Dike Chukwumerije is a Nigerian spoken word and performance poetry artist and an award winning author. He has eight published books to his name including the novel, Urichindere, which won the 2013 Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Prize for Prose Fiction and a poetry theatre production – Made In Nigeria – currently touring the country.
Dike was born in Lagos, and had his primary and secondary education in that city, before moving north to Abuja and studying for an LLB Law at the University of Abuja. He later obtained a masters degree in Law and Development from SOAS, University of London. His interest in writing and poetry came as a child from his elder brother, Che Chukwumerije, an avid poet and musician, and from a childhood friend, Onesi Dominic, who both shared their poetry with him. He was also heavily influenced by his father, Uche Chukwumerije, who published a pan-africanist magazine, Afriscope, from the 1970s into the early 1980s, and by his mother, Nwoyibo Iweka, a gifted and natural storyteller, who helped him see magic in every day things.
He is a member of the vibrant Abuja-based literary group, the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) and the host of the group’s Book Jam and Poetry Slam. He has won several poetry grand slams in Nigeria including the maiden edition of the African Poet (Nigeria) Grand Slam competition. Since 2013, he has hosted and directed the annual Night of the Spoken Word (NSW) performance poetry event as part of a movement to insert performance poetry into Nigeria’s mainstream pop culture.He also hosts weekly Open Mic performances which include a mix of acts from readings of short stories by their authors to musical performances, poetry and spoken word acts.
He is Nigeria’s most prolific Performance Poet with three successful Performance Poetry videos, a live Poetry show (NSW – Night of the Spoken Word) now in its 5th year, and a theatre production (the Made in Nigeria Poetry Show) that had been successfully staged seven times – in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Benin and Ile-Ife – between September 2016 and October 2017.
His shows are now among the most anticipated events in Abuja, creatively fusing entertainment and a call for re-awakening of national consciousness.
At TEDx Maitama in September 2017 and at the 23rd Nigeria Economic Summit in October 2017, Dike’s rendition of his poem, “The Wall and The Bridge” attracted widespread public attention to his message of the need for a national re-birth and a re-awakening of social consciousness.
At The Platform on May 1, 2018, Nigeria’s Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo recites Dike’s poem “The revolution has no tribe” during his remarks on how young Nigerians are shaping the future. “Dike Chukwumerije, reminds us in his powerful poem the Revolution has no tribe that our destinies as Nigerians no matter our tribe or religion are inextricably tied together. What affects one affects all. Suffering neither knows tribe nor tongue.”