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Poets urged to open own platforms

Kennedy Nyavaya

Local poets should strive to create platforms for showcasing their talent instead of waiting to be invited by organisers all the time, Masvingo-based poet Ngonidzashe Paradza, aka Nyanzvi Yemanzwi, has said.

Paradza was crowned the fifth edition champion of the monthly Kanyanisa Poetry Slam, which was held at Theatre in the Park last week on Saturday. He walked away with gifts and prize
money.

“Unlike music, poetry has no sponsors or many platforms, so we as poets should create our own and the audiences will follow us,” he told Standard Style.

“If we do not create platforms for ourselves like Kanyanisa has, nobody will because I think our problem is not only a shortage of platforms, but rather a deficiency of ideas to set up
these.”

Having founded Nzwimabwe Poetry Slam and Poetry is Life, Paradza believes that persistence within the movement will bring back the waning prestige of the art within the country.

“Our art should be taken more seriously because we carry a more powerful message than other forms of creativity, but for that to happen we have to take the art to the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, veteran poet and one of Kanyanisa organisers Chirikure Chirikure said the slam had been growing since inception in May with inspiring participation from the young generation

“It’s quite encouraging that ever since we started, every month is drawing a bigger audience and we find new voices coming in every time,” said Chirikure, adding that their goal is to
connect performers with the audience.

“There are young and upcoming artistes with so much energy and so much new approach to doing things but do not have opportunities or spaces, so over and above we are also opening up an
audience for them.”

According to him, the showcase, which will culminate into an African Poetry Slam at the LitFest in November, has also birthed professional trainings for upcoming poets.

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