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New generation of poets at House of Hunger Poetry slam
January 30, 2013
Book Café is proud to play host to the long-running series,
House of Hunger Poetry Slam on Saturday the 2nd of February at 2pm.
This monthly showcase has grown into one of the most prominent spoken
word and poetry events in Zimbabwe and features the best poets and
spoken word artists in Zimbabwe. It is a critical ‘movement'
of performance poets who have made an impact artistically and brought
to the fore the voice of the underrepresented youth.
a new generation of spoken word artists have sought innovative means
to express their vision and hopes for Zimbabwe. The result is the
emergence of a raw poetry movement, dubbed "Houser of Hunger",
which became a major feature of the local arts scene. Developed
as a platform for youth expression by arts organization Pamberi
Trust at The Book Cafe, "House of Hunger" is named after
a book written by famously anti-establishment author, Dambudzo Marechera.
The House of
Hunger Poetry Slam has been and continues to be, an important platform
for young poets to express themselves explicitly and to talk about
issues that affect them in their communities. Combining poetry,
spoken word and rap elements, it is an eclectic blend of English
and Shona words expressed in rhythm that speak from the heart.
to emerge from House of Hunger have gone on to achieve international
stature including Godobori, Cde Fatso, Outspoken, Flowchyld and
Upmost. These poets have all made their mark locally, regionally
and internationally, inspiring a new generation of poets who have
now come to the fore. In recent times, a few poets have risen to
prominence through their performances at the Poetry Slam including
Tendekai Tati (known as Madzitatiguru), SoProfound (Arnold Chirimika),
Dimitri Kwenda (The Scarecrow) and More Blessing Size (Momo Size).
SoProfound says "My inception to spoken word is House of Hunger
Poetry Slam. It means a lot. It's a podium I've been
loyal to and I can't imagine missing a slam. It's that
space where it's really given me the time to be quick with
my thoughts, to be articulate, to improve. Plus exposure. I am who
I am now because I've been performing at House of Hunger".
Deeply Christian, SoProfound's spoken word poetry has religion
as its foundation. "I'm that guy who's taking
principals, ideas and concepts- I'm talking about personal
development. Basically I believe that if you can change the individual,
you can change everything around them. Religion is the core. I believe
in progress and continuity".
in a slam or competition, culminating in a prize for the best performer
and two runner-ups. Four-time House of Hunger Poetry slam winner
Tendekai Tati, known as Madzitatiguru used to write rap verses,
but found that he couldn't keep the rhythm. "I figured
that with spoken word it is much easier for me to articulate what
I want to say". The 23-year old whose poems mix Shona and
English with delightful imagery and clever social commentary, often
performs to rapturous applause. "I basically comment on the
things that I see", he says. Madzitatiguru is one to watch,
having also won the Afro Slam Poetry contest in Johannesburg in
The House of
Hunger poets all have an evocative display of words and rhyming
skill. The Poetry Slam is unique and has something for everyone
interested in poetic expression. Ladies also compete at The House
of Hunger slam. More Blessing Size (known as Momo Size), the self-proclaimed
‘Love Poet' says, "House of Hunger is a bit challenging.
I had never done poetry as any sort of competitive thing but the
first time I did it, I entered into the second round. So that was
quite something." Momo Size says she admires well-known and
established poets Xapa and Aura Kawanzaruva. One of the newest poets
on the scene is Dimitri Kwenda, known as ‘The Scarecrow'.
Kwenda started performing at The House of Hunger Poetry Slam in
2012, and has placed second and third in the last two slams at The
Book Café. Fusing several modes of expression including Spoken
word, poet and rapper, The Scarecrow says of House of Hunger, "It's
a great platform for exposure, to come out of your shell. This is
what it's done for me. It also allows for a lot more people
to get involved." He adds, "What I talk about are things
that are relevant to the society I live in. I target truths that
I view and my own perception of things".
expect a delightful array of poetry and spoken word on Saturday,
February 2 at The Book Café, performed by this new generation
of lyrical, spoken word poets. Anyone can participate (registration
is before 2pm on Saturday) in this celebration of the art of poetry
and spoken word. Don't miss out on this spectacular lyrical,
violence is a sensitive, harrowing community issue that affects
1 in 3 women in Zimbabwe. It is a crime, and although legislation
has been enacted to try and prevent it, many women find themselves
in a position where they are vulnerable to physical, psychological,
sexual and emotional abuse.
that despite active campaigns from women's groups, government ministries
and NGO's, domestic violence continues to be a major problem in
Zimbabwe. From January to May 2012, a total of 3,141 domestic violence
cases were reported to police, not taking into account all those
victims too scared to make an official report and instead bear their
wounds in silence. Most shockingly, 60% of the murder cases brought
before the High Court are a direct result of domestic violence.
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