Archive | March, 2015


6 Mar




5 Mar

I must have been driving at full speed because I got there in less than ten minutes. I needed to get a parking space inside the venue. All my rush was in vain. the parking lot was already full. First cue of what kind of night it would but didn’t realize it then. I anticipated a good turn out but I was not prepared for the actuality.

As the crowd gentle trickled in, anticipation was ripe as ‘ole’ friends link up and meet and greet with wide smiles an bear hugs. The early bird audience was treated to cocktail of rhythm from Ombala (hope I got the spelling right) and the band. We were served the rich sounds of the African continent, fused with what sounded like Indian folk. All of this was sautéed with the happy voices of chatter and laughter, like a music bed below the band. You couldn’t help but feel and acknowledge that you were in the right place. The beauty, magical mist and soulful spirituality in the music which swept across the excited crowd, was a perfect prelude to the exciting night that lay ahead.

A beaming Owen Blakka Ellis signing a patron's book

A beaming Owen Blakka Ellis signing a patron’s book

All rocked to the Riddim, and there was the obvious answer to the Riddle of who or what was able to bring together such calibre of talent, intellect, influence and creativity in one place….Owen Blakka Ellis and the launch of his book “Riddim & Riddles”.

As I listened to speaker after speaker, reader after reader, I felt chills of inspiration; saw souls of the anonymous and the mind of prolific pen. The launch was filled with an exciting mix of entertainment, From the powerful choral reading done by talented group of young theatre professionals, to individual readings by some of the nations’ most popular literary icon such as Oku Onuora and First lady of theatre Leonie Forbes – all handpicked by the man of the hour. The performers took the words of the poems and painted images on canvass seen by the mind’s eye; made music that induced uncontrollable movements of laughter; told stories that captivated the audience and stained their minds with irremovable memory. The collage of emotions evoked by the poetry flooded the large gathering as every spect-actor hung on to every spoken word. I thought to myself, there is nothing like the power of words. Therapeutic. Entertaining. Reflective. Insightful. Explanatory. Relaxing. Energizing. Engaging.

The atmosphere lacked ‘air’. It felt and smelt real. Packed with genuine people with a genuine love and support for a man who has brought joy and laughter to many; inspire some and mentored some. The harmony of the mix of people was a perfect orchestra splintered cohesively across the space. This launch was all about loving the lover of words. It won the hearts of many as almost everyone walked away with a copy of a book.

As Blakka recounted stories after stories about his love for words, I couldn’t help but think that EVERY child should read; not should, MUST read as part of their early development. You can’t help but feel that an event of this nature must held more frequently.

Riddim & Riddles was a launch with a difference. I am happy I got to consumed it all from beginning to end. Congratulations Owen Blakka Ellis and Blue Moon Publisher on the success of this well planned, executed and tasteful event.