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The Isaac Somto Foundation(Tisfoundation) was created to empower and impact innovative and creative indigenes within the Africa continent through writing, giveaways and other various means.

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We also give Africa writers a voice by showcasing their various write-ups, poems and articles.

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Articles 79%
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  • FreezinPaul's Glow In The Dark: This Is Not A Poem by Yusuf Balogun Gemini

    FreezinPaul's Glow In The Dark: This Is Not A Poem.

    Paul Njoku, popularly regarded as FreezinPaul is much more beyond your normal, average poet. It is not flattery when I claim this man needs to be celebrated for he has consciously or unconsciously broken the barriers of the art and set a limit of entertainment into poetry - breaking beyond your normal, rigid art taught in classes. Paul combines humor with expertise, the extremity he goes with wordplays and logical puns is something to chest out kudos for! As if that wasn't enough, he dropped a hit work of all times "Glow In The Dark" in 2017, particularly on his birth date.

    At the first listen, I knew there was something iconic and unusual about that work. Maybe the fact that I couldn't get my ears off it, no matter how hard I tried or the resounding truth that this work still seems fresh upon twenty listens in a night. Words have powers, we all should know that — words can make magic unfold but personally, I have never been a lover of motivational or inspirational talks. The anger that boils up in me whenever these people who most times never met in their early sphere of life yet come around and tell a striking, over fed cliche "If you want to do it, you can do it". Not all doors are meant to be opened, a simple fact discredited by motivational scholars. With this strong apathy borne out of nothingness in my mind, Paul's Glow In The Dark threw me off balance — it was much more than inspirational yet much heavier than a poem would be.

    Every work of art is created by a trigger (refer to as muse) but I'm sure what came over Paul while writing this piece was an unusual muse, one every scribe would actually wish to be possessed by even if it's once in their lifetime! Not many have this privilege, I don't know what happening or situational connection led to "Glow In The Dark" but I can bet the writer didn't foresee a poem coming on the way when he dusted his notes. For a work that might find it quite difficult to cut through a slam onto the next round, if literarily analyzed — might be found wanting of some necessary poetic - conjunctive devices yet unarguably evergreen, remain atop every other poetry productions yet in the same class or as the case might be, Glow In The Dark is a fire cracker! This is heavier than a poem yet lighter than art, this is more than a poem! This is true art! This is magic!

    While many argue that Paul Henry is fond of inspirational productions, I do not know what his defense might be to that argument but definitely wanting to learn. All in all, Glow In The Dark actually lived up to the name and glowed at a period when poetry was definitely finding its way out of the dark. I suppose the quote of Micheal Faraday applies to this particular work, in which he cited:
    “I am no poet, but if you think for yourselves, as I proceed, the facts will form a poem in your minds”.

    Even while I drop this pen, Glow In The Dark blare within the speakers of my phone.

    I will leave you wanting with some resonating lines from this masterpiece...

    “If your passion makes them hash tag you an imbecile, grab the mic and keep spitting on it...
    be the difference...
    stand out...
    glow in the dark like a candle...
    do what no one can do...
    be that candle that never stops to kindle..."

    On repeat.
  • SUCH AN EVIL YOU ARE by Joy Okwori


    Once I was a little girl
    holding love to a warm
    heart, cause I had mama
    and papa all to myself.
    Soon darkness came at
    noon and ruled like the sun.

    With tears streaming down
    my pretty angelic face, I
    closed my eyes and imagined
    mama and papa holding hands
    again. I was too little like a
    mustard seed, so they thought.

    But oh, how I understood the
    mountain that stood like an
    evil giant, that made papa to
    squeeze mama's neck, until she
    gasped for breath. They turned
    strangers before my very eyes.

    It was strange, for papa was
    once a good man, but that evil
    mountain like a giant, did turn
    papa's heart into a rock. A rock
    that felt nothing and had no
    more love to give.

