Germany-based Nigerian art star, Emmanuel Eni, aka Blackman in European Kitchen recently released his latest anthology of poetry titled Kindonkind with ISBN 978-3-00-068028-1. In this interview with TONY OKUYEME, he talks about his artistic exploration, inspiration, why he is called Senior Artvocate of Nigeria and other issues
You’re a well-known multimedia artist (sculpture, painter, and poet). At what stage did the literary aspect, especially poetry, come to the fore?
Long from origin I have been a naturally inducted poet. At the University of Benin, being an art major studying at the Faculty of Creative Arts, my elective studies in theatre Art revealed me as a great talent as my then professors including Prof. Austin Asagba, Prof. Nwanbokwu and Prof. Muyiwa Awodiya quickly recognized my extraordinary gift and always gave me the leading roles on stage, with all due respect to the then theatre Art major students.
Under this tutelage the entire years classes rallied round me as the main cast. This has inspired me to write my own version in “Kindonkind” anthology in which I titled the incident narrative “Hang Kinjeketile” in 350 lines amongst the 600 poems.
What is the inspiration behind your new book “Kindonkind”?
The nature of life’s duality and the enflaming of reviving your hidden ones open fire that helps the reader in defeating all negativity outside, around and also inside of you.
You are also referred to as Senior Artvocate of Nigeria. Tell us how the name came about?
It connotes something new as to the known and the known meaning… “ working as a bridge to unite African and western life and creating a relative explanation to their differences, It is being a Senior Artvocate of Nigeria as my Art is a representation of Nigeria and Africa at large as well as humanity.
My art deals with questions of decolonization of Nigerian culture and heritage which has over a century been diluted and estranged through western interpretation.
This is eminent in the subject of all my major works in my campaign to re-establish Africa and promote Nigerian and African philosophy and civilization. Also it is about my unending advocacy for the recognition and reaffirmation of Nigeria and Africa as the future and as cradle of civilization”.
Now that you are focusing on poetry will it affect the visual art aspect of you?
The visual aspect of me is the solid, and poetry is the life bed to it.
I am using this Pandemic time to compile and release these 600 poems because people have the tendency to read now at their various homes and abode. Poetry is the first information and prompt to every living profession.
It is what makes a market woman or man to rise up in the morning as well as it is what inspires a trained professional, Sculptor, painter, performer, musician to rise up at dawn to go after his or her calling and vocation.
I am not focusing on poetry alone. in 2006 I created a genre of art which has been widely acclaimed and publicized which I call “Contemporary Barock Art” which is the crystallization and amalgamation of all arts, uniting them as one medium to serve the human conscience as this allows best patronage for all asunder because everyone likes salt, pepper, sweet and sour
The year 2020 was very difficult year for everyone especially for the artiste, and, indeed, the arts and culture sector, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tell us your experience…
It has been a time of creativity as usual and also cataloguing, my million works on paper, which will be accessed by the Guinness Book Of World Record soon and also compiling these 600 poems 30 years of poetry in the “Kindonkind” Anthology. I implore all Nigerians to buy this book and experience some hidden now open philosophy and poetry which will accompany them to blissful hours and years and conquests.