Can Spoken Word Poetry Steal the Spotlight? Titilope Sonuga’s ‘Open Lagos’ Makes a Case

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On December 17th, amidst the festive frenzy of Lagos’ “Detty December,” a different kind of event unfolded – Open Lagos. This renowned showcase of spoken word poetry and live music, spearheaded by the multifaceted artist Titilope Sonuga, returned to its Nigerian roots after a string of sold-out shows across the globe.

Open Lagos is more than just a performance; it’s an immersive experience, an odyssey for the senses that began the moment you stepped into that dimly lit, anticipation-thick venue. Sonuga, known for her captivating role as “Eki” in Ndani TV’s Gidi Up and her viral Heritage Bank ad, graced the stage with verses and a honeyed voice that evoked laughter, tears, and profound introspection in equal measure (all before intermission, mind you).

This wasn’t a one-woman show, though. Joining her was a carefully curated ensemble of musical virtuosos. Canadian Afro-fusion band Melafrique brought pulsating rhythms and fiery energy, while the Nigerian Perfect4th String Ensemble added a touch of classical elegance. Surprise guest appearances further enriched the experience, with each artist sprinkling their unique magic onto the evening.

The real MVPs, though, were Titilope’s longtime collaborators. Naomi Mac, a powerhouse vocalist and finalist on both Nigeria Idol and The Voice Nigeria, captivated the audience with her soulful voice. Guitar-god Femi Leye’s enthralled the audience with his talent and skill, while internationally renowned singer-songwriter Falana lent his signature blend of smooth vocals and poetic lyricism. Their combined talent transformed the stage into sonic magic, leaving the audience mesmerized and yearning for more.

Open Lagos wasn’t just a concert; it was a cultural revolution. This showcase demonstrated the captivating power of spoken word poetry and proved that this often-overlooked art form can hold its own against the Afrobeats juggernauts and hip-hop headliners. It showed that Lagos, that city of a million hustles, also has a beating heart for the poetic, the profound, and the beautifully unexpected.

Open Lagos is an invitation to open your mind and senses to the beauty that unfolds when words and music intertwine. It’s a call to seek out experiences that nourish the soul and to discover the hidden gems in Lagos’ art scene that lie beyond the glitz and glamour of conventional entertainment. If the whispers of “Open Lagos” reach your ears, do not hesitate—grab your ticket, your open mind, and your dancing shoes. This is an experience you won’t want to miss—a chance to see words become worlds and to be a part of something new, unique, and moving. Trust me, your soul will thank you. There’s more to life than just pepper soup and parties (though, let’s not knock those either). Open your ears to the poets, your heart to the music, and your mind to an unforgettable experience.

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