TOP 50 CONTEMPORARY POETS WHO ROCKED NIGERIA IN YEAR 2017



The year was that of revelations and new direction for most Poets. One fact was however obvious; Nigerian Poets are taking their place in mainstream entertainment. We want to appreciate everyone who stood by EGC all these years, especially as regards #EGCtop50 annual rankings. We were not able to respond to most mails on this current nomination: please note we appreciate your belief in us. 

It’s going to be 7 years since we are doing this, and we appreciate the fact that many more people/organizations are taking cue from what we are doing by coming up with awards/lists in literary circles, hence we guess there is no more need for explanations: If you want to know how this ranking was made read our Call for Nominations. To know how this idea began Check 2012 List. To read immediate past edition Click. There is just little adjustment this year: only 10 names were accepted for each category and we focused more on nominations from supposed poetry promoters. Nominations containing only names of poets who sent them were not counted.

HONOURARY MENTIONS
The nominations this year contained names of Poets who were above 50 years age benchmark for this ranking; unfortunately we can’t count them. They are Eriata Oribhabor, B. M. Dzukogi, Amu Nnadi, Akeem Lasisi, and Tade Ipadeola. An under 50 Poet, Enigmatic Olumide Bisiriyu was also removed from the list because of involvement with #EGCtop50 collations. Before the list, let’s take a look at Top entries for each category:


A. PAGE POET OF THE YEAR: 
Romeo Oriogun



Top 5 Poets in this category are:

1. Romeo Oriogun
2. Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
3. Obari Gomba
4. Graciano Enwerem
5 Bash Amuneni

Other Poets in Top 10 are (6) Saddiq Dzukogi, (7) Taofeek Aswagaawy, (8) Adeyemi Adedayo Agarau, (9), Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, and (10) Jide Badmus.


B. SPOKEN WORD POET OF THE YEAR: 
Dike Chukwumerije
 

Top 5 Poets in this category are:

1. Dike Chukwumerije
2. Graciano Enwerem
3. Toby Abiodun
4. Paul word
5. DONNA the Poet

Other Poets in Top 10 are (6) Efe Paul Azino, (7) Fr33zin Paul, (8) Adigun Olushola Clinton, (9) Bash Amuneni, and (10) Sage Has.son.


C. POETRY PROMOTER OF THE YEAR: 
Kukogho Iruesiri Samson aka KIS


Top 5 Poets in this category are:


1. Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
2. Dike Chukwumerije
3. Rudolf RuddaPoet
4. Ayokunle Komson Komolafe
5. Paul Word

Other Poets in Top 10 are (6) Graciano Enwerem, (7) Olulu, (8) Su’eddie Vershima Agema, (9) Torpedo Mascaw, and (10) Efe Paul Azino.





D. CROSS OVER POET OF THE YEAR: 
Kola Onifoto aka Kolapo Orowale




Top 5 Poets in this category are:

1. Kola Onifoto (Kolapo Orowale)
2. Dike Chukwumerije
3. DONNA the Poet
4. Victor Adewale
5. Kukogho Iruesiri Samson

Other Poets in Top 10 are (6) Edaoto Agbeniyi, (7) Biokpo Joshua West, (8) John Chizoba Vincent, (9) Adeyemi Adedayo Agarau, and (10) Omoawe.



Finally, let’s go to the Top 50 Contemporary Poets Who Rocked Nigeria in year 2017. We prefer to call them the digital age Poets though, and they are:

TOP 50:

50. Dami Ajayi
49. Joy Nnebuogo Nwanokwa aka JYC
48. Clemency Green  
47. Saint Rhymes Solomon 
46. Servio Gbadamosi
45. Timileyin Gabriel Olajuwon
44. Omoawe
43. Kemistree
42. Arch Angel
41. Charlee
40. Pariolodo (Kolade Falade)
39. Gemini Yusuf Balogun (Thespian)
38. Soul’e Rhymez 
37. Samurai
36. Kanyinsola Olorunnisola
35. SunSam Paul
34. Jide Badmus
33. Ajijola Habeeb Da Beloved.
32. Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom 
31. Andrew Patience 
30. Fr33zin Paul
29. Rasaq Malik Gbolahan (RMG)
28. John Chizoba Vincent
27. Victor Adewale 
26. Edaoto Agbeniyi
25. Rez Da Poet
24. Olulu
23. Su’eddie Vershima Agema 
22. September Poet
21. Taofeek Aswagaawy

