in the year to promote his art. From nominations received, Foursyte was rated Number 4 Cross over Poet and Number 10 Spoken word Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
17. Rudolf Adidi RuddaPoet
He was said to have a thick voice that could melt a block of ice. He won ALS Slam this year. And that added to the things that made people like him. Yet he didn’t relent, performing all over the place, Abuja, Jos, et al and gaining recognitions. From nominations received, Rudolf was rated Number 6 Spoken word Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
16. Iquo DianaAbasi Eke
Some call her a goddess. The way she infuses African flavor into her Poetry performances will make you concur. The author of symphony of Becoming proved her stamina as both a page and a stage Poet all through the year. Her work as online news personnel also added feathers to her cap. From nominations received, Iquo did not make Top 10 in any of the 4 categories, but accumulation of points from nominations in all categories got her into Top 20.
15. Prestige Ifeanyi Bernard
His Poetry hang-out, ‘Expressit’ gave more Poets in Lagos an opportunity to express themselves. But the former BB Slam Champion also moved out of his comfort zone, performing in various shows in various states. The spoken word piece he did with Paul Word, ‘Death & Dreams’, was also a ‘hit’ in the year. From nominations received, Prestige was rated Number 8 Spoken word Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
14. Olulu Olumide Holloway
The convener of ‘War of Words Africa’ and ‘Wordup’ has big dreams and he was not afraid to dare. Though the big project he planned for the year did not get as big as expected he was consistent with the promotion he did all through the year. He is based in Lagos and has connection with many Poets all over the country. From nominations received, Olulu was rated Number 6 Poetry promoter in Nigeria for year 2016.
13. Ayokunle Komson Komolafe
His ‘Vivid Verses’ radio show in Lagos was probably the most consistent in the outgone year. He was also seen at many Poetry events, even when not officially invited, mingling with both budding and established Poets. He is one of the few who really know what they are doing in Poetry promotion and are making a slow and consistent run to the top. From nominations received, Ayokunle was rated Number 5 Poetry promoter in Nigeria for year 2016.
12. Victor Adewale (Veekthur LyricPoet)
Victor is a Singer, Poet and does Photography with his Techno phone, focusing mostly on silhouette shots. He traveled wide in the year and got involved in a lot of Poetry projects. But the most memorable one would be how he successfully executed his annual GoPoethick festival in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife Osun state, even when the school was on strike. From nominations received, Victor was rated Number 3 cross over and Number 10 Poetry promoter in year 2016.
11. Soonest Nathaniel
Soonest is not a new name in Nigerian Poetry circles. But many who follow what Spoken word Poets do will know he was instrumental to promotion of many via Naij Videos. He used his opportunity as a staff of the online media platform well, and many Poets knew he rocked with that. He is also a page and stage Poet whose steam remains hot. From nominations received, Soonest was rated Number 9 Poetry promoter in Nigeria for year 2016.
10. Enigmatic Olumide
He is a Poet, professional photographer and film maker. His movie, ‘Full Proof’ was premiered in October at Ibadan and the film whose focus is on a boy who entered in a street boxing championship in order to save his mother who was dying of cancer is expected on DVD before mid-2017. His resourcefulness is probably his biggest strength; he is known to always think up new ways of doing things and pioneering many things like the quarterly Poetry and sundry talent event in Ibadan, 31 days of Poetry to celebrate Nigerian Poets for a month annually, the first annual Poets ranking survey in Nigeria, etc. His written works has been featured in several anthologies and he has performed in all geo-political zones of Nigeria.
From nominations received, Olumide was rated Number 2 Cross over Poet and Number 7 Poetry promoter for year 2016.
9. Donna The Poet
Popularly known as the Queen of Spoken words in Nigeria, Donna remains a mother figure to many budding Poets in Nigeria. This was evident in the Master Class she organized in Lagos before the close of the year, ‘Perfecting The Mould’, with Poets coming from as far as Jos. She also produced a stage theatre earlier in the year that was a blend of spoken word Poetry into dramatic performance. The award winning oil and gas lawyer played in the big leagues, attending some of the biggest events at times as a guest, and at other times just to experience. She also did a number of public speaking and lectures at events organized by other people/organizations in the year.
From nominations received, Donna was rated Number 5 Spoken word Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
8. Samurai (Olayinka Samson Aremu)
Only few people know him as a rapper, Samurai is more known as a dexterous spoken word Poet. His Poetry video, ‘Ants Race’, was one of the few that ‘hit’ the Poetry world when year 2016 began. But the hard working young man did not stop there, he graced as many events as he can performing his poems and connecting with like minds. He also tried his voice in the Abuja ALS slam all the way from Lagos in his bid to explore more. He is also known to often move around with his girlfriend, Kemistree, reason why people call them ‘Poetry couple’, but they were not seen together too many times in the outgone year. There is however no cause for alarm.
