Folklore, African Rhythms in Ndukwe Onuoha’s Spoken Word


Yinka Olatunbosun

One may liken the refreshing seaside breeze to the sweeping feeling that cut through while one listens to the bubbly words of poetry by Ndukwe Onuoha, an award-winning creative director and spoken word poet.

Though he enjoys being a wordsmith, he had groomed his turf in advertising, flying high across the Nigerian borders.

In 2019, he was in South Korea as a member of the jury for the 2019 edition of AD STARS advertising festival.

A professional who works as a copywriter, Onuoha is undeterred by daily struggles to creating rich poetic content.

Recently, he launched his latest album, “Nwa Chukwu” which is largely inspired by his Igbo identity as well as his own journey to self. His style has been described as one that ‘fuses a unique conversational delivery with traditional and modern instrumentation to deliver poetry that is accessible, relatable and at once punchy.’

Take ‘Genesis’ for example, the style is primarily narrative, evoking the indigenous folkloric tradition. The poet paints the mental imagery of a tree- a family tree- representing life, growth, continuity or reproduction to project the contradictions in the various chapters of life. Additionally, he spices the poetry up with slices of personal belief in the existence of God or a supernatural being that is an embodiment of love.

Deeply emotional, the spoken word is gracefully accompanied by the soothing vocals from Maka, with afro-centric motifs as graphics for the video. Indeed, the visual is a whole art meal, with artistic dressings as well as biblical allusions well-suited for its metaphoric message.