Commercialization Of Poetry

Like the say a picture is worth a thousand words … That’s true, and I say,  poetry on the other hand,  expresses those a thousand words into to something more tangible, something with an emotion and a feeling to it.

Poetry [poh-i-tree] – The art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure, by beautiful, imaginative or elevated thoughts ~ Unknown Author

Of late, I have found myself attending many Poetry gigs such as Open Mic/Kwani/Wamathai Exclusive or whatever the event organizer decides to call them. It wasn’t my norm before and as I always say I’ve never been poetic..I tried and I failed…lol, but out there, there is talent I must say. Me, who’s not into poems, can stand and actually listen to a poet go ahead and let out his/her thoughts…they must be magical…they are.

So in the process, I happen to be a fan of one poet known as Jemedari. I shall not reveal his real names, I signed a Non-Disclosure. He’s really goood, I mean if you’ve listened to him do his thing, he’s got some bass voice, with the rhythmical  flow of words…I mean he’s a professional poet I must say.

We all want to make a living out of what we are talented in (or what we can do best). I mean if one can turn talent into business, it’s so much fun I wish I could to do what you love doing while at the same time it earns you a living or even just for sustainability purposes. This mainly would apply to performing artistes such as Poets (who seem to be assumed). And this is where this *Commercialization* comes in. Please read the post below, and you’ll understand their sentiments.

The Commercialization Of Poetry


Dear Reader,

As is the norm,I tend to get moments of insight in which I go off and shoot in the dark about some topic that affects artists. For as much as I am an artist, I am also a critic of the arts. I had promised to give an insightful piece on the commercialization of poetry so here goes…

As previously mentioned, many an artist has gotten to the open Mic stages that are constantly expanding the realms of performance arts. However, at the end of the day, we all go home to the same arguments that there is no monetary value in the art… Why??

As is the common trend now, we have all gotten into the “giving” artistic spirit. Few artists who seek to create platforms have organized events in which other artists come in to “support” the venture. I have no problem with the complimentary entrances, the bitings and even the mad “intros” and “shoutouts”.. PAY ME!!

Many are the events that we get invited to, skip the entrance charges “VIP style”, give our all on stage and still go home empty-handed. GET THIS RIGHT! It’s not about money. It’s about SUSTAINABLE GROWTH!

If the said event is making money out of entrance fees, minus the expenses, it is my firm opinion that every artiste be compensated for their efforts in making the event a success.
Before I come out like a greedy poet (both of which I am not), lets attack this logically

Every artist gets into the game to make a name through their poetry, get a few followers and get recognition and a reputation for his/her work. Over time, this “name” becomes a BRAND, the followers grow into a FAN BASE/ SEGMENTED MARKET, the poetry becomes a product, the reputation becomes a BRAND IDENTITY and the recognition becomes WORTH. (Not too shabby, huh??)

CURRENTLY, the brands are getting an expanded segmented market of willing consumers who are constantly becoming brand loyal. This loyalty leads to the increase in demand for the product. Several events are created but the product is limited, monotonous and boring. Why?? Because the BRANDS CANNOT AFFORD TO MAKE NEW PRODUCT! ITS BAD FOR BUSINESS!!!

The artists are making all these efforts yet the money is going to the wrong pockets!! There is demand for audio CDs, books, cards and the occasional performance but what most people do not realize in that all of this is a cost to the artist! So if I was making a loss, would I make an effort to keep new material flowing?

As a business oriented artist, HELL NO! Hence the reason why there are artists who perform the same material over and over again! They do not see the need to take it further!! What is wrong?

  1. Too many events that focus lesson the artists and more on the hype
  2. Too few resources for poetry to look like gainful art
  3. Too many overzealous event organizers who still take advantage of the fact that poets are not business savvy
  4. Lack of business savvy poets

So I guess it’s now in your hands. I may not have covered all the ills but I am determined to make this a topic towards the improvement of the state of affairs. In the next installment of this article, I shall be discussing the way forward.


All feedback is appreciated

By Jemedari.


PS: Feedback is appreciated and *READ BETWEEN THE LINES*


Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

An Epiphany – Entrepreneurship

Since I’m always thinking, this has just come up in one of my thinking sprees’…yah, that’s what I would prefer to call it, for now, for lack of a better description. Anyhow, was just wondering if today I was to start my company #Entrepreneurship , what would it be ? what would it be about ? How will I run it ?

This is funny, I dreamt of the word Epiphany yesterday … lol, maybe it’s because a friend of mine #Suetiful who is in a way my English dictionary has used it quite a couple of times. On a serious note now, I actually experienced an Epiphany that would totally change how I view entrepreneurship and the whole starting up something of your own thing. Ok, I could be pushing it, but you know sort of the way Bill Gates started up the personal computer revolution, or how the warner brothers took over entertainment industry, or to the simplest the ‘mama mboga kiosk’ next to your house or the market woman sitting selling tomatoes or potatoes at the market.

In campus, I actually did a unit called Entrepreneurship skills, and everytime the lesson ended I would tell myself, “I wasn’t cut out to be an entrepreneur”, and I had every reason why. First thing, I did not know what it is that tickles my fancy, or say even if I did, I did not know how to tailor it into something concrete that can be turned into a business let alone bringing in revenue. Not that I have found as solution as I write but at least now I see things just a bit differently. It’s like I was on the head side of the coin before and now I am on the tail side..the complete change over.

