We at FAB are always keen to shine the spotlight on creative talent, and Ayanam Udoma, also known as A-Zone, is no exception. No one can introduce him better than himself, so with no further ado, meet A-Zone!!

I started writing poetry 4 years ago when I was 16 because I felt isolated emotionally. I was sociable but I still felt lonely in a crowd. My poetry started off as awkward secret love notes to girls I was scared to approach but as I started sharing my poetry with others, I realised that my emotions weren’t as isolated as I once thought and other people just concealed what they were going through better than I did. However, as I developed as a writer, I started looking at things people disagreed on. Mainly religion and society especially within Nigerian culture. These were things I struggled to understand and cope with when I was younger. I still struggle with them now but over the last 4 years I have been able to develop my own views and opinions on these issues and often times I find myself butting heads with popular opinion …my poetry often times comes off quite blunt and direct because of this.
Thus poetry for me is a platform to not only share my views with the world, but also learn more about myself and develop my own stance on life in the process.

As always poetry has proved a solace,a form of liberation and expression, and A-Zone’s poetry is a great example of this; blunt, honest, irreverent, and thought provoking. One of his more well-known poems, “Nigerian Hypocrite” perhaps may give us more insight into A-Zone’s style.

You complain about the system
when you need the system to complain
and you keep on saying we’ll make a difference
if we could all just think the same.

You tweet that money isn’t everything
from that smart phone your parents paid for.
You post a picture of children dying,
You get to “like” it, whilst they stay poor.

A Nigerian song gets British airplay,
you adopt the movement like it’s your struggle
but if asked if you’re Nigerian,
you claim you’re half-blood not full muggle.

What makes you think you’re any different,
is it your wealth or education?
Or that accent you’ve developed,
does it create some complication?

I’m not proud to be Nigerian
’cause I know it’s bound to self destruct.
There’s nothing more I can protect.
What I used to love, I have forgot.

But you who say you’re oh so proud,
please don’t become a hypocrite.
Go back home and make a difference
or be like me and call it quits

Whether you agree or disagree with his stance- the point has been made. His poetry provokes debate, gives us a perspective we can use in reflection of our own and encourages us to search within ourselves and question issues we may have only given a cursory glance at before.

Want to know more? Check out his official blog at http://a-zone-lifeofapoet.blogspot.co.uk/ and subscribe, and of course, you can like his page at http://www.facebook.com/AZonePoetry for updates, and follow him at @3Ayanam on twitter!

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