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is all about love! An interview with Batsirai Chigama
September 03, 2009
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did realize that you liked poetry?
In 1993 when I was at Msengezi High there was a call for
material to be published in the school magazine and I wrote two
poems and they were accepted.
old were you?
I was sixteen.
did your parents react to your love of poetry?
They didn't really know until I started my actual performances.
That's when they knew I was into poetry otherwise I was writing
and keeping my stuff to myself.
were you doing from 1993 to 2007?
I was just writing. I was not exposed to platforms of performance
during that time. I was still in school and there was nothing else
did you waste time?
I can't say I wasted time because that experience I went through
of going to college and doing all that I did has helped me in what
I am doing right now. I went through a number of writing workshops;
writing for film, drama and theatre. I think that has shaped the
poet that I am today.
It could be a smile, a word I hear in the kombi, some broken glass.
It could be anything.
themes are in your poetry?
When I started, you know how it is; I used to do love poetry all
the time. Then I kind of grew up. Now I do thematic things like
HIV/AIDS and the situation in this country. I used to be a person
who was scared to write about things that were affecting us or things
that were going on in our country. Now I'm not.
challenges have you faced as a female poet?
For me, because I started this when I was all grown up there haven't
been as many challenges as I am sure there would be for those who
start at a young age. I haven't had any challenges. But platforms
for poetry here are still limited.
has the poetry industry been affected the last couple of years?
I think we were affected just like everybody else; we would get
instances where we were told they don't have money to pay
us, except for bus fare for you to come perform and go home.
the chance what would you change in the entertainment industry?
I would create more platforms for poetry especially in schools.
I think poetry is taken for granted some how. I would like to see
poetry performed on a larger scale than it is right now.
poetry a male dominated genre?
it is. Even up to now if you ask me how many female poets there
are, there are so few of them I can name them.
your stage performance.
I am passionate and well organized when it comes to performances
- that I can tell you!
Would you advise a young girl to become a poet?
Yes if its something you love doing, then why not. Everything is
about the love, do you have the love, are you passionate about it?
qualifies to be a poet?
I think it's your love for it - nothing else.
do you perform?
Normally I perform at the Book Café. I have performed at
HIFA three times and at functions like on international AIDS day,
and sixteen days of activism.
you perform with on stage?
I perform on my own most of the time but I think it's good
to do collaborations and work with other musicians and artists.
So sometimes I collaborate with other poets or with instrumentalists.
poets have collaborated with?
ERS, Upmost and Linda Gabriel.
do you see yourself in the next two, or three years?
I see myself with at least two books out, and a CD or DVD.
groom up coming poets?
Yes I do. If I am called and somebody says can you edit for me,
I am not saying I am good but I will do that. If they want to ask
me questions I am available. But what I would like to see are workshops
for poets only. Normally the workshops that are going on combine
musicians and poets. I would rather have a workshop for poets only.
did you leave your other profession for poetry?
I think it's all about love. Poetry is what I love doing.
I think some times you get to a point when what you are doing even
if its giving you a lot of money and you not enjoying it you say
it's about time to quit.
worth it now?
Not really. I can't say it's worth it now but I am sure
it will be soon.
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