Bolajoko: “Break Your Mouth Open and Speak Freedom”

Artist name: Bolajoko

Featured Work 1:

In her multi-media WitchDoctorPoet project, Bolajoko weaves together feminine power, the magic of words, and her identity as a “daughter of the Diaspora.” The result is a collection of evolving, moving, healing, exploratory, and expressive poems, creative works, and rituals.

Featured Works Slideshow:

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5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is art to you?

As a daughter of the Diaspora, I have always had a hyper awareness of how reading and writing were not available to many of my ancestors. Imagine living in an era where it is legally mandated for you to be whipped within an inch of your life simply because you were caught writing? For me to be able to express myself freely is not something that I take for granted.

For me writing is a prayer and a privilege. It allows for me to be used as conduit to express my sense of purpose and then share it with the world. Writing is one of the most underrated forms of mediumship. Many writers know what it is like to get into a trance-like state (“in the flow”) and then magic spills out. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

For years I kept a dream journal and would write short stories based off of lucid dreams and nightmares. When I was introduced to the works of Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and Ntozake Shange my writing became more personal. Around the age of 9, I began using poetry as a medium for connecting with the parts of myself I was most afraid of.

I went on to write poetry throughout college and even started an erotica collective. Around this time, I also started working as an energy healer. Fortunately, I found a way to merge my multiple interests and created my current passion project almost a year ago.

3. What are you making now, and why?

I share my poems and capture visuals of witchcraft and rituals. It is a way for me to pay homage to healing traditions that have existed throughout the Diaspora. Healing traditions for people of color have hxstorically been very resourceful and predicated upon using what is available to us.

Omi Iyo is another love of mine. It is a vegan all natural apothecary line that I have been working on for the past few months. As a reiki practitioner, I believe your relationship with your body is very important. Usually skincare involves obsessing over the erasure of flaws. My approach is more affirmative and encourages using the power of ritual and touch to heal the mind-body-spirit relationship.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

Expanding “Plantation Proverbs,” which are a series of quotes that feature adages in American black vernacular. Pidgin is the life force of present day language and not enough acknowledgement is given to its complexity. Aside from that, everyday I work on expanding my community of writers and healers online and off.

5. What else would you like to say?

Break your mouth open and speak freedom.

Artist Supplied Background:

Bolajoko is a multimedia creative whose work intersects between healing arts and writing. Initially starting off as a wellness blogger, Bolajoko has since created a passion project entitled “WitchDoctorPoet.” WitchDoctorPoet exists within the portals of proverbs, poetry and pidgin. Each poem is a primal affirmation that is conceived through the struggle of finding a home within the limits of language. Follow her at www.witchdoctorpoet.com and on Instagram @witchdoctorpoet.

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5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers
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