The maiden edition of Spoken Words, Arts and Poetry (SWAAP) Awards is one campus event that’ll go down in the annals of history with sweet memories. Held on a cool evening on the 14th of April in the city of Ibadan at Lead City University, an enviable citadel of learning that has produced a number of successful individuals in different walks of life, the audience was thrilled by beautiful performances of emerging young poets and future music icons from different universities within and outside Ibadan including Poetrique, Miidiana, Nwachuckwu, Teeveedee, Ollyb, Kingdc, All Well, Oracle, Kemistry, Ace of Leigh, Fr33zinPaul, Jhargo’le Kush and a host of others.
After the DJ had blasted some of the local reigning singles to calm, as it were, the nerves of the invited guests while they waited for the real deal, the event opened with the recitation of the national anthem and a short welcome speech from one of the organizers and chief hosts, Usman Lawal, a final year student of Performing Arts and Culture. In his opening remarks, he appreciated the presence of everyone that created time to be at the event. He educated his audience on the essence of the awards ceremony, its core values and future plans. He also revealed the special packages attached to two distinct categories of the awards—Face of SWAAP and Miss SWAAP. For Face of SWAAP, he said it was created to give back to charity and the winner would be aided to fly an NGO on the girl child education. For Miss SWAAP, he explained that the winner would be automatically qualified to contest for Miss Tourism, Oyo and would feature on a number of media platforms like Nigezie, Efiwe TV and Inside Plus Magazine.
The first set of awards in the categories of Spoken Word Recording of the Year, Best Student Spoken Word Artiste, Fine Art Category, Best Use of Social Media by Start Up and Student Photographer of the Year was ushered in by great musical performances from Miidiana, Teeveedee, Ollyb and amazing spoken word renditions from Poetrique, Nwanchukwu, Oracle, Emeka and Kemistry who slammed it all with her ‘Aremu’ love poem. The second set of awards in the categories of Best Campus Blog, SWAAP Next Rated, Best Poetry/Writer of the Year, Best Student Poet, Promising Artiste on Campus, Special Recognition, Best Campus OAP, SWAAP Hall of Fame and Best Campus TV was ushered in with performances from Kingdc, All Well, Sultan, Enap, Jhargo’le Kush, Ace of Leigh, Fyme, Jamzy Boyz, Zobo and a spoken word rendition from Fr33zinPaul who stole the show completely with his hit poem ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’.
When we caught up with some of the winners, they all expressed how they felt, extended their gratitude to the organizers and stated the improvements they desired in subsequent editions.
Charles Melinda, winner of Campus Trend TV said ‘We won the best campus TV of the year 2017. We came all the way from Ado Ekiti and it was fun all through from the journey down to locating the school and even being here at the awards itself. I want to say it’s a very good starting point for SWAAP awards and all they just need is to keep the uniqueness and the creativity real. That is all we need in Nigeria. I wasn’t expecting the awards sincerely speaking. The whole process was done through voting and we were just invited to be at the event. Another thing that got us the award, I think, is our creativity. Over the years, we’ve been very creative with content. So, we say a big thank you to SWAAP Awards for this beautiful gift’.
Akomolafe Israel said ‘I won the awards for Best Campus Blog. My blog is about entertainment, gossip, music… just all round entertainment. Honestly, I wasn’t even expecting the nomination. I just got the mail that I had been nominated. That’s how it all started. SWAAP awards is a nice initiative. They are coming up with great things. I just want to advise them to keep doing what they are doing because the sky is not even their limit. God bless SWAAP awards’.
Fr33zinPaul, the poet who stole the show bore it all when we spoke with him about his poem ‘When you Love a Woman’. He said ‘I am in a relationship and my girlfriend’s name is Precious. When I started dating her, I never really liked her because she was not up to my standard. I had this high standard. If you remember, in my lines I said ‘’She might seem quiet and less exciting but a woman is a blessing to lessen the stresses and stresses…’’ You know it’s just like saying when you love someone, try to go deep. I’ve been there. I’m not saying the relationship would last because your loving a person isn’t a guarantee that it would. Love is deep. So, it’s a true life story.
‘For SWAAP Awards, I think it’s a very nice concept. If you notice, in schools nowadays, there is so much cultism and promotion of profanity. And I tell you that these shows are always massive. But SWAAP Awards is about discovering and celebrating talents in the universities. However, I would not want the awards to be restricted to spoken words. I want it to go round’.
Speaking on his expectations, he said ‘I always like to be honest. When I saw the category and came across a name—Kemistry Bakare, I was like oohh… (laughs). This is not the first time I would be nominated but I believe that I would win someday. So, keep hope alive’.
Usman Iyioma Lawal, in his closing remarks, appreciated everyone that had waited till the end of the show. He admitted that his team had noticed some lapses which they hoped to correct in subsequent editions. He also took some time to reveal his team’s future plans for the
awards which include attracting corporate sponsorship so that award winners could be rewarded monetarily. He added that they also had intentions of launching a mentorship programme for a period of time for award winners. This, he said, would be by connecting them and making them ‘down lines’ of professionals in those fields. This would really go a long way in helping their career while they were still in school.
Furthermore, he seized the opportunity to thank his co-founder Odulami Akanni Olajide, Ajibogu Mayowa and other members of his team. He extended his appreciation to the H.O.D of his department, Performing Arts and Culture, Mrs Anjola Robin for pressing the right buttons so that they could use the school hall for free. He also thanked the CEO of Explicit Dance Group, Mr Laolu Ogunniyi and Mrs Bukola Okedara, one of their backbones. He said she sent things across to them all the way from Canada so that the event could hold.