YouTube is a one-stop-shop for cats playing piano, toddlers covering pop songs and flash mobs breaking out in shopping malls. But is it the place to find poetry? Nigerian 'YouTube Poet' Chiedu Ifeozo thinks so, and he's made an impact using the democratic medium to reach out to a world of poetry enthusiasts.
"I realize there is a large demographic of young Nigerians who are on online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube," Ifeozo explains, "and thought how to engage with them better using the tools that they are used to." Ifeozo blends traditional, lyrical verse with a modern technological viewing experience, creating a photographic slideshow to enhance his spoken word. His YouTube channel has nearly 20,000 view, an audience much larger than any he could physically perform for.
His universal themes of identity, pain and love have already touched many, both in Nigeria and abroad, including young people who were not previously exposed to poetry. So next time you are searching through viral videos, take a minute to listen to a poem.
Watch CNN interview Ifeozo, and see his first poem, 'Homecoming', below: