An interview with Mr. KenAdele Marvellous Oruchi
KenAdele Marvellous Oruchi, also known as Oruz Kennedy in the literary community is a performance and spoken word poet, an event consultant, the founder of More Life Poetry, and convener of the More Life Concept.
Amarachi: Please I’d like you to introduce yourself.
Oruz Kennedy: All right, I’m KenAdele Marvellous Oruchi, also known as “Oruz Kennedy” in the literary community. I am a performance and spoken word poet, an event consultant, the founder of More Life Poetry, and the convener of the More Life Concept.
Amarachi: Now, that’s one wonderful bio! It’s my pleasure to have you here, Mr. Oruz Kennedy. You and poetry, how did you two meet? When was that?
Oruz Kennedy: I was first introduced to poetry in August 2008. I attended a vacation school after my JSS 3. The literature teacher asked us to each write a poem and bring it to school the next day. I struggled for some time to come up with a single poem, but to my astonishment, a female classmate of mine came to school the next day with a notebook full of poems she’d written. I swallowed my pride and walked up to her and asked if I could take a look at her book of poems. I was impressed. Reading that book that day made me feel like I was underperforming. I felt both intimidated and challenged that a girl was outdoing me in that area. That was how I started writing poetry 14 years ago.
Amarachi: Oh my! I didn’t see that coming. So, would it be safe for me to conclude that your foremost motivation to start doing poetry was the feeling of being intimidated by a female classmate of yours?
Oruz Kennedy: Oh, yes. That’ll be very accurate. But as the years went by, it transcended from being something I picked up to prove to myself that a girl shouldn’t outdo me into my personal tool for overcoming negative thoughts and emotions, and I held on to it.
Amarachi: Oh! How great! You turned a challenge into something beautiful. Did you have a mentor or were you completely self-taught?
Oruz Kennedy: I was self-taught, but I learned a lot from members of my poetry family in Ghana. The likes of I’m Edi and Jewell King-Speaks really impacted my style greatly. Our team was called INSPIRE.
Amarachi: Beautiful! Considering how you encountered poetry, do you think poetry is an inborn talent or can anyone become a poet?
I believe that anyoneKenAdele Marvellous Oruchi
can become a poet but
like every other skill, not
everyone can become
a professional at it.
Oruz Kennedy: I believe that anyone can become a poet but like every other skill, not everyone can become a professional at it.
Amarachi: I agree with you! How has your poetry affected your relationship with your family over the years? What do they think about it?
Oruz Kennedy: Well. My family knows I’m a poet, although they don’t really understand it. Since poetry isn’t my only source of income, I think everyone is cool with it. Poetry hasn’t negatively impacted my relationship with my family. No one has discouraged me from continuing with it. After all, poetry doesn’t hinder me from sustaining myself financially.
Amarachi: Okay. Who or what group of people do you consider your biggest fan(s)?
Oruz Kennedy: Oh, I’d still say my family. Every event I’ve organized so far was attended by at least 2 of my family members. Although they don’t really know much about poetry, none of them are saying trash about what I’m doing and the things I’m trying to achieve. My family has always been present.
Amarachi: Where do you get ideas for your poems from?
Oruz Kennedy: Day-to-day real-life experiences.
Amarachi: Great source, I must say.
Are there written publication(s) of your poem(s) where readers can access them?
Oruz Kennedy: No. None. My works are not yet in any book, but my poetry is on SoundCloud and YouTube. Even the More Life Poetry YouTube account.
Amarachi: That’s good to know! What one word would you use to describe your unique performance style?
Oruz Kennedy: Reflectional.
Amarachi: I couldn’t agree more. Some of your performances I’ve seen portray you as a tour guide leading your audience down memory lane.
Oruz Kennedy: Exactly!
Amarachi: Were you ever caught up in a situation that threatened to put an end to your poetry career? If yes, how were you able to wriggle out of it?
Oruz Kennedy: Well, yeah, I think back in 2019, my grandma was booked for surgery. The timing coincided with the planning for our concert, and the available resources were sufficient for only one of the two needs. The pressure on me during that period was so much that I even made a Facebook post announcing my retirement from poetry.
How was I able to wriggle out of it? I learned how to take one day at a time, do what I have to do, and believe that all things are working together for my good. I think this particular situation changed my outlook on life and my poetry. I now try to see solutions in every hard turn of life rather than problems.
Amarachi: If poetry never happened, what do you think you’d have turned out to be?
Oruz Kennedy: If poetry never happened, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been alive today. I’m certain I would have taken my life.
Amarachi: Wow! That’s deep. Thank God for poetry, then. What boxes must a book or literary piece tick for you to call it good?
Oruz Kennedy: For me to call any literary piece good, it must:
- Be genuine. It should be based on the person’s original idea, not some copied or stolen idea.
- Be well researched and well edited. Not some half-baked compilation of cliches and formulations just to make money.
- Be written from the person’s experience.
Amarachi: Finally, What’s one mistake you’ll advise creatives (both upcoming and established ones) to avoid at all costs?
Oruz Kennedy: I would say don’t try to make your creative process too expensive from the beginning. And always seek to improve yourself, regardless of how big you think you are.
Amarachi: Thank you so much, sir. Having you here has been a pleasure.
Oruz Kennedy: You’re welcome. I’m grateful for the opportunity.