By Junaid Sharfadi
For many a century, poetry has been used as a veritable tool to pass on religious, historical and social ideas in northern Nigeria. In Kano, for instance, scholars during my grandad’s generation – and beyond – were good at deploying Arabic and Hausa poetic means when forming an opinion. Women and children too never missed an opportunity to ululate and chant poetic verses, laden with moral messages, when conveying a bride or in other occasions. The famous Charmandudu poem or the works of Sultan Bello, Aƙilu Aliyu, Nasir Kabara, Mudi Spikin, Asma’u Bint Fodio and Modibbo Kilo serve as an example.
Thus, Art and Culture enthusiasts and promoters like the late Abubakar Gimba or Professor Abdallah Uba Adamu would be delighted to see a literary fraternity sprouting from the fertile land of northern Nigeria, spreading its maturing branches across the country.
Poetic Wednesday Initiatives started six years ago as an online platform for poets to engage, grow, entertain and convey impactful messages every Wednesday. From agriculture to artificial intelligence, climate change, peace, conflict, education, love etc. the group writes on diverse, important issues.
The founders, led by Salim Yunusa, have succeeded in unleashing the full potentials of the weekly participants by critiquing and publishing their beautiful and virgin poems that drown readers into poemgasms. Budding poets have since joined to unbutton their poetic minds on marginless screens. No boundaries or limitations, just pure chutzpah and truth that reveal the primordial yet sacred content of the heart.
It is imperative to state that Poetic Wednesdays’ remarkable online presence has been effectively utilized in organizing webinars, competitions and workshops to fuel the passion for literature among youth. Prof. Hussein Nasr was right when he emphasized the significance of poetry in shaping Persian, Arab and Chinese societies. Therefore, with literally groups like PW, this society is on the right side of history.