From nominations received, Samurai was rated Number 4 Spoken word Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
7. Adedayo Adeyemi Agarau
Triple A as he is regarded is one of the emerging voices of Nigerian Poetry world. His story was one with a twist, when year 2016 began he was contemplating leaving spoken word and focusing on page Poetry. He could have, but for some friends; the end of the year saw him to be known as one of the strongest Poetry performers in the year. He also published his book, ‘For Boys Who Went’, before the year said goodbye. Adedayo is often called the ‘Ibadan Poet’ or ‘Quality Poets’, the first having a link with his walls of Ibadan photo documentaries and the latter being a blog he started few years ago.
From nominations received, Adedayo was rated Number 4 Page Poet and Number 10 Cross Over Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
6. Uche Uwadinachi
Poet, radio show producer and actor, Uche is a bundle of unique talents. He is one of the few who has always used their influence in secular jobs to connect and promote Poets. But his strength might just be his performance; he captivates the audience each time he grabs the microphone. Though playing a newscaster in Full Proof movie might not be the first time he would be acting, he showed he may just end up to be a movie producer in future. His delivery and coordination was impressive. His organization, Flames Media, continues to work in the background but never invincible in Lagos.
From nominations received, Uche was rated Number 6 Cross over Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
5. Sage Has.son
Nigeria’s premiere spoken word Poet showed neither age nor time can take the best ones away, just like that. He maintained his presence over the years, though trying to leave the spoken word Poetry scene. Aside his published books, one area Sage will cling to and utilize to the fullest might just be Film making. He was also seen on National TV acting in the year. Before now, he was rumoured to be delving into music and music promotion but the film/acting part hit a lot of people with surprise. His versatility and adaptability is reflective and worthy of emulation.
From nominations received, Sage was rated Number 1 Cross over Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
4. Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (KIS)
‘Restless and daring’ may just be the best words to describe this award winning Poet. He went to Ibadan, all the way from his base in Abuja and organized ‘Feast of Words’ – an event that was like a total package for the Poets who follow him, giving awards, books, interviews, and closing the show with a dance later at night. The CEO of WRR publishing outfit was also a lover of budding Poets, and this was evident in the way he promoted them all through the year, producing several books along the way. He also used his Authorpedia (online store) to promote works of various Poets.
From nominations received, KIS was rated Number 1 Page Poet and Number 2 Poetry promoter in Nigeria for year 2016.
3. Efe Paul Azino
When Vodka Company uses your image to promote their products upon entering Nigeria, you know you have attained a star status. Efe Paul Azino is among the few who can be said to be among Apex Poets in Nigeria. Little wonder, companies like Nigerian Breweries sponsored his annual Lagos Poetry festival successively. This revolutionary Poet has done well for himself by not over-exposing himself yet linking himself up with the high and mighty of our contemporary world. He is internationally known and spent a number of days outside Nigeria because of Poetry in the outgone year.
From nominations received, Efe Paul was rated Number 3 Spoken word Poet, and number 4 Poetry promoter in Nigeria for year 2016.
2. Dike Chukwumerije
His works include Abuja Literary Society activities and Simply Poetry. Dike Chukwumerije’s works in the outgone year is a sign that there is hope for Poetry in Nigeria. Having made sold out shows in Abuja, he came down to Lagos and did extra-ordinarily well with his Made in Nigeria concert for someone who is not based in Lagos. The infusion of theatre into his show was phenomenal. The 2012 National Poetry slam champion was always working, when not performing, writing, planning, making us to see more clearly that Poetry can actually put food on the table in Nigeria.
From nominations received, Dike was rated Number 1 Poetry promoter and Number 2 Spoken word Poet in Nigeria for year 2016.
1. Graciano Enwerem
Graciano was once described as a man who commands his following in unusual ways. He may be among the few in the world to ever enter a Slam, come out 3rd, yet earn money from the slam more than the winner of Slam. The Owerri and Port Harcourt based Poet was rumoured to achieve this feat at ALS slam in Abuja towards the end of the year. As a leader in Figures Of Speech online forum and Seaview Poetry Club, Graciano mentors a lot of people across Africa, and a contact with him will make you see he knows what he teaches in his workshops, online programs and radio open mics. He is a Poet, football coach, media consultant and Spoken word artiste.
From nominations received, Graciano was rated Number 1 Spoken word Poet, number 2 page Poet, and Number 3 Poetry promoter in Nigeria for year 2016.