Why is it that a woman who has not gone to school, cannot read and write, or even communicate well go to the farm, grow her tomatoes, potatoes and fruits, harvest them, transport them to the market, sell them to othe vendors or to customers like me and you on market days, make money and use it to pay school fees, and prepare her farm for another planting season. I think, what she has is determination, she figured out what she has and how she can use it to her advantage. It’s as simple as that.

Okay, I don’t have a farm and am not planning to farm … so let me give another example, there is this person who paints and his/her paintings are just purely awesome. You know, the kind you see and feel at the same time. If it’s the painting of a fisherman in his small boat in the middle of the lake, you can actually see and feel like you are seeing live (ok, that’s enough imagining), am just trying to emphasize on the goodness of his painting. Problem is he doesn’t know how good they are and so he doesn”t flaunt them and he undercharges for them, he doesn’t know anyone of influence

While there is someone with such ugly paintings but his/hers are over-priced and he knows they are not all that appealing , but he can convince people to buy them, he has the right network of people and channel through which to market and sell them.

See a problem between the two painters : There’s the really good one with no ready market and low prices and there’s the bad painetr with a ready market and high prices >> I know, this is pretty unfair and that’s how the world is. And that’s the reason I feared enterpreneurship right from the start. It’s scary in a way.

Normally, it goes like, use your talent. But now when it comes to Entrepreneurship it’s use your talent, to generate some revenue. That’s the hard part. How do you do that? There are quite a number of skills that the entrepreneur has, I know it sounds abit stupid to list them but trust me it’s important: Leadership skills, communicative skills, managerial skills, technical skills, conseptual, skills and analytical skills.

This is how after all this time I can put myself in the shoes of the entreprenueur and say the things that are important while thinking of starting something of your own. Knowing that everything starts with a problem or a need that people have or even the surrounding environment can just create opportunities.

One needs to Identify what you’re ability is (quite important), like what is it that you can do? , what are you good in? That thing that gives you avantage over others. i.e it could be you’re very artistic,or you can code well, or you’re good with numbers, or you have a way of convincing people to do things… get my drift

Then identify who is it that is interested in you’re talents outcome/deliverable …this is the market target market? if you make a product that is not needed by the market then it looks like you’re making it for fun or to just to satisfy your own desires (which is sometimes good and satisfying if you’re not expecting returns) , but I believe in most cases one wants something that can generate revenue or bring in some returns.

Check your finances, do you have money to be able to carry out all this. Like if what you do requires an office or material can you be able to purchase them? do you need to be sponsored by an external body this screams Proposals? Meaning you have to tell the sponsors how you are going to spend the money they are giving you in detail, the budget.

Get your documentations straight — Proposals, Licenses, Receipts bleh bleh bleh I’ve heard it makes ownership better. It’s like having land with no title-deed #Hectic and #Frustrating and it’s temporal. And I believe it sucks to put so much into something only for it to fail because lack of a piece of paper License

Then the next stage is how to get the product or services to the markets that you have identified – the whole package : Advertising, Marketing, Pricing (Valuing), Packaging, Delivery to customer – The whole deal has to be structured and be arranged, you shouldn’t sell you’re talent out of the blues — you never know it could be a gold mine that you are under-pricing. Like selling gold worth Ksh 200,000 at say Ksh 10,000 just because you hadn’t valued it.

The most important part is how you manage you’re finances: what do you do with the returns, do you drink and drain them all out or do you re-invest them. This is the determinant of your business. It’s the yes you’re doing great! , or no man! you’re tripping … ha!

Another important part is the network. Attend Seminars, concerts, conferences … and always have a card with what you do, what you can offer and you’re contacts >> In essence market yourself. Then you’ll be shocked how many people will be refered to you.

How could I forget :: use your friends as your guinea pigs especially if it’s tangible products or services. Their reaction will somehow give you an idea if your business is something or not. Also your human resource – that’s if you have any people you have employed, get their ideas … people have great ideas, just that sometimes they can’t implement them for one reason or another.

After breaking it down like this in my head… surely why again can’t I start something of my own. My only reason is that I haven’t found my niche in the business world. But am working towards that. Just that I hope the idea to be actualized comes on as soon as possible ASAP. I know my interest is generally people, I know that sounds awkward but yeah. Now what to do with this people…lol, another thing I love doing is explaining what someone is trying to say from ‘lay man’s term to ‘technical term’ and helping them come up with exactly what they want conceptually. Help build on requirements for systems mainly and design them in a manner that shows the inputs,outputs and the various processes involved (System Analysis and Design) — basically something of that sort.

Project Management is also another area am venturing. Am trying out on things that take me closer to the people in a technical sort of way. Since most jobs don’t really give descriptions of what I’ve mentioned I like doing as much as they say that’s what it is. I guess someday soon I will be compelled to start my own thing and do those two things: System Analysis and Design and Project Management.

And with this being my fuel #ihatequotes

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Tim Ferriss

“Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow.” – Steve Pavlina

“All you have to do to diminish your fear is to develop more trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.” – Susan Jeffers


Signing off — *Kawi*