HAVFY "The Girl In The English Class" Covers IMT Magazine - Jan/Feb Edition.

IMT: We have read a bit about you, but we would still love to hear from the horses mouth. Kindly share your bio. Tell us about yourself.

HAVFY: My name is Hafsat Abdullahi, but most people call me Havfy. I am a multiple award winning spoken word artiste, an award winning model, a fashion designer, anti-SGBV ambassador, book worm, emo, Nigerian, African and an unapologetic black woman.

IMT: How long have you been doing spoken words?

HAVFY: Since my pre-teens. I started writing at a very early age but I got introduced to poetry through one of my Radom diggings. I had exhausted my Library and I was looking for something to read. Picked up my sisters literature textbook and read a poem that changed my life and my opinion about poetry, then I read another and another till I wanted to write mine and I did and when I shared it, people liked it and I was like, why not?

 IMT: As a spoken word poet, we believe it is correct to say that you also a writer, because the signs and stamps are obvious. How long have you been writing?

HAVFY: Yes, whatever genre you specialize, being it prose, poetry or drama, you’re a writer. Also I can say I’ve been writing since my childhood. I can’t put a finger on dates but I remember using my exercise book in nursery  school to write and I remember my mum complaining bitterly about it. She later resolved the issue by getting me an extra notebook so I do not have to write in my school books. Not that I knew what I was writing at the time, but I wrote anyway.  I would draw amateur pictures and scribble whatever words made sense to me at the time and make attempt to communicate it to my friends or whoever was willing to listen. As I grew older , I learned words like literature and it’s genres and it helped to broaden my knowledge and approached to my unexplainable knack for writing. With this background I think it’s only practical to say I’ve been writing all my life. Before motif, before I had a better understanding of what I was doing or trying to do.

IMT: What do you write? In addition, why do you write?

HAVFY: I’d simply say I write poetry If I do not have a knack for other genres too, so I’d say I write stories, I tell stories either in a compressed manner (poetry) or a more detailed and lengthier manner ( prose) and each time I tell my stories or give a colorful illustration, I try to tackle a problem or enlighten a listener, change a life, change a mindset, reprove, reprimand, and also entertain while at it. But to the question as to why I write, it’s would be a lot easier and ideal to say I want to solve societal issues and become a voice for the voiceless, but while that is one vital reason why I write, I would honestly say I write because there is no other thing I’d rather do. writing is in fact, the air I breathe , I don’t know what I’d do without it. Over the years, writing has taken all shapes in my life, at times it is therapeutic when I write down my feelings, at times it is an escape from all the chaos in the world and most times it is the only way I speak for a people and get to be heard.

IMT:  What is your go to genre when it comes to writing and do you explore other genres?

HAVFY: My go to genre is obviously poetry. But before poetry I’ve explored the prose genre and even won a few prizes in my teens. I still do prose, but I’m more inclined to write poetry most of the time.

 IMT: How would you like to be addressed, a poet, writer or spoken word artiste?

 HAVFY: I am a spoken word artiste who specializes in other genres of literature. I’d say a writer best describes me.

 IMT: What is your style of poetry? How do you convey or project your thoughts?

 HAVFY: Before, I’d say my style is melancholic. I am big on arousing emotions because I believe the core of humans are their empathy and your ability to tap into that is the first step to making them take action. But as I grew into my art, I explored other approaches , I could be humorous in my approach, sarcastic, and soulful too. Right now I’d say I do not have a “style”. I try not to tie my performance to anything or any style so I am not limited to that “style” and I do not want my audience to get used to a particular feature or approach to poetry. The joy of it all is the unpredictable-ness of it. One minute I’m giving Elizabethan style and the next I’m all ghetto and spitting Pidgeon and boom! I am sarcastic.  This gives room for flexibility because after all, is that not what creativity is all about? No restrictions, no rules? But most importantly, I want to reach the heart of ALL. And to do that I need to speak in a manner at which each particular race or class understand and I can’t achieve that if I’m heavily dependent on just one style.

IMT: When was the first time you performed your poetry? How was the experience?

HAVFY:  First time ever was in school but I didn’t consider that as my first since the poem I performed that day was not mine. I loved the piece by Niyi Osundare so much, I enacted it. What I can say was my first performance was at the hilltop creative art foundation. It is an NGO that helps to promote art and literature for children, teenagers and even young adults. That day I had it memorized and when I was asked to share anything I shared the piece, I must say the reaction was a lot more than I had anticipated. Which helped to fuel the confidence that drove me into creating even more today.

IMT: How would you describe or explain the marriage between spoken word and poetry, because many people still find it a bit confusing to differentiate or find similarities between spoken words and poetry, most people are familiar with reciting poems not spoken words. How do can you help to settle this confusion?

HAVFY: The question of where spoken word poetry belong in literature isn’t as complicated as it seems. To illustrate, I’d use fashion. There is the conventional standards for cutting and sewing. These rules have been for ages and they stayed because they are practical and they work. But designers approach to fashion today does not necessarily follow the conventions or rules, and as a result, fashion had evolved but it’s evolution does not make it any less fashionable. Poetry is the mother of both rap and spoken word poetry, I believe anyone that intents to be a good spoken word poet should have the knowledge of poetry, just like knowing the conventions and the basics of sewing. I’d say know the rules well, so you know how to break them properly. When you know the rules, your breaking of those rules becomes the creativity in it. You are more aware of your craft and more deliberate about your approach to it. In other words spoken word poetry is like a sub-genre of poetry, poetry is what has evolved to become spoken word and rap/trap today. But because it doesn’t necessarily go with the conventions or the rules does not make it any less creative or acceptable.

IMT: When did you discover you have the skill or talent as a writer and poet?

HAVFY: I’ve always been writing, but the realization hit me in secondary school when I won overall winner at the Nigerian festival of teen artist. The reaction, the comments, the applaud made me think for a second that I could be really good at this thing. And after that, I knew there was no going back.

IMT:  Do you have a specific time for writing?

HAVFY: Not really, but I think I’m more inclined to write in the morning, when I’m well rested and my brain is fresh from relaxation. But an idea could drop anytime! In the market place, in the toilet, in class, in the middle of a conversation, which is why I always have a pen and paper to write at any given time.

IMT: Aside writing or poetry is there any other thing you do or is this your main hustle?

HAVFY: I double as a fashion designer, a model, an actor, a voice actor, I ghost write and even style when I have enough time to spare. But I am identified as a writer and poet because that was what gave me the big break.

IMT: If there are other things you do kindly tell us and if any, how do you find balance between what you do maybe for the bread and what you do for purpose or passion?

HAVFY: Writing is what I believe to be my purpose and passion but from the beginning I had a one sided relationship with my passion. I was gaining nothing more than the satisfaction I get from writing and how my small audience at the time reacted to it. There were times I’d be really broke and It was discouraging but I couldn’t stop and it didn’t get any better. But since I couldn’t stop creating but I also had to pay the bills while at it, I dove into other professions that would help Pay the bills and that is how fashion and all these other occupations came about. I’m still very big on passion so much that even as I dove into these other professions, I made sure it was something relatable and enjoyable and something that was flexible enough to give room for my writing. I have a very distinct voice that stands out and decided to make some dough with it too but on the course of trying to make dough, I realized I was really good at it, then my voice acting introduced me to a short films, my personal taste introduced me to styling and so on.

And honestly, it is not easy joggling three to four occupations all at the same time, when I started, they were days I’d have serious burnouts, days I want to quit and just lie down for a week! But then as I continued, I learned a truck that helps me maintain balance. To

Illustrate, it’s like a joggler joggling balls. He has to suspend one in the air to catch the other, same with me, I cannot do it ALL at the same time. I suspend the less pressing tasks and focus on the most important ones, try to get them done well and fast and go to the next available one. Also like the joggler, by focusing on the more important things means he catches the ball that is closest to the ground and throws it back up to catch the next one one. But then if my work life is like joggling, what time do I get to rest?

Well I’ve realized also that when you get your job done well and fast, you’ll be surprised at the plenty of leisure time you would be able to create with your discipline. You’ll realize you have enough time at hand, and that is where my rest fall in. Also one benefit of being super busy is the fact that you will lack the time for procrastination which is a healthy attitude to work.

IMT:  How do you find inspiration and how do you stay motivated?

HAVFY: No creative is immune to discouragement, but when I discover I’m in that mode, I take a few moment to reflect on my achievements. I go to some of my most successful post and read upbuilding comments from honest hearted fans, I talk to my really close friends and honestly tell them how I feel, I pray, I read a book or two and I try not to overwhelm myself with the pressure of creating at the time. I just take a moment to breathe and when I’m well rested, I bounce back a hundred fold!

IMT: Have you written any book? If No, do you have plans to write one?

HAVFY: I wrote a book when I was fifteen and the book won a prize in 2017. Then as I grew older I withdrew the book from the press and had it revised. I promise I did not tamper with the story and the childish originality, just the diction and the structure of the book, and it would be released early next year  hopefully.

IMT: What is your creative process like?

HAVFY: Sometimes an idea could pop and I would werire abd finish a piece in minutes, other times a week, a month or even years. My creative process is as unpredictable as my muse. It might depend on the complexity of the topic I want to tackle and how inspired I am at the given time.

IMT: What elements of language do you pay attention to in creating a poem and how are they important to you?

HAVFY: My language or my diction is solely depended on the topic and the manner at which I want to tackle it. If it’s a panegyric I could find myself using lofty and polish words to celebrate the object in the piece, if it’s satiric I might find myself using simpler and easier languages to create the satiric effect. I pay more attention to the mood, the language comes naturally.

IMT: How important are titles to you when you write poems?

HAVFY: Ideas are more important to me than tittles. I suck at tittles, I name a book or a poem after I’m done writing it. I feel a tittle limits me, but when they is none, I have all the freedom to explore and idea to exhaustion and the result would determine the tittle but when there’s already a tittle, I find myself writing to soothe the already given tittle. I’d prefer a theme or and center idea to work with.

IMT: Do you write a poem with a particular audience in mind or is the audience secondary for you or does it go together in the writing process?

HAVFY: Like I said before, a theme or the center idea determines my tittle but also my targeted audience. If it’s a poem about climate change, my audience is the world, if its a poem about the Nigerian spirit I know my targeted audience is Nigeria, if it’s a poem about feminism, I already know my audience is the women folk and the society. The idea determines the audience so my audience is secondary. But this can be argued with when the diction and my tone is brought to question. If I tackle a global issue with a street diction and ghetto tone, it implies that my targeted audience might be of the tone and diction I have chosen to explore. But most times, I don’t think about my targeted audience, I let the piece decide.

IMT: Do you think there is a link between Rap (Hip-Hop) and poetry, if so, what links do you see and how similar or different is poetry to Rap (Hip-Hop)?

HAVFY: They all explore rhymes and the musicality of words, they all try to pass across a message, they all serve the purpose of entertainment and enlightenment. Like I said before, rap and spoken word poetry are the result of the evolution of poetry or page poetry. People have found a rather innovative and performative approach to it and it’s beautiful. But I would not classify music under this, because music is a very broad and distinct genre on it own.

IMT: Do you have any project out on the digital platforms or do you have any coming soon?

HAVFY: I have but a few on the digital platform but believe me when I say there is more from where all that came from. I have a truck load of written pieces I intend to use my new found recognition to promote. This is my way of saying, stay tuned.

IMT: What should we be expecting from you?

HAVFY: You’ll be seeing a lot of me on the screens and various developmental platforms tackling societal issues, and you’ll be seeing a lot of my spoken word videos, So look out for them.

IMT: Who are your favorite spoken word artiste/poets?

HAVFY: I’m Nigeria I’d say; Titilope Sonuga, Bashiru Amuneni, Efe Paul Azino, Fragile Dogubo, Dike Chukwumwrije, Obi, Wanawana to mention but a few.

IMT: Have you collaborated with any artiste in or out of your field? If yes, tell us who and if not, why?

HAVFY: Yes I’ve collaborated with one of my favorite Nigerian artiste Johnny Drille and till this minute, it was one of the beset collaborations I’ve ever had in my life!

IMT: When was your last biggest performance and how was it?

HAVFY: My appearance at the UNICEF unveiling early this year remains my biggest and best performance. The rapturous applause, the upbuilding feedbacks and the peek of it all was the standing ovation. I could literally die that day, I felt so grateful and fulfilled.

IMT: Do you think poets are underrated in Nigeria compared to other countries or is it a general thing, if yes, why?

HAVFY: I know a lot of Nigerian poets that are not getting the recognition they deserve today. I know a lot that are putting more into their art than their art is giving them and it just goes to show that the art is not as rated as it should be. I personally would say from my algorithm that, most of my fans are non-Nigerian and I would really love if my own would be the first to recognize me.

IMT: Let's divert a little, what is your fashion taste or style and why?

HAVFY: I have a very weird approach to fashion. I’m yet to find a name for it but I know I find myself mixing an Afro feel to my outfit. Some times I go all African and sometimes I leave lingering bits of Afrocentric pieces here and there to still represent. It could be how I wear my hair, it could be beads, cowries, and Ankara scarf, I just find a way of african-izing everything I wear.

IMT: Tell us about some of your favorite childhood memories?

HAVFY: I have a lot, but one that stood out is one random day, I went out playing with friends and when I returned, I caught my mum reading one of my handwritten stories and just like that, she asked to know what my character would do next and I ended up spiking the whole story for her. It was a rare experience and it stuck with me till today.

IMT: Apart from reading, writing or performing poetry, what other things do you do as a hobby or to relieve stress?

HAVFY: I’m really big on bodily exercise, asides the health benefits, it helps me to practice my voice regulation. That is why I can perform with so much energy and still keep my voice under control. Also I read like my life depends on it, I read like a book worm, I could read all day and everyday without getting tired, I love to watch a good movie every once in a while, I could explore my closet and style myself in various outfits, pairing and comparing them and most importantly, I write, Radom things, anything. Writing before it was a profession was a hobby after-all.

IMT: What are the challenges you have faced so far on your path as a writer, poet or spoken word artiste?

HAVFY: From my early stages I’ve faced financial challenges, there were things I would have loved to explore if I had the means at the time but my hands were too short to reach them. Also the art was not really a recognized art in Nigeria at the time so I thrived in the shadows, I had a limited audience and as a result my voice was not amplified enough to reach a good number.   I was a girl born in an environment  where my kind of art is termed as “brazen” it was out of character for a girl to be outspoken and free if inhibitions, I heard comments like “ I have tendencies of being a loose woman when I grow up” because of my personality and the kind of art I’m drawn to. That dimmed my light, I made a deliberate attempt to be conserved to meet the societal standard of how I should behave. But overall, I’m grateful that all these challenges groomed me into the woman I am today.

IMT: How far do you plan to take what you do?

HAVFY: As far as I can go, to the ends of the earth of the earth if possible.

IMT: How do you plan to impact lives with your skills and talent?

HAVFY: I want to be the voice to the voiceless, I want to be a force for change and action, I want a little girl to look at me and say If Havfy can speak, I can too, I want to charge into the strongest of souls and arouse emotions, I want to the voice of consciousness, the voice of change. And when I die, I want to have set an example for people to follow.

IMT: What piece of advice would you like to give any startup poet, writer or spoken word artiste/poet?

HAVFY: Don’t stop. It would get rough, you will question your skills, you will get discouraged but no matter the odds, don’t stop.

IMT: Thanks for your time.

Watch Havfy - The girl in the English class.


Havfy - This society

 (latest project)

Havfy - Laughing in the face of wahala


Watch/subscribe to Havfy's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@Havfy

Follow Havfy on all social media platforms: @_havfy



Cover star: @_havfy

EIC: @itsanovibes

Editor: @chisom_olivia

Photos: Toolz Photography, Dr. Spec,

Graphic Designs: @avmagency

Powered by: I Must Talk Int.






Blogger Widget

No comments:

Post a Comment

Get Instant Post Updates and Newsletters!

LearnX Plus (Click image for more info)

Talk Your Hustle

Winners of 'I Must Talk Biz' Contest


#WhatIDo - Online Contest - Coming soon!

Anvawis Logistics

This Is The Healthiest Drink After A Good Drinkable Water.

Advertise Here!

Shop Here!

Featured Stories - click image

Featured Stories - click image
The Story of Iyadunni Oluwaseyi Akinrinmade.

The Story Of A Coke Addict.

Featured Post >> click image

Featured Post >> click image
Are you feeling sad or depressed? Read this article!


popular posts

Subcribe To Our Youtube Channel

search blog

Follow us on twitter.

I Must Talk