Egogo Alagiebo: The Portrait of an Oral Artist
Authors: M. Ighile
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The oral poet, Egogo Alagiebo, the blind minstrel of Benin City, whose portrait forms the basis of this paper, clearly represents a creative phenomenon which is of immense relevance to both the past and the present, with striking implications for the future. His songs, most of which are embellished by proverbial and philosophical expressions, continuously strike the reflective and critical consciousness of not only the customers of the Airport Road Post Office, but indeed the entire Benin community. This paper examines the artistic personality of Egogo Alagiebo, within the conceptual framework of oral literature and cultural studies, and submits that the poet, x-rayed in terms of his mien, career, popularity, attitude to life and living, is indicative of a certain level of uniqueness -- in relevance and intensity-- that makes him truly influential.