TOP 20:

20. Biokpo Joshua West



He was not rated on this list last year.  Biokpo Joshua is a Poet, Actor, and Bouncer based in Rivers state. He was mentioned in nominations for some past editions but never made top list until now. His crossing into Nollywood film industry probably contributed to the upturn. From nominations received, he was rated number 7 Cross Over Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


He was not rated on this list last year.  Biokpo Joshua is a Poet, Actor, and Bouncer based in Rivers state. He was mentioned in nominations for some past editions but never made top list until now. His crossing into Nollywood film industry probably contributed to the upturn. From nominations received, he was rated number 7 Cross Over Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.





19. BankHALL (aka Bankole Kolawole)
 

He was rated number 44 on this list last year. BankHall may well be regarded as a restless individual who is beginning to identify his “call” in poetry promotion. He did well in hyping both established and upcoming Poets in the outgone year. He also held his “SOS” Slam for the second consecutive year. He is also a page and stage poet who is based in Lagos, but travels inter-state to attend literary events. From nominations received, he didn’t make Top 10 in any of the four categories, but he was mentioned a lot of times.




18. Adigun Olushola Clinton





He was rated number 45 on this list last year. Solar Speaks, as he is fondly called may well qualify as one of the spoken word Poets with highest stage performance rate in the outgone year. He identified his audience as the church and explored it well, performing around different denominations in South West Nigeria, and gaining ground even more than many secular Poets, all the way from his base in Ogun state. From nominations received, he was rated number 8 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


17. Ayokunle "Komson" Komolafe


He was rated number 13 on this list last year. The CEO of Komsons studios, Lagos, was busy promoting Poets all through year 2017. When his Vivid Verses radio show on Metro FM was stalled in the year, he kept pushing for other avenues to continue his poetry promotion till he found Silverbird TV. He has a whatsApp group for all artists that ever featured on his show. From nominations received, he was rated number 4 Poetry Promoter in Nigeria for year 2017.




16. Obari Gomba



He was rated number 30 on this list last year. Obari Gomba (PhD) is an Honorary Fellow in Writing of the University of Iowa, USA. He was adjudged winner of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Poetry Prize 2017, with his poetry collection ‘For Every Homeland’. He is a Poet, and playwright, who teaches in the Department of English Studies at the University of Port Harcourt. From nominations received, he was rated number 3 Page Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.
 
 

15. Kola Onifoto (aka Kolapo Orowale)

 
 He was not rated on this list last year. Kolapo Orowale is Nigerian Navy personnel with a very strong social media presence. He is a multi-gifted fellow; Poet, photographer, fiction writer, singer, and probably qualifies to be a comedian with his often funny pieces online. Though many await his music to “blow”, it could be said that his photography “blew” in year 2017. In writing, he however dwelt more on prose than poetry in the out-gone year. From nominations received, he was rated number 1 Cross Over Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


14. Adeyemi Adedayo Agarau


He was rated number 7 on this list last year. He is an all-round artist; a page and stage poet, a documentary photographer, a singer, and probably an actor.  The author of “For Boys Who Went’ is now known as one of the most dominant creative voices in the City of Ibadan, especially with his “Walls of Ibadan” documentary. From nominations received, he was rated number 9 Cross Over Poet and number 8 Page Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


13. Torpedo Mascaw
  
He was rated number 24 on this list last year. Torpedo is still regarded as king of freestyle when it comes to spoken words. Though his Freedom Hall show via his Freedom record label was not as pronounced as it used to be, he held ones with remarkable high profile artists’ attendance in the year and complemented that with being an impressive judge at poetry Slams. From nominations received, he was rated number 9 Poetry Promoter in Nigeria for year 2017.


