“ Nigerian system is not favourable to arts”- Teslim Omipidan
Teslim Omipidan is a 400 level student of Mass Communication Department, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko. He is a poet and founder of oldnaija.com. He is one of the Most Influential Young Nigerian. He has received several awards which are documented in this interview with ADEDOYIN CHARLES and ADESOLA IKULAJOLU .
Can we meet you?
My name is Teslim Omipidan Opemipo. I’m a student of Mass Communication in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. I’m also the CEO and Founder of old naija.com. I’m a poet, writer, artiste. I love anything related to art.
Tell us your background?
I was born in 1997 to my noble parents Mr & Mrs Omipidan in Ibadan but I’m from Osun state, Ila Orogun to be precise. I went to Bolaji Nur & Pry school. Then I attended Ansarudeen High school for my secondary education. I learnt so much while I was growing up, my dad is a printer so I have always been reading books in his office. All this actually led me into writing.
You are a poet, what inspire you?
A lot of things inspire me as a poet. Looking at the society, if you discover that a lot of issues are left unattended to as a poet, it is my duty to pick up my pen and write for or against such vices. Another thing that majorly influence my writing is my culture. I call myself a trado-poet i.e a traditional poet. I will regard my style of writing as trado-poetry because I mix Yoruba and English language together. What I’m trying to say in essence is that I love my culture. I try my best to make sure that I showcase the beauty in our language through my write up. Another thing that inspire me is the work of old poet.
Can you tell us some of your achievements?
Speaking of my achievements, I would like to begin with my nomination as one of the most influential Nigerians in 2018. I was nominated by Advanced Media from Ghana. I was privileged to be ranked the 42nd most influential Nigerian alongside Davido, Simi, Falz and others. I have won several poetry awards. I was made the poet of the year for the joint Hall of Fame, Adekunle Ajasin University. I was also made the most Influential NAMACOSITES two years ago. I was also awarded the Most Talented honourable and the Blogger of the year. I have won prizes in poetry and blogging.
You are one of the most influential Nigerians, tell us about this feat?
Advance Media,the body that made me one of the most influential youths in Nigeria didn’t just come up with uncooked statistics, they actually carried out their research and discovered that I influenced people in my write up. I have written about a thousand poem.
What is your major challenge?
What I do mostly is art but the Nigerian system is not favourable to art, Music is art, so also is poetry. The Nigerian system has actually favoured music than others. Had it been that kind of attention is given to poetry and writing, I won’t have remained as I am.
How do you manage numerous activities?
Because I’m a very busy person, I write, dance, sing, act and blog too. Everything is about managing and strategizing .If you can manage your time very well, you shouldn’t have any problem in doing so many things you want to do with your time. I make sure that this doesn’t come in the way of my academics, this is my primary reason for being in school.
Who are your mentors?
One of my mentors is a poet named Niyi Osundare, he inspires me a lot. As a kid, I grew up reading his works and since then I have been in love with Nigerian culture. I love reading Wole Soyinka’s books too. Another important mentor I have is Prince Louis Adekola, he is the founder of Ambasadors of Africa and Fricana Theatre Company ( a dance company) on campus, he taught me the act of facing crowd and so many things, then my parents,
What is your major inspiration?
God is my major inspiration. I believe He exists.
Your final word?
People should keep on writing, they would be surprised when they get recognition, Tell them you hold water.