Meet the Soul Poet : Eric Otieno ‘Rixpoet’

 Written by Faith Oneya

The Soul Poet Blogs at Follow him on Twitter : ‏ @EricOtienoPoet. Read on to find out more about him.

LC: Tell us about yourself

EO:   They used to call me ‘Sonic’ back in primary school because I was a fast runner. It was funny but it made me popular and I sure didn’t mind. 🙂

~ Well, I am currently a student at Daystar University taking B.A in Communication. Still in my first year due to a little challenges but holding up.

I really have a strong passion for football and Gor Mahia is my favourite football club (I don’t throw stones though). Am also an ardent Arsenal fan.

I wouldn’t survive for long in a place where there’s no music. If I don’t get it then I make my own. I’d wake up in the middle of the night to write a poem. My other hobbies are singing, rapping, watching movies, travelling, meditating, dancing in the shower, talking to myself, reading the Bible, computer games once in a while, and a whole lot of things. Stuff I do for fun. 🙂

The Soul Poet

LC: If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be?

EO: If I could have a room full of any one thing? That would have to be God. Enough said.

On reading and writing…

LC: What book(s) are you currently reading?

EO:  I am currently reading ‘Love: the Way to Victory‘ by one Kenneth E. Hagin. You have to look for this book, and don’t tell me to hand you over after am through with it coz it’s not any time soon.

LC: Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character from a book? Tell us about it.

EO:  I honestly did not grow up reading books. I was not a fan at all. Perhaps it had to do with the way I was brought up and the environment I grew up in. I’ve begun appreciating books while in secondary school, and from the fictional work I have read, the Merchant of Venice‘s Bassanio (don’t know if that’s the right spelling) was a character I adored. He taught me that love means nothing if we don’t add zeal and determination to it, and in the end, he won. I still marvel at what William Shakespeare, the writer, was made of.

LC: What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?

EO: Okay, I really do not have a list of good books that I’d die to read. I guess whatever I come across that can be of good help does it for me.

LC: What kind of poet are you?

EO:  I do not know if poets too have categories but maybe I’d answer that best if I described my style of writing. I call it soul poetry. Well, virtually all poems speak to the soul but I love writing about things that poke the soul with a little more depth added into it; be it in a happy, somber or a conscious way.

LC: Do you sit and think through every word of every stanza or do you just write freely and allowing the words to flow?

EO:  It depends on the piece am working on. Some pieces need me to think of every line am writing while others allow me to fly away with untamed expressions but in both cases, still end up making thoughtful sense.

LC: When did you first start writing and were there any incidents in your life that made you want to write?

EO:  My love for writing begun in class 7. Growing up in Eastlands did not do me justice in acquainting myself with good writing skills and speaking English. So when I joined Makini School in 1999, I had a hard time expressing myself fluently since my peers were children from well off families most of whom knew very little sheng’ (Swahili slang’).

I was very poor in sciences but did better in languages. Did extremely well in Swahili but lagged a bit behind in English. But it was not until 2004 when I was a Form 2, expelled from school and having a rough adolescence that I discovered my poetry. I was at home during that second term and growing up an introvert, with my parents fighting every now and then, being the first born and with no one to look up to, there was no other way I could express my feelings, both of pain, peace and jollity, other than to write them down. My first piece was titled ‘A Letter To The Grave‘, a tribute to my late sister who died as I watched, ten good years before. It was during that hard time that I wished she was alive and the memories and pain of her death resurrected inside me.

LC: Who is your favourite writer/poet and for what reason are they your favourite writer?

EO:  I don’t really have a favourite poet. As I hinted before, I didn’t grow up reading books. I had no one to mentor me through poetry and how I could better my writing. But my love for literature grew while I was in form 3 at Pumwani Secondary School and the way my teacher, Mrs.Ngumii taught it. It was then that I knew people like Okot P B’tek existed and the likes of Shakespeare. But it was not until I was doing my A-Levels in Uganda that I came across celebrated poets like P.B Shelley, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Imamu Amiri Baraka, and Robert Hayden among others, most of whom were African American. Reading their works shaped me a lot, and I still read old poems to date as they have a sense of originality and a captivating ambiance that always captures my heart.

LC: Do you have a fauvorite poem among those you have written? If so, which one. Please write down a few lines from it…

EO:  I have a number of my favourite poems among those I have written. I guess every poet has an attachment to each piece they do. For this case let me sample a few lines from the poem, ‘Eve’:

The tears in your eyes are hidden

They flow

Like sin forbidden

The look in your eyes says it

Pain is heathen

I’d take forever

To quench the heat end


I know my words

My words will never be enough

Enough to show

These cascades of love

That flow

Like waterfalls from heaven above



I know your heart will laugh

Laugh because maybe

Maybe am not good enough

For the rough turf

The sleeping mirth

That has become your heart

LC: Have you been published before? Any plans to do so?

EO:  I have not been published yet. I had plans to do that a year ago but school work got into my way. I still have not embarked on it but I would certainly love to get published. At the moment I am more into blogging. My poems can be found

LC: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass on to your children, what would it be?

EO:  Wow! I would say I would love my children to be persevering. That is a trait that life instilled in me the hard way and it’s one of the things that has helped me reach where I am today. Nothing good comes easy unless when it’s through luck and we can’t be lucky all the time. Faith matures with pain, you know, so we have to learn how to take so much discomfort and still remain as a piece.

LC: What question have you always wanted to be asked as a poet and how would you answer it?

EO:  ha-ha! How do I answer this? Okay, as a poet, I’ve always wanted to be asked how am able to be deep in my pieces (Sounds like a self interview now… :)). I would simply say every one of us has a place in their heart where deep stuff lies. If we would draw our inspiration from there, and incorporate it with our daily life experiences, we can do great things in this world and people will marvel at us. But above all, God MUST is put first.


Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

7 thoughts on “Meet the Soul Poet : Eric Otieno ‘Rixpoet’”

  1. awesome interview, so many wonderful pull-out inspirations! cheering for you to keep going Eric!
    appreciate the link to my site, too!

  2. Soul poet…ha! Glad i have interacted with you….look forward to you poking my soul the more…keep writing:)

  3. I dont do long stuff, but the God part has made me reach the end! Truly God brot up such a nice Soul Poet #lol in such a marvelous way!

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