12. Saddiq Dzukogi 



He was not rated on this list in previous year. Saddiq is a page Poet, son of one of Nigeria’s older literary figures. From his base in Niger state, he got published in various international journals. At home, he was involved with poetry promotion. And around the country, he is regarded as one of the most dexterous page poets. From nominations received, he was rated number 6 Page Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.



11. Toby Abiodun

He was rated number 50 on this list in previous year. Toby is a spoken word Poet whose base in Delta State didn’t deter him from traveling around the country to contest in Slams. He was a runner-up at ALS Slam in Abuja, winner of SOS Slam in Lagos, and came finalist in WoW6 Slam in Lagos. He is rumored to be one of the Poets who are most proficient with the use of pun. From nominations received, he was rated number 3 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


TOP 10:

10. Sage Has.Son
 

He was rated number 5 on this list last year. Sage may no longer be eligible for this list in coming years, because of age, but the premiere Poet who resides in Abuja remains the most respected spoken word Poet in Nigeria. Of honors he got that. Of words, he is the don. Of relationships, he remains connected. The year so far has been a balanced one for him, he continued to grace high profile events, yet encouraging people who hold smaller events. Many Poets who attended ‘War of Words 6’ in Lagos will not forget his surprise attendance and words of encouragement towards the end of the year. From nominations received, he was rated number 10 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


9. Efe Paul Azino
 

He was rated number 3 on this list last year. Efe is regarded as one of the most dominant spoken word Poets in Nigeria, all the way from his base in Lagos. Little wonder, for a while he has been one of the go-to Poets when firms/international interests search for spoken word artists in Nigeria or when they need someone to either help host an event or help shoot poetry videos. Though there was not much noise about his “Lagos Literary festival” like in the previous year, he held it successfully and continued to be one of the few who actually earn income from poetry in Nigeria. From nominations received, he was rated number 10 Poetry Promoter and number 6 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


8. Romeo Oriogun
 

He was not rated on this list last year. The Federal Road Safety Corps personnel’s inclusion in Brunel University African Poetry Prize shortlist was not a surprise. But his winning the prize stunned many. He tasted his first bitter pills of stardom when many who didn’t like his theme came at him. Yet that didn’t stop the new opened door of invitations and readings all around the country that he got. He was however silent for the most parts of remaining part of the year, yet many rate his poetry high and eagerly wait for his poetry collection to be published. From nominations received, he was rated number 1 Page Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.
 
7. Rudolf RuddaPoet Adidi



He was rated number 17 on this list last year. Rudolf Adidi aka RuddaPoet is an emerging spoken word Poet and poetry promoter based in Jos. He co-authored a poetry collection (83:03:17), raised funds through spoken word poetry by organizing Oil of Peace for victims of Southern Kaduna crisis. His ‘Guts of gods’, started in 2016 was taken to as far as Bauchi in 2017.  He won JOGAMA (Jos Gospel Arts and Music Awards) for the second year running as Best Spoken Word Artiste.  Rudolf co-founded Jos Poetry Slam to help give spoken word Poets a voice and it helped in no small way to promote the art in his location. Finally, he dropped an audio album titled ‘Handwriting’, which is currently considered as one of the best spoken word albums in Nigerian poetry circles by many fans. From nominations received, he was rated number 3 Poetry Promoter in Nigeria for year 2017.


6. Paul Word


He was rated number 36 on this list last year. A student, Paul is currently one of the most dexterous Slam Poets in Nigeria. He traveled far and wide the country, at some times winning Slams and at other times causing scare for the eventual winner. While back to base in Benin city he either staged poetry shows or helped to stage one. He also promotes poetry with his kulikuli.com and is fast becoming someone to emulate by younger Poets. From nominations received, he was rated number 5 Poetry Promoter and number 4 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


5. Bash Amuneni



He was rated number 37 on this list last year. His book, ‘There is a Lunatic in every Town’ is considered as one of the most successful poetry collections in the out-gone year. He held the poetry community by her neck, right from the beginning of year 2017, choking her with his presence. This performance and page Poet based in Abuja was nearly everywhere in Nigeria’s digital and literary space with his book. He was also seen on TV many times, got newspaper reviews, and participated in Slam as a judge. He is however not a novice to the poetry world; he was one of the first spoken word Poets to ever be invited by Nigerian politicians for inauguration of a president. Bash is an Architect turned banker. From nominations received, he was rated number 9 Spoken Word Poet and number 5 Page Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.




