My first credit analysis training was by SLS aka HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. This was in 2008 when he was the CRO i.e Chief Risk Officer of a first generation bank in Nigeria.

The main lesson of that day was the application of the Risk Pyramid in our credit reviews. This lesson stayed with me till date.

Ok, so in your in mind you are wondering that now that I’m a full time poet, wetin concern Risk Pyramid with spoken word poetry? Well, I believe the Risk Pyramid affects every aspect of life, thus even poets need it to plan and strategize.

So let’s get right into it.

The Risk Pyramid is made up of 5 levels. At the base you have country risk, next / on top of it is industry risk, then management/ non-financial risk, then financial risk and at the top of the pyramid is product risk. As a spoken word poet, you are the product.

     /    \

 /         \

/  Product  \

/   Financial  \

/ Non-financial \

/     Industry    \

/        Country   \


Let’s start from the base:


This is general to everyone, but the interpretation differ from person to person and industry to industry. Country risks can be categorized under PESTLE, which is broken down as follows: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental

Political – as a poet, do you know how new government policies affects you? E.g. the proposed Hate Speech bill – if your Poetry video goes viral, can your words be classified as “hate speech.”  What about taxation? Hope you know the tax net is widening to capture as many as possible. Also, change of Government, insecurity, lack of power/ electricity etc all come under political issues.

Economic: this has to do the economy of the Nation, as it relates to CBN policies, inflation rate, deposit rate, stock market, money market, unemployment, purchasing power etc. Two key questions to ask even if everything above sounds technical are, are the middle class still in the middle?  If not, why?

Social: for this one I will drill down to just two major segments. These are demographic and psychographic factors. Demographic relates to age, gender, religion, education level, income etc. Psychographic relates to values, interests, lifestyle, attitude, opinion etc. To increase your chances of success/ sale/ growth, knowing and attending to the psychographic factors to get customers and clients would help you more.

Technological: how are you leveraging technology to grow your career? Video, podcast, Apps, A.I etc. They are there for you to add value to your craft.

Legal: do you have a lawyer or lawyer friend who helps you draft agreements and read through the contracts from.other parties before you sign?

Environmental: issues affecting your physical location e.g. weather.

Next on the Risk Pyramid is:


Let me illustrate this with something I heard recently. 

A poet performed at an event that was “seeming” critical of a certain class of people. After his performance, he was confronted by this certain class of people, and was told that if he had done the poem at another event, his poetry career would be over.

Personally, I don’t believe flesh and blood can end any poet’s career. 

But as a poet, please know that reputational risk is a key issue in any industry. 

Also, there are always “power centers” in every industry, and you don’t have to be James to bond with them. In this context, power centers are people not places. But note, not all power centers are for you, so choose wisely.


This basically has to do with you and your team.
So the question to ask here is: who u b? Wetin u don do?
Sorry, I mean, who are you?
What have you done/ achieved?
People want to know your experience, your pedigree, your track record, your achievements etc.

If you are saying you can do something, you should be able to show what you have done before.
If as a poet, you want to perform on the big stage but you have no video of your past performance (s), most organizers won’t allow you on their platform.

Why do you think most poets like to be called “award winning poet?”
They are trying to show they have pedigree.

Most brands won’t sponsor a new show/ event, unless they are sure the organizers have a track record of well organized events.

So build your track record to boost your chances for the big bucks/ big stage.


This is a game of numbers, which can include the following:

How many views do you have on your video(s)?
How many video/ audio downloads?
How many people came to your show?
How many brands partnered with you?
What’s your cost? Is it reasonable?

Know your numbers.
Know your costs.
Learn to count so you can be counted.
And make the numbers count.


This is you. In the risk pyramid you are the product. Thus you need to be able to answer the following questions, or at least work towards them. These are:
What is your USP?
Are you bankable?
Are you valuable?
Your value is in your function, and you and/or your event is the transaction.
What is the transaction dynamics of your event?
Is it an investable event?

No matter how good you are, if you don’t know how to “sell yourself,” you won’t achieve much. So learn to stand out until you are outstanding.
As a poet learn the business of your craft. Invest in knowledge, research and smart work, so you can win in life.

I’m available to help your condition

Olumide Holloway (King Olulu)

+2348025070892, +447513762134