    My heart broke on one cold
    morning, at their raised voices.
    Mama was heart broken, I could
    see it in her eyes and watch the
    broken pieces fall from her eyes.

    Papa was not papa anymore, his
    eyes became the red scarf mama
    wore to church on Sabbath. I
    watched in confusion when papa
    threw mama's bag out the door
    and watched aunt Lauretta walk
    in and planted a kiss on papa's cheek.

    Kicking mama's bag the more
    out of the door. But Lauretta was
    mama's friend whom papa never
    liked. While I broke down in tears
    calling out to mama, I tried to
    understand why aunt Lauretta
    betrayed mama.

    "Oh aunt Lauretta, such an evil
    you are!" no one cared about
    me no more, mama was gone
    and love became a strange word.


    © Joy Okwori
  • Diary of David Lein Victor Episode 3

    November 24, 2018.

    "I am Davidlein. I am a creative and a content writer, a public speaker and a personal development and leadership coach. I help individuals, brands and businesses develop compelling content strategies that will boost their businesses and I provide personal development and leadership guidance to individuals," I said while introducing myself to the Purposeful Parenting Africa members during the meet and greet programme.

    I attended an event with Adejumoke at CUCRID hall, Covenant University, Sango Ota, Ogun state and the experience on that Saturday was a great one. It was a youth empowerment program, an initiative of Abraham who's also the founder of Young Breed Africa.

    I already made up my mind to pay Adejumoke a visit anytime I'm in Lagos because she's a wonderful teen coach who's very passionate about teenagers, an editor, a proofreader and a storyteller. Our working relationship is so superb that I never wish I disappoint her and her brand.

    We talked about her brand with a focus on the meet and greet event and she said to me "David, you'll be the anchor of our meet and greet programme next Saturday oo, please don't leave Lagos yet." My mind was already calculating a lot of things because I already plan I'll leave Lagos during one of the weekdays. But I had to stay behind for Purposeful Parenting Africa because I already crave to be part of the story, who doesn't want to be part of something great?

    They all sat on the mat while introducing themselves one after the other, and I was very happy I was connecting with parents who have vast knowledge in their various field of expertise.

    After the introduction, Mr Dare gave an amazing presentation on ARM, such wonderful insight should never elude any parent who wishes to cater excellently for their children as regard education.

    "You should know Emeka Nobis," Michael asked, we were in a very deep conversation concerning the world of literature, getting our brand known, life-changing programmes and how like minds can connect to create something of value, something that will help the generations to come.

    "Of course, I know him, he's actually an expert in his field, he's currently in Abuja for his programme and one thing I found amazing is that he actually resigned from his job to chase his passion."

    Micheal took some cool photographs of the moments and together, all members of PPA at the event had a wonderful long chat.

    "Guy you dey office ba?" I asked Fisayo over the phone.

    "Yes, I dey."

    "I dey come soon so we go follow go house."

    Together with Adejumoke, Bimbo, Michael and I, we get on the bus to Ikeja, 'under bridge'. But something happened on our way to the bus stop and I don't want to talk about it on this episode because it's a scene that's somehow hard to narrate. Nevertheless, I'll do well to narrate it to you on the next episode.
  • African Love Poem : Ife by Isaac Somto

    The beauty of your face is muse i have come to know
    A sight sets my pen on a voyage through silent papers;
    Testifying of your beauty, a beauty so pure.

    Your eyes tells a thousand tales
    Tales which transports men into a land of fantasy when they read
    Tales that makes one wants to live.

    Your beautiful melanin skin brings back memories
    Memories of the beautiful African queens
    Memories of the long lost beautiful daughters of the west who didn't pay to be white.

    When i heard your voice, it reminded me of nightingale's sweet song
    So soothing and real
    It makes me want to take you under the tree at the footpath leading to the village square
    There we shall sit, and you sing
    While i stare at your face and write poems.

