‘I am everything you said a woman cannot be’
— Temmie Ovwasa.
Dreams are supposed to be larger, scarier than the one who inhabit them and maybe, it is the same with gifts. While this is a societal standard, one that has become accepted as a norm, how scary would it be to state that meeting Temmie Ovwasa was one of my numerous dreams come true?
A certain recipient of Temmie’s gift referred to her as ‘a fucking force of nature’ and I agree no less, she knows the truth is subliminal yet she give to us a bountiful dish of what the irregular society though forbade yet the inner human would come to agree to these things as a compass for happiness, peace and most importantly, a safe space.
Temmie Ovwasa, the YBNL Princess for me doesn’t fit into the definition of what a regular artiste is, she would refer to us as the recipients of her gift and I’d agree.
I wasn’t told of Temmie Ovwasa’s Unleashed, I was a witness to the birthing of a long, overdue bagful of truths from pregnant women and men, alike, walking around with bellies watered by rage, fear and more rage.
The truth that man and beast mingle, dine and wine together in this society is no longer part of the headlines, it is what we know.
Perhaps, this and more was why I was taken aback, finding a place as Temmie’s event pronounced as a safe space and getting to actually realise it is what it is, a safe place. Rebels would not go extinct, after all, Temmie took us on a spiritual ride and left us, asking for more.
Wikipedia would regard ‘a safe space as places created for individuals who feel marginalized to come together to communicate regarding their marginalization’ but even beyond that, Temmie successfully brought a tribe of strong, fierce women (mostly) who though abused over time would not lose the fireplace that was created in them, from inception.
Every woman in this society has been abused, in a way or the other, it's quite depressing how some beasts have single handedly created a realm of injured, bleeding, scarred women yet still find enough joy to tag it as a society, a tribe of many.
And even the highly placed intellectuals are found wanting in this circle of abusers, talk of using the right pronouns and actually revering a woman as a ‘Queen’ just as she really is, without having to bring up unnecessary attachments of ‘King’ for your sisters and girlfriends.
This conversation and more was what transpired in this gathering with Queen Temmie Ovwasa, with no one, not even a single person being left out in the timeliness of every single art and act.
I cannot be able to sufficiently detail my experience in a long note, nah, there’s no perfect way of retelling good things — you either be a witness or left to manage the crumbs, why miss a transit to re assurance, in the first place?
Getting to meet Ayodele Olofintuade, one enigma of words, craft and daringness (I cannot even begin to define Maami in a paragraph) would pass for fulfilment and funny how that was a mere inception of the iceberg ready to be unveiled and UNLEASHED!
Ayodele doubling as a multiple published author (one of which is Lakiriboto Chronicles) in a conversation with Syncity NG stated that she only write from a place of truth and I saw this truth for what it has always been, yesterday. I am still in awe over how so much energy and elements came to be in her poem ‘Omo Olokun’ and just like I said to her, I wouldn’t mind to re read and re listen to the work.
She sure threw everyone off balance with her ‘ex-plo-sion BOOM’ — this first meeting with Ayodele is enough to tell how much more a compendium of realities she signify and I cannot wait to read my autographed copy of Lakiriboto Chronicles and definitely publish a review around that, subsequently.
And we have the feminist dibia, Angel Nduka-Nwosu who got everyone on the edge of their seats with her powerful renditions.
Preaching acceptance of varying beliefs in her works yet validating the beauty in black bodies, she brought it closer to our faces as a Dibia that she claimed to be, with the gift of healing through words. And for a safe space that could equally pass for a room of gifts being exchanged with no hard emotions in place, I am certain every recipient in the gathering was part of a therapeutic ride, emanating from her words.
Beyond words, they could pass as invocations. And then, we have Sam Derry who was actually one of my favorites for the night — the after effect of his art still have me totally blown away. Man legit played his heart out; like star alignment, the guitar strings crisscrossing with his voice, that was and is still a memorable experience.
“…In the first version of this story, I’ll tell you to run. In the second version, I’ll tell you to have a knife, slit his throat. Soak him in an acid bath…for beasts are meant to disappear…”
The above is an excerpt from Chinwendu Nwangwa’s story session. She has carefully sewn sleek, bloody imagery into our minds, faces, souls yet pushing it to us even more that there’s no remorse for a wild animal who has (in himself) lost every iota of remorse the moment he chooses to oppress, abuse and suppress.
This is no home for beasts and it’s only right they return to the lightless, bottomless pits of whom they descended from.
It has been a while I listened to some good, engaging stories but from the voice to the body movements to the expression and even each fragment of the words was enough to get one drooling for more and more and more. I wouldn’t mind paying to see more of her in some storytelling session or so.
The performances I witnessed last night were cathartic in all forms, it was a space to purge the rage, pains, words without any body having to pass a judgement or tell where you should place your feet or not. Would I be able to succinctly encompass the enormous heaviness in the words of Adaeze Feyisayo?
Just like petrichor after some rainfall, I cannot easily get over the soul embracing yet kiss needle rendition by Chief Anyanwu, the lively rock moment stirred by Jaycie, the substance in the moment with Korede, that gentle travel into the virtual motion of falling waters by Lade Falobi or even, better still, the excellent Poshryna who obviously came up with enough soothing fire in her voice?
I cannot begin to tell, I cannot express nor retell the memories of Temmie Ovwasa’s Unleashed that is in my head — a looptape, I don’t think this is ever gonna end. Beauty, the one emanating from the raw, spiritual source is unending.
We found a home in Temmie Ovwasa’s shrine, a home one could averagely say doesn’t exist even in the every day buildings, sects and whatever these temples are referred to as.
I cannot begin to qualify the prowess of Temmie or quantify the weight of her craft upon us; everyone can tell when the rain is falling, by drops or by the colored skies, everyone can tell.
How can you resist magic that doesn’t stop hitting you? That was and is still the motion by which Temmie lurched into the rage, the art, the music, the bliss, the pains, the fears, the…the…the…
I have never been a fan of noise, so I rarely attend fiestas or concerts but for selected few like Segun Akinlolu, Brymo and their accomplices. I would not stop to say that any form of art that not only commodify but objectify women (mostly) as tools or objects is trash, noise and bullshit that should be sent to the farthest pit, in earnest.
Temmie shared with us a deeper part of her craft, something we've always experienced and yearned for more, ain't we just insatiable by even having to ask for more?
Well, we are humans and recipients of this gift possessed by Temmie, so why not? The YBNL Princess gave us a homely space for unorthodox, sincere conversations and even made us look past time when she swerved into her art.
Maybe this intimate session would be enough to make me walk behind a lady in the dark on some lonely street, without her having the fear of being molested.
Maybe this intimate session would be enough to separate the beasts, the scumbags, the fucktards from the human and just maybe, being a rebel here would not be a ticket to extinction. Women should not be safe with women alone, women should be safe everywhere.
A certain recipient who regarded Temmie as being worthy of every breath wasn't wrong, this is me re affirming that comment even more and louder.
And just in case you were gonna ask if the one who wrote this lengthy essay didn’t get to perform, well… I knelt before the queen, while sharing my art. And that was not just a performance, it was an act of worship, a rite of devotion.