I heard Wana Udobang perform ‘The Banquet’ at the Ake Arts and Book Festival of 2015, using the preparation of a feast as metaphor for the many lessons life teaches us, she kept the audience spellbound. I watched as she swiveled on stage, pouring her soul into the performance, her husky voice washing over the audience.
Wana is perhaps the only poet I know who sheds real tears while performing her own poems. She believes in immersing oneself in art, whether you are consuming or producing. With her, it is go deep or go home.
By the time of the release of her album ‘In Memory of Forgetting’, I already knew most of the poems in it, as I had heard her perform them on several stages, including the Lagos International Poetry Festival in 2016 and could recite many of the lines by heart. Still, I was close to tears when I listened to the second poem titled ‘Untitled’.