    Writing a poem in glory of your beauty is an insult
    An anthology should be written and titled “IFE”;
    Your name written beautifully on the covers with the fanciest of fonts.j

    Toby Abiodun refers to it as the lit-est love poem he has ever heard from a Nigerian spoken word poet, I refer to Adunni as a serenade for ages. If not for one or two "eye escapist" shortcomings, I would have given it a hundred percent. Bankole Kolawole, known by many as Bankhall and revered for his constant attempt at not only playing with words occasionally but also making it a point of duty to create rhythms out of words. Of course, every listener or to-be listener of Adunni would testify to the rhythms embedded in the alignment of these vocals - you'd think this poet has got a lyre on his tongue!

    Adunni is the imagery of a typical "Lepa Shandy", yet with that modestly tall height that makes even palm trees outgrow their tappers, Adunni is the picture of that ebony like, lustrous moon that radiates like the beaming "Alugbinrin" - the attraction of every onlookers, strangers and sons of the soil alike. Bankole Kolawole putting upon the garment of a word carver that he is, believes his sugar coated, milk doused, chocolate grated words backed up by his indigenous appeal would win the heart of the exquisite beauty. This is obvious in the opening folk song _"Oju re pepe"_ which I feel would have been way more tantalizing with the application of the guttural talking drum - that skinny voice of a thousand masquerade! Perchance, Bankhall reminds us of the long last fact that words have powers and most times, the ears of a woman can be the perfect tool in getting her heart drawn to one. Wonder why the essence of sycophants is much more overrated in the pre colonial and mid post colonial era, I am sure Bankole would definitely spend the rest of his days with the Alaafin of Oyo or better still, be on the other angle stealing the hearts of every spinster in the village square with stress (had it been he had existed in the far ages behind). Bankhall is that typical Yoruba demon!

    For a considerable list of artisans that have found a permanent, unchanging space in grief, almost every other form of veterans have explored love, romance through arts and spirituality as a basic factor to live on. A quick flip back would give us Sunny Nneji's Oruka, even as far much as the oldies - Baba Gani Agba (Haruna Ishola) who sets the love fire going then with Ina Ran, not even the son of Afolayan(s) would let go without Kokoro Ife and then...we have that cautious attempt of toggling Yoruba language with a major quarter of the English language from Bankole Kolawole, laced with the undertone of Adekunle Gold et Simi's lyrical "No Forget".

    Bankhall's Adunni is not a recent hit. In fact, it was my very first encounter with spoken word poetry sometimes in the early hours of 2017. It is unarguable that this audio still seems fresh at every listen, a quick advice would be not to allow your fiancée the privilege of listening to this audio lest...

    Even though I am at a crossroad as to why Bankole Kolawole has decided to go into a seeming deck silence after the release of Adunni cum Before Now, I hope the next strike won't be louder than the screams at Melete, Borno. It wouldn't be bad to whet our appetite with another delicacy in the soon to be takeoff hours of 2019. Meanwhile, I spearhead the league of patrons awaiting the response of Adunni ever since or like the election of a certain country, is it still inconclusive?

    This was written by Yusuf Balogun Gemini for the "Poetry In Africa"
  • Diary of David Lein (Episode 2) By David Lein Victor

    "Make we waka reach Shoprite then we go get Keke to enter Ogba," he said to me in a tone I found sounding pitiful. The traffic on that evening was too deep, we couldn't even get a bike and when we come across any bike man who is with no passenger, we would say "oga Ogba, name your price." Even with the name your price tag on our lips, no bike was ready to convey anyone, not even in the traffic.

    We got to Shoprite, together with Assumpta who's a model, she actually came to Ikeja to collect her iPhone from Fisayo but because of the traffic, she had to stay back at Allen waiting for us.

    "Guy wetin dey house, I dey hungry die," I said while reaching out for a bottle of coke. We bought some raw food and I mustn't forget to tell you that one of the female security at the entrance after collecting our belonging ask I buy something for her. I actually bought a chocolate but I couldn't give it to her because another person collected it. She was laughing, holding my hands while looking at me straight in the eyes, I had to say to her "abeg wait, calm down first make I find you something," I dipped my hand into my pocket and handed to her a two hundred naira note with laughter then she handed to me my belongings. Just look at how swift the trade by barter went even if the two items involved belongs to me. Lagos is mad!

    "If you fail to visit me, I'll beef you for a long time," I jokingly said to Esther. Esther is a friend, she is into marketing, decoration and event planning. A lot of people around would have thought we are in a relationship because of the closeness but we are just friends, not just friends, disciplined friends.

    She actually came around, she met with Fisayo, we talked on diverse situations and that day was actually a blessed one as we never forget to capture some of the moments.

    November 16, 2018.

    "Guy e no easy o, see CCCSP for my head, see JCCF, see Press Club, I just tire sef." Those were my words, I was trying to balance the thoughts that were running through my mind that night. I and Fisayo were actually talking about the days we were not together and we shared a lot, we talked about how life has beaten us, how life has tried to shape us into the being we never wish to be. We talked about the challenges and how God has really helped us to stay focused and determined.

    I remembered that night, during the Reunion week, where I was called out as the President of my fellowship (Celestial Church of Christ Student's Parish), I remembered how I shook my head because I know what the next phase of my life will entail.

    I remembered how I was called out on that Sunday morning, at the sports complex of Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, during the Joint Christian Campus Fellowship handing over programme as the General Secretary of the Christian body on campus. I remembered vividly!

    Lagos was actually cool as I got to connect with Adejumoke, some of the Purposeful Parenting Africa members, Abraham and other people. But I'll talk about this experience in the next episode until then, keep digesting this one.
  • Diary of David Lein By David Lein Victor

    "Guy! How far, when you dey come to Lagos?" That was the first thing I heard when I picked the call. It was Fisayo and we have agreed I come to Lagos for the next phase of planning to better our lives.

    I am David Lein Victor, I am in my early twenties, tall, fair in complexion and many people claim I must have been born overseas because of my look. I actually do not make that to get to my head because I am Nigerian by heart.

    "Bros, he no easy o, I hardly have time for myself, you understand now, but I go show shaa," I said while glancing at the document on my desk. I just finished printing a 31-page seminar topic and I had no clue on which aspect to focus on on the day of defence.

    November 14, 2018.

    "Hello, I go soon reach Berger o, but the driver say make I reach Oshodi unto say na there I go get Ikeja on time," I said to Fisayo even after getting frustrated by the Carlcare agent who just called me to come pick my mobile phone after I already leave for Lagos.

    "Okay na, no problem, when you reach Oshodi just enter Ikeja then stop for Ikeja along bus stop, then ask for medical road, I go pick you up."

    Well, I got to Oshodi and I couldn't understand why the street of Oshodi is endowed with dust, humans chanting vulgar languages, humans chanting name of places, tattered yellow buses and there's a  huge long bus I saw which Lagos people call 'BRT BUS'. "So na the Lagos be this, chaii!" I actually said that loud, very loud.

    I get on the BRT bus to get to Ikeja along bus stop and the kind of heavy traffic on the road can be likened to a soldier of ant marching without a break. Just imagine Lagos, see the traffic, I even get to notice that most of the yellow buses are Volkswagen old model bus. Yes, that's how sensitive I can be!

    Anyways, I got to Ikeja and located Medical road and I saw my man coming toward me and smiling wide like I just arrived from heaven with the host of angels by my side. I mustn't forget to say I bought a chill bottle of coke to calm my system, I actually did that so as not get my intestine roasted by the unknown weather of Lagos.

    We got to his office (Imate Apple Store), and we couldn't get to talk much because he was fixing an iPhone. I only browsed with his phone to keep my self-busy and when it was 6pm, we left for Ogba together.

    The journey to Ogba that night was an adventure I won't be able to put down on this episode. That night was mad, very mad.

