Title: Asabi Alakara
Poet: Akeem Lasisi
Timing: 7:42 minutes
Directed by: Sanjo Adegoke
Reviewer: Olutayo Irantiola
Campaigns against sexual harassment, rape and other feminine associated vices are raving issues of the moment .In order to add a creative twist to the campaign, Akeem Lasisi, the award winning poet who fuses both Yoruba and English languages into all his performances, has come up with an ethno-poetic-musicology tagged “Asabi Alakara”.
Masculine gimmicks were demystified in this new piece. As characteristics of Lasisi, the poem is a fusion of dance, music and verses that has made him evolve another mode of poetry that is distinct from those of Lanrewaju Adepoju, Olatunbosun Oladapo and Ogundare Foyanmu genre as he instructs in danceable tunes.
Some of the cultural elements in the video include the playing of ayo olopon, the game typically played by men to relax; bata drums; the traditional kitchen which symbolises where the good delicacies are prepared and also pretty ladies plaiting their hair to bring out their beauty.
The various ladies depicted to be at risk of sexual harassment in a very subtle manner are hawkers, students, female members of a religious congregation while the baits include money; examination grades cum extra tutorial classes and special anointing. These objects have driven many people in perdition. However, the list is not exhaustive but it instructs everyone adequately.
The Yorubas are known for speaking in parables because it is unfolded by the wise and this was evident in the video. Animals used to carry the import of the narration are the Tortoise which is always associated with corny spells; the hawk which preys on the chicken; the squirrel that escapes from the pellets of the hunter. The poetry is full of post-proverbial sayings making it the poems full of contemporary vibes.
Kudos to team that made it happen, the Director, Sanjo Adegoke; the folklorist, Edaoto Agbeniyi, Ropo Ewenla and others for putting together a nice performance that the Yorubas can gladly call theirs and to the songbird, Akeem Lasisi, may your wisdom not wane.
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria