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Poet Titilope Sonuga talks Leaving a Career in Engineering to Follow Her Dreams | Watch Episode 2 of “Culture Diaries”



Titilope Sonuga

Last week we introduced you to a brand new web series from Wana Udobang called “Culture Diaries where she gets to introduce her viewers to some of the prominent players in the African art and culture scene.

In episode 2 of Culture Diaries, we meet poet Titilope Sonuga who moved from a career in engineering to follow her dream as a poet and spoken word artist.

Watch below.


  1. Caligula

    March 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Eyahhh… Another lawyer of engineering & medicinal science that left her fancy schmancy career for the arts huh? Omg Gimme a break ??

    If you wanna do something in the arts, do it. And do it passionately. If you wanna be a fancy engineer, be that. But nobody wants to hear your lame story on how you gave up 10 PhDs to live the simple life.

    • Please

      March 4, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Well, she did it. And she has told the story. And you have heard. So too bad for you.

    • Funms

      March 4, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Did you even watch the video?

    • labelle

      March 5, 2016 at 12:12 am

      Who hurt you? Jesus loves you.

    • Titi's fan

      December 13, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Don’t say that about people. Do you know what it means to have society or your parents demand of you directly or indirectly what to be in life. Do you know the courage it takes to finally pursue your dreams. Arts is a coin with both the technical part; what you learn in school and the creative part; what you are born with. The latter being the most important. Titilope is a poet, performer , actress and Intel ambassador

  2. Barmmie creammie

    March 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Wow!two beautiful ladies. I love your natural hair girl, it’s really pretty. Can’t wait to chop mine off.

  3. oluwadunsin

    March 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Dear bellanaija, pls how can I send my stories and poems to your blog so they can be featured on bn prose? I’ll be expecting your reply. Help a sister please so my talent won’t go to waste.

  4. Female engineer

    March 4, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I’m just establishing myself into engineering and I’m loving it lol

  5. anonymous

    March 4, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is awesome, but some people require stability. 10, 20 or 30 yrs from now would you be living comfortably without a 401K plan, health benefits, insurance etc? I manage my engineering career and passion simultaneously . Everything ain’t for everyone .My advice for the youth of today is to plan , plan before quitting your career.

    • person

      March 4, 2016 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you!!

  6. 'Deola

    March 4, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Some things just make sense and experience plays a big factor.

    Imagine you are in the praires, in your truck , under a -40°c weather, poor visibility and all. And in the middle of nowhere , and the roads are like a straight line that the farther you look into the distance it appears it disappears into the skies. And wildlife occasionally cross the road, I mean bears, coyotes, moose and deers.

    And in spite of your safety and bear awareness training, you are forced to carry a bear horns and watch out for collision with animal like a moose that is way bigger than a cow while driving at night.. And while working late at night in your trailer the thought of going out alone to pee

  7. 'Deola

    March 4, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    These are issues alone to consider changing professison and leaving a foreign country and going back home to where people are so joyful.

    Excuse me why not that arts !

  8. Caligula

    March 4, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    PLEASE – Ode who’s talking to you? ? mugu I don’t know who asked you to comment. I said it, it’s annoying. Artistically, I’ll never respect people like that. We used to make fun of people like her at the art school I studied at. My professor calls people like her pretend artists ??

    Yall fancy schmancy professionals please Leave the art Scene for the true struggling/made artists and stick to your professions.

    • 'Deola

      March 4, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      I am not realy sure why you had to go there.. You should not be disrespectful over someone’s interview. This is ridiculous. If she is not abtrue artist, then let the market determine whether she sinks or swims financially. i have no reason to be rude to you. Please abeg allow me comment without bullying me online. na beg a beg you o!

    • Bloop

      March 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      So the best artists to you are those who went to art school. You are obviously doing so well that you have time to comment on bella naija. Not all artists have to be wretched and struggle to prove themselves. Its called Talent. Mugu

    • Madara

      March 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      You’re obviously bitter as you’re likely a failed artist wearing rags. Sometimes it’s better to waka pass than make ignorant dumb ass comments.
      If you know Titi you would know she’s travelled the world and met people you will never meet Coz your green Pali no go allow.

    • me

      March 5, 2016 at 5:30 am

      Did she go to ISL? For the person who claims to know her. She looks kinda familiar.

    • Sigh

      March 4, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      Ode, Mugu – all this abuse over what?
      Your opinion is YOUR opinion but that does not give you the right to knock someone else’s hustle.

      And no one cares what your professor or yourself has to say. Rme

    • Ms Geeky 30

      March 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Not sure why you resorted to calling other commenters names @Caligula. Something is very wrong if you think the two comments you posted were appropriate. Not only are your points of view incredibly shortsighted (people start off professional careers for all sorts of reasons including parental pressure for example), your delivery of said opinions are rather crass and rude and do not speak well of your character and training (so your professors are clearly doing something wrong).

  9. Weezy

    March 4, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    I watched 1/3 of the video. She seems very intelligent, very passionate, and I’d be interested in hearing her spoken word poetry.

    And yet, I have to ask, again, how does she pay her bills? Even in the US and Canada, poets are working 9-5 jobs and doing their art on the side, until they make it big with a book deal or TV spot, etc. Is she self-supporting, or is someone subsidizing her? Can a young artist make a living solely as a poet, without family wealth?

    In the Nigerian context where there is no middle class, and we are surrounded by poverty or just daily stress for people who are not poor, these questions are important. Art does not exist in a bubble.

    • me

      March 5, 2016 at 5:32 am

      Valid point. Was about to ask that too. We’ve gotta be realistic. Naija or no naija

  10. D

    March 4, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    This was awesome… really loved the interview, thoughtful questions and insightful answers from a talented and gracious woman.

  11. Ijebu Khaleesi

    March 4, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Caligula I suggest you check some of the artist ‘s work before making these comments.
    Did you even watch the video at all?
    Are you aware that she (Titilope) is also an actress ? Has a TEd talk? Has a published collection of poems? Has performed alongside Maya Angelou? Performed at the last Presidential Inauguration in Nigeria ? Is aN INTEL brand ambassador???
    Maybe if you did , you’d have made a more constructive argument than expressing your bitterness towards the fancy schamsy professionals.

    Or are you a failed artist yourself ? Because this level of bitterness in the name of you went to an ‘art’ school has now made you the custodian of art in Nigeria atink?

    Watch the full video … heck … don’t watch the full video . Just speak with … you know…

    Wisdom .

  12. jd

    March 5, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Amazing interview.

  13. Brenda M

    March 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Thanks a million to everyone involved in bringing this interview to fuition and subsequently to our attention.

    I LOVE Titilope’s poetry. I was dreamily watching Gidi up when she started performing ‘Becoming’ and in that moment I knew something in me had changed forever. It was the first time an artist spoke to directly to my soul. A few months later I discovered more of Titi’s work online and I have continued to be enthralled by her work. I may flirt with the works of other poets but I always subconsciously ask ‘what would Titi do?’- she has become the gold standard for me.

    As an emerging writer I will take away the advice she gave to improve my own work.

    Titi please come and perform in London. It would make me so happy.

  14. Moi Meme

    March 7, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I remember Ms Titilope from her BECOMING show at Muson Center last year.

    She had this all-woman band and performers the entire night. I actually cried because it was such a beautifully written show with very provoking performances from everyone on that stage.

    I remember looking at her and going ‘Gosh! This lady is going to be a mega star someday’.

    Ride on Ms Titilope. We cannot wait for you to shine across the world.

    God bless you and your gifts.

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