  • Writers are gods by Isaac Somto

    Writers are gods!
    We create worlds with our pen
    We create and write the fate of our characters
    Beauty, riches, ugliness we assign to a character's destiny.
    How we became gods we don't know
    We only know we sing songs with our pen
    Songs louder than talks, but quiet than action.

    As gods, we do not have dominion only on characters we create
    We control emotions of humans with our pen;
    We force tears down the soft cheeks of humans when their eyes have a feast on our stories.
    We resurrect dead men through writings;
    Bringing them back to life and keeping them in the hearts of men.

    We write words that seduces men and women
    Forcing girls to squeeze their legs making the soft thighs kiss the lips in between their legs
    We make the soft rods in between men legs grow fat and strong, decorated by veins.
  • Tales of Eve By Favour Umogbai

    Nneoma, a lady in her late 30s., a graduate of The Abia State University and the Manager of a fast growing lady-wear company.

    She owned apartments scattered around the state due to the flexibility of her job. She was living the average Nigerian dream. She woke up everyday to a sweet savory meal. She had a 9-5.. No! She owned the 9-5.

    Everything was perfect.

    Or was it?

    She was not older than 14 when her class teacher had lured her to his room under the guise of extra lessons and raped her. A man who denied the claim and said the little girl seduced her while society in turn believed him; not willing to believe a man who had contributed so much to the society would stoop so low as defiling a minor.

    Identity ruined. Ridding her of a future at a very young age.

    She was stigmatized and castigated by the unsympathetic society. She was labelled 'loose' and 'cheap' by people who didn't even know the full details of the unfortunate incident.

    Her parents had left her on the streets to fend for herself all because they apparently wanted to rid their family of the shame.

    Starved, scared and suffocated, she roamed the 'not so friendly' streets of Lagos alone. She begged alms, slept bare in the cold of the night. Most times, she'd look up to the heavens and curse the day she was born.

    In the dark of the night, her helpless thoughts sounded the loudest.

    Nneoma was 17 and hustling in the ghetto of Mushin. She had apparently saved some of the alms she begged and started a little trade. She had always been obsessed with shoes. She had found a little corner in the densely populated area and started the trade. She made shoes and hung them vertically to the attention of the passers-by.

    This craft started at an all time low. Her first three weeks were terrible. Her shoes were either stolen or the 'area boys' would harass her timid figure and get all the money she'd acquired for the day. Hence, she'd starve, going hungry for days.

    Crying became a waste of time and strength. Instead Nneoma invested her tears into becoming a successful person.

    Things were changing for the better when Nneoma made her first Ten Thousand Naira in the business. She wasn't being harrassed anymore, because her craft had made her a popular name in the vicinity. She was respected for not giving up even when most people would have and taken to their heels or resorted to illegal ways; prostitution or most times even suicide.

    She was now 18 years old and hadn't heard from her parents. To be honest she could care less whatever happened to them. She'd stopped thinking about them and also quit imagining they'd come looking for her. She was already becoming an independent woman. Countless men already stopped by to woe her, but then the trauma of the event as a child still lingered in her mind.

    20 years old.

    No formal education, independent, still single and successful in her business. She now had a shop with other young and older ladies serving as apprentices. Still, she didn't relax. She strived more. She didn't want to feel comfortable with her small achievement. She'd always wanted to go to the University. She'd been saving some money but it wasn't enough to get her through school. She'd always wanted to learn. Even though her teacher used that as an avenue to rape her, she still didn't relent. She'd set her mind to it and she wasn't going to stop.

    She looked up any school giving out scholarships and found a few. She applied for The Abia State University being she was an indigene of the state. She tooked the exam and to her disbelief failed. She'd shut down for months, having eating disorders, she got sick a couple times, depression struck till she gathered enough courage and learnt from her first experience and took the exam and this time, she did pass.

