Being a female poet in Arewa

Is poetry relevant?

A lot of people ask this question. The answer is poetry has many faces: canonical, academic, conversational, contemporary, amorphous and timeless. Also, there are different kinds and styles of poetry, and there are so many different ways to be a poet. People vary, there is a tendency that a particular type of poem doesn’t resonate to a specific section of people. Nonetheless, poetry is everywhere. Hence, poetry is important to different people in different fields.

Being a poet in Arewa is a challenge, primarily a female poet can sometimes be challenging. Not everyone understands the artistic pressure that comes with seating down, finding the subject to write about, diving deep into your feelings and emotions to write about issues that matter to you. As a female poet, a person needs to be choosy on what to write about, as it may have a similar impact on your audience as it has to you. The dilemma is tremendous, particularly in a chauvinist society like Arewa. People will interpret your poetry in different ways, but provided the interpretation that is brought to the poem isn’t plainly berserk, it actually enjoyable.

A poem by Sabeeha Hussain, one of the female poets in Arewa.

As a female poet, your poem can be a world in which your readers go and live themselves and seek out things which resonate with them. And it would be utterly irrational of the poet to try to restrict their reaction.

“one of the main challenges I face is getting Poetry to the mainstream in Arewa, some people accept it, and others don’t accept it. It doesn’t matter to me if people accept it it’s a bonus to me.”


Remember that poetry is not a competition or a race. Write for yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think or do or win. Don’t rush your work; the best work comes naturally and is let into the world when it’s ready. Treat yourself and your work kindly.

Create a space online for your poetry. Poetry is part business. Now, if your goal is to publish your work and build a name for yourself, create an author website. Even if you don’t have anything published, make a quick site with a picture, your name (or pseudonym), and a bio about you.

If you want, you can also google any of the poets you love. Chances are they have a website, too! Eventually, you may want to brand your social media to your poetry — you can share it, or simply list that you’re a poet. Share other poems, tweet to other poets, and generally take part in the conversation.

To conclude, being a female poet in Arewa is tough, but I would encourage female poet to pursue their passion and work towards achieving what they desire. All you need to do is to learn how to face your fears, work hard as nothing good comes easy. I would encourage female poet to read lots. Write lots of course too, but assume that your first thoughts are not your best thoughts, so revise and don’t expect every poem to work, because it won’t. Also, involve yourself in the world around you – and persevere. Right at the beginning of your writing life you really have to accept that within a few years, or possibly even a few months, you are going to receive quite a large number of rejections. But don’t let that put you off – if you’ve got it, you’ve got it!