PRAISE OSAWARU FROM NIGERIA; TRIED AND INSPIRED

Praise Osawaru, tried and inspired.
Praise Osawaru, 20, is a Nigerian writer and (performance) poet of Bini Descent. He’s currently an undergrad at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He’s mostly fascinated by things atypical and/or containing speculative elements, but also dabbles in realism. Most of his works are inspired or drawn from his personal experiences, often mixed with some lies or altered truth. As the only boy child of his parents, he found solace in penning his thoughts and emotions, and it evolved into
something stunning. His works (poetry and prose) have appeared or are forthcoming in _African Writer, Afritondo, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, EroGospel, Feral, Kalahari Review, Perhappened Mag, Praxis Magazine, Serotonin,_ and elsewhere. He was also longlisted for _African Writers Award 2019_ and shortlisted in the _2019 Kreative Diadem Writing Contest_. He spends his time reading, binge-watching, writing, overthinking, or admiring nature. You can find him on
Instagram/Twitter: @wordsmithpraise.
Why do I write?
That question always frightens me, because people expect a profound reason as to why a person writes. I write for myself and anyone who finds solace in words. I write because it’s a medium in which I contentedly express and can be myself. I write because it helps unload my prickling thoughts and instills in me calmness and confidence. I write because I’ve experienced something, and sharing it could help others deal with their current situation and the unpredictability of life. I write because the voyage of life can be gloomy and writing is my torch with which I banish the flirtatious darkness. I write because it keeps me, my thoughts, and my memories alive.
Why was I inclined to submit to Babishai?
I’d heard about the Award from a friend, so when I saw the call for submission for this year, I asked myself, why not? I love to experiment with my writing; always looking to try new styles and forms. And I also love nature, so I decided to submit to _Babishai__ 2020 Haiku Award.
_I’m glad I did, and that I made the longlist.
My Process in Writing My Haiku?
Firstly, I read previously shortlisted works on _Babishai Haiku Award_, then I found an African Haiku Journal, _The Mamba_. I downloaded some issues and also read, to acquaint myself fully with Haiku (I previously thought it was just 5, 7, 5 but I learned it was beyond that). Then I
meditated.
Where I live in Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria, there are grasses in the environment. We even have some banana trees in our compound. And I often like to come out of my home, stare at the surrounding, and gaze at the sky when I’m ruminating. Mostly to get some air from excessive indoor
time.
So, I was outside on the porch, and it was windy. I saw the trees subjected to the blowing wind, and the idea was birthed. But I was also faced with not sounding cliché because a number of people have written about how the wind makes the tree dance. So I decided to use a different and unique language. “Song and musical” came to mind as a result of a musical I’d just watched. When you think about it; the trees reacting to the wind, it’s nature’s musical. It’s all about seeing things
atypically.
the wind plays
every tree sways to its song-
nature’s musical
What’s the future of African Haiku?
Looking at the history of the _Babishai Haiku Award_ and the shortlisted works, I can say that Haiku has a place in Africa. Also, when I googled African Haiku and came across _The Mamba Journal_ I was amused. I mean, there are a lot of Haiku writers in Africa. And I believe we will keep
carrying the torch, and people will disbelieve that you can’t tell so much in little words. Eventually, this ‘traditional form’ will sound not-so-traditional.
How are we able to share this Haiku Experience with Nigeria and with
the world?
Well, there’s little motivation for Nigerian writers to engage in Haikus. I believe if there were more platforms and literary bodies and contests promoting Haiku in Nigeria, we would be able to share the
experience with everyone.
But, for now, social media is a tool with which we can reach thousands of people, and share our Haikus with the world.

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