    Nneoma Ejiekwu spent four years at the university studying Business Administration where she graduated with the honors of a first class lower. The oldest in the department at just 26 years old. She'd sent word to her parents who were adamant and still wouldn't meet with her. Not long after her graduation she got news that her parents were involved in an auto crash. A news that shook her. She'd always hated her parents but she'd never imagined them dead.

    She took care of the funeral rights, made it grand. Most people found it hard to believe she was still the same girl from years back.

    Nneoma stood out as she performed the funeral rights getting the attention of the local residents.

    Despite her travails, she'd managed to become successful woman!

    Now thirty seven, married to an elite architect in the urban jungle, proud mother of two.

    Staring at the city from the first floor of her husbands recent building, she smiled and sipped her mint tea.

    "pheew...",she sighed.

    Scarred, broken, but Perfect...

    ©Favour Umogbai (@phaày _vor)

    ©Phaày The Wordsmith


  • DIARY OF AN ORPHAN by Samuel Nnadi

    He was barely in 300level when he heard of the death of his father

    He was the first and only son who his family hoped would see farther;

    Farther than the coffin which his father rushed to like his lover's bed

    For while death made him cum, he embraced it like a lover bird;

    Leaving his wife and children a victim of his mortality.

    And this of course caused her a lot of brutality

    As she lay in her hospital bed aided with oxygen like a decayed vegetable

    With plethora of medicines without name stacked neatly on her sick table.

    How will the doctor request for 15 million Naira? Her son on the floor asked in tears

    Only God hears his fears and knows the amount of years it will take to gather this from his peers.

    And just when he thought he had gathered the money and all was done,

    A call came through from his uncle; " Hello David, Mama is gone "

    He just sat there and smiled

    Smiled at the fateful cruelty of life

    And on the day of her funeral, David is seen beside a dustbin

    Maybe cursing the dust he was made of

    And when it was his turn to pour her trip of sands,

    He tripped and landed in her grave just to know how it sounds

    His action sure caused a lot of commotion

    Maybe, just maybe this was the only way of pouring out his own emotion.

    Words from a bleeding pen

  • RELIGION A REAL LEGION by Samuel Nnadi

    We have come again to his sanctuary
    Where he lays to state his female members like in a mortuary
    Plunging into their sinful world with his skin rod
    Muttering those chapters of the Bible which he knew wrong
    Her legs widely spread on the awe tar like a rumour
    Of course, this paradise he saw before him gave him instant brain tumour.
    This is the story of Pastor Bishop
    Who steals church funds just to secure his Bitch's shop.
    Money from the sweats of a poor bricklayer
    He has used in cementing the brick to lay her.
    Promising us an unsure paradise in heaven
    While he created his own paradise here in this earthly haven
    Changing his car from a Peugeot to a Hilux
    While we blindly rush to him to Heal us.
    He has finally turned religion into a real legion
    Where prophet of dooms like him perpetrate hideous crimes and real ills join
    Becoming dreaded robbers in broad day light
    Under the guise of a black robe and the Holy Bible which is highly appealing in our sight.
    And I have sworn that if he should be the only holy Sunday school teacher there is,
    I will never go to church so helly.

    Words from a bleeding pen
  • THE WRITING WRITER By Abdulrouf Wasiu


    A Writing Writer Writes the Writings, 
    to Overwrites The Writing of the other Writer,
    Written on his Writings, but another Writer
    Writes to Wright his Writings in a Right Way.

    He Who Right his Wrights Through Writings
    is the true Writer, but Some Writers Wrong
    the Wrongs of an amateur Writers, claiming
    that they are following the wrong way,
    Instead of righting their wrong writings

    When ever you're writing Your Writings Mr Writer,
    Make sure you wright the writings you write properly
    In case of Some Writers that may over right your writings through their own writings, and later make your writings to be wronged.

    I am Abdulrouf Wasiu
    The Writing Writer


    The Isaac Somto Foundation accepts works only from/about African writers at home or abroad. Set out to add your voice to the gathering thunder.


    Abuja, Nigeria


    +234 8117 918435