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Poetry Africa happening at Book Café

Popular African spoken word fete, Poetry Africa Festival, is set to take place at the Book Café tomorrow and Tuesday.

Report by Kundai Marunya

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 16th edition of Poetry Africa, which runs in different nations including Malawi, South Africa and Botswana, will feature various poets from across the continent.

Information and communication officer at Pamberi Trust, which owns Book Café, Extra-Blessing Kuchera said the festival would feature international acts.

“On Monday (tomorrow) at 7pm, audiences can enjoy the Poetry and Music Expression Session, featuring a mix of musicians and poets, while the Poetry Africa Showcase takes place on Tuesday,” said Kuchera.

The lineup for the showcase features musician, composer and storyteller Pedro Espi-Sanchis (Spain), popular Durban MC and slam poet Ewok, poet, novelist and human rights activist Philo Ikonya of Kenya. Xhosa musician and storyteller Madosini, Nii Ayikwei Parkes a poet, editor, social commentator and author from Ghana, and the dynamic dub poet, educator and Jamaican-born performer D’bi Young will also perform.

“Local spoken word artist Cynthia Marangwanda, better known as Flowchyld and poet, comedian, actor and composer Madzitateguru will add a Zimbabwean flavour to the occasion,” he said.

Meanwhile, local afro-jazz legend Oliver Mtukudzi will represent the country at the main event in Durban South Africa.

“A Zimbabwean presence at the main event in Durban is marked through the participation, in solo mode, of music legend Oliver Mtukudzi who last performed at the event in 2006.

“This giant of the music world will certainly set the Poetry Africa stage alight this year amidst a strong lineup that also features Tumi (without the Volume) and the enigmatic Saul Williams.”

Poetry Africa runs in Durban from 15 to 20 October with satellite components taking place in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Cape Town as a build up to the main event.

The week-long festival programme features 24 participants from eight countries including live music performances, book launches, readings, schools visits and wide-reaching day activities that include seminars, workshops and poetry performances.

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