Huwa on Pachagazine

Huwa on Pachagazine

With her magical and tuneful voice she is not only taking over Nigeria but also the continent at large and not forgetting how she is marking her territories worldwide. On an exclusive with Pachagazine, Huwa, a dynamic poetry artist, takes us through her journey.

Pachagazine: How would you describe Huwa?

Huwa

Poetess/VOA

Huwa: My full name is Okoyomoh Odio Egbekhuwa alias Huwa.

 I would say Huwa is a creative born out of her dislike of mediocrity.

I didn’t even start bearing my first name until my second year in the university where I was studying chemical engineering. I found myself feeling tired and unfulfilled. Kinda ironic that I fell in love with an art form that people considered was dead or dying.

I decided to go with my first name like I created an alter ego. I have a fear of failure you see. And I thought to myself that if this ever failed then well, at least it’ll just be my alter ego and not me.

Now my alter ego is me. ~Huwa

I’m Nigerian. West African

As for my tribe, I’m mixed

My mother is from Akwa-Ibom state and my father is from Edo State.

I grew up in Lagos city, Nigeria

Pachagazine: You are currently a continental icon in poetry, Take us through your journey to be Huwa.

Huwa: I’m really happy that people value my work. I’ve been writing since 2015 and honestly It has been quite a journey.

When I first started, I had so much faith and confidence in my work, that I’d read fresh written pieces, unedited, to my friends. Anyone that would listen really.

I’d take them through all my poems for the week and write new ones in-between classes.

At the end of the first year, I got confident enough to start sending them out to be published

I wrote and applied to so many magazines, such that I lost count. I was rejected by all of them. I applied for years and it wasn’t until I had crossed the 150th rejection email that I stopped completely.

That’s when I switched to poetry on the stage.

I did all of that because it was a lot of fun. But a blow had been dealt to my ego.

So I was a lot more humble this time.

Struggled a lot with trying to get my content up on digital platforms.

I have a YouTube page, an Instagram page and a podcast.

It wasn’t until this year, when I started making content specifically for TikTok that I started doing a little decently

Pachagazine: How is stage poetry compared to written poetry?

Huwa: Well for one there are a lot of nerves with performance poetry, But the experience is worth while. It gives you a chance to tell your story better.

On a written page, there are just words and it’s up to the reader to decipher the emotions you were trying to convey.

But with performance poetry, especially considering that I am also a professional voice over artist, I can express anger, love, hurt, passion, desire.

It’s amazing what a single tear during a performance can do.

Performance poetry is a testament to, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.

Pachagazine: What else do you do apart from poetry?

Huwa: I have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering,

I am a professional Voice Over Artist (VOA). Been doing that for about 4 years

I also work as a creative producer in a digital marketing agency.

And I run a podcast

 Pachagazine: Tell us about your podcast

Huwa: It’s called The Spoken World Podcast and I started it in 2018.

At first, it was to explain to my audience the inspiration behind my spoken word pieces because a lot of people had asked me about it already.

But then, along the lines, I got a request from a listener in Ireland that he’d be interested in being a guest… And that’s when I thought why not invite other poets from different parts of the world.

And so I started, reaching out via Instagram DMs and cold emails to as many as 30people a day asking them to be guests on my podcast.

The podcast was fun and opened a lot of opportunities for me.

I hosted authors, poets and enthusiasts from all over the world.

The guest list included, Jason David Frank. The original green ranger from The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. The popular kids TV show.

Christine Leunens. The author of the book Caging Skies. The adaptation, Jojo Rabbit won the 2020 Grammy.

And Steven T. Seagle of Man of Action, the creators of the Ben 10, Generator Rex and Big Hero Six.

Pachagazine: Having experienced a hard time how would you help young poets finding the way into the industry?

Huwa: The goal is to convince brands and other industries that poetry can be used in their business.

Then create a platform for performance poets.

Possibly organize workshops and networking events digitally

Pachagazine: How can someone follow the podcast?

Huwa: It’s available on anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Just search The Spoken World Podcast or click the link in my bio on my social media platforms

Pachagazine: All your pieces are great but which one of your pieces would you stand with as your favorite?

Huwa: My favorite poem has always been “Please Stay” The poem up on my YouTube page.

It was one of the poems that got rejected over and over again

.

Pachagazine: Who do you look up to into poetry?

Huwa: Rudi Francisco, Sophia Thakur.

Pachagazine: Where have you performed? What was your favorite venue?

Huwa: I have performed around Benin city and Lagos.

My favorite was Landmark Center, Victoria Island Lagos 2017.

I performed on stage among other amazing celebrities. DJ Cuppy, Tiwa Savage and Bovi was the host.

It was a night to remember.

Pachagazine: Do you think poetry is taken seriously in the continent?

Huwa: No

Pachagazine: Have you done any duets? Which poet/poetess would you most likely want to work with?

Huwa: I’ve done a lot of duets but mostly with singers. I would like to work with Simply Sayo from IG. One of the few Nigerian poets (though based in the UK) making content for digital platforms.

And she’s great so.

Pachagazine: If given a chance what would you change in the poetry industry in Nigeria?

Huwa: (Laughs). There is NO poetry industry. Why don’t we start from there.

The major poets in Nigeria are form small communities. Poets meet and do some slam poetry that is quite significant. But still keeps it very niche.

Pachagazine: How do you come up with a duet what’s the process like?

Huwa: Well it’s a lot like feeling the vibe.

I see an open verse, jump on it, Have fun. Sometimes it works out and I publish it. Other times it sounds horrible.And I still publish it.

Pachagazine: How can people find you on social media?

Social Handles

Instagram: I am Huwa

Twitter: @IamHuwa

Youtube:

The Spoken World Podcast

Itunes: The spoken word podcast

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3 thoughts on “Huwa on Pachagazine

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