4. DONNA the Poet



She was rated number 9 on this list last year. Donna Ogunaike, aka DONNA the Poet, is a Lagos based Poet who is seen as a mother figure by many younger Poets across the country. She readily makes herself available to help and advice younger ones, even without being asked. The energy lawyer is a partner in her firm but created time for self to perform at high profile events in the outgone year. She began the year with her 'Strelizia' show that was a massive success. Later in the year she and her Poedo productions crew were among 15 groups invited from all over the world to perform at a festival in Hong Kong. She is by far the most compelling female voice in Nigerian poetry scene in year 2017. From nominations received, she was rated number 5 Spoken Word Poet and number 3 Cross Over Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


3. Graciano Enwerem
 

He was rated number 1 on this list last year. Graciano is a witty Poet who is quick to ‘punish’ with words. The Port Harcourt/Owerri Poet was, as always, in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, performing poetry, though he is currently serving as a corps member in middle belt of Nigeria. He once contested in a Slam, though he was only a runner up, he came home with even higher financial rewards than the winner, with people dishing out money to him for his dexterity. His Figures of speech online forum continues to grow to the admiration and pride of many younger poets. And when you talk about influence among younger poets, especially those who are still learning, his influence is in no small measure. From nominations received, he was rated number 6 Poetry Promoter, number 4 Page Poet, and number 2 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


2. Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (KIS)

He was rated number 4 on this list last year. He is a page Poet who also writes fiction and almost clinched the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) prose prize 2017. Apparently, no contemporary poet is yet to catch up with his feat in publishing. Also, in poetry promotion he is known as one of the most formidable personalities. But he didn’t stop at the level of acquiring fame, he kept showing his poems online and appearing at events organized by others; he was once on a trip from Abuja to Enugu to be the only judge that appeared for PIN student poetry prize, thankfully, as other judges couldn’t make it. And to wrap up the year, he held his 3rd WRR Literary Festival in Ibadan, all the way from Abuja, with a massive audience in attendance. From nominations received, he was rated number 5 Cross Over Poet, number 2 Page Poet, and number 1 Poetry Promoter in Nigeria for year 2017.
 

1. Dike Chukwumerije





He was rated number 2 on this list last year. Probably, he is the most impressive and innovative Poet in Nigeria since 2016; he invented the first successful Poetry-show franchise in Nigeria. The ‘Made In Nigeria’ show traveled father than the Abuja where it started in year 2016 with shows in Lagos, Enugu, Benin, Ile-Ife, before coming back to rest in Abuja in year 2017. He is also known to be a very impressive page Poet and one of the promoters of Abuja Literary Society (with ALS Slam). His most impressive feat might just be being able to take poetry into drama and back into poetry, telling tales of Nigeria with it, many times making sold out concerts, while he campaigns for ‘Simply Poetry’; eventually crowning it with an invitation to speak at Nigerian Economic summit 2017. From nominations received, he was rated number 2 Cross Over Poet, number 2 Poetry Promoter, and number 1 Spoken Word Poet in Nigeria for year 2017.


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THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME
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Comments

  1. Beautiful work.

    So I am number 28

    Thanks to all those who voted me.

    Stay blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cheers to all those who made it!

    I would have voted Dike number one anytime! Also, Efe Paul Azino deserves (better) recognition for his Lagos Poetry Festival. I know it what it takes to get something like that going. Younger poets like Blessing Egwiji and Valentine Ogunna deserve some mention too.

    Well done EGC team.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats to all the winning poets esp KIS, Jide, Adedayo, Gemini, Kola, Efe Paul. More Grace in 2018. kudos!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations guys!
    Keep the Art alive

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  5. Congratulations to all the poets who made it to this prestigious list. Many more in 2018. I would vote Dike Chukwumerije anytime. More grace to EGC.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ...that words may be forever hallowed!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Please do check out a "Philip Asaya". He is in my opinion one of the best spoken word poets in Nigeria.

    ReplyDelete

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