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Deft Festival to introduce poetry awards next year

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SPARKLING—Phindu perform

Organisers of Deft Poetry Festival said on Saturday they will introduce poetry awards next year.

Deft Media Malawi Managing Director Rodwell Lumbe said this in an interview after successfully hosting the second edition of the festival at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre which run under the theme Adoption of Renewable Energy.

“The festival is now established and we will not stop doing this. We are considering taking it to the other regions and we are considering doing it atleast twice a year. We are also set to bring poetry awards and so, from next year we will be awarding poets inside the festival,” Lumbe said.

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Hosted by Nicole and Yankho Seunda, the festival saw poets use the platform to tackle various issues affecting the society including corruption, gender based violence and education.

Poet Q Malewezi offered his best before paving way for musician Praise Umali.

Q, who is expected to fly the country’s flag at a festival in Mexico in October, dropped some new poems off his upcoming album Son of A Preacher’s Son.

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“The audience keepson getting better, people are attentive and I really had a great time, the reception was great, interaction and the response was great. Growth in poetry is not only about the poets but also the audience and seeing how people understand and appreciate poetry is something positive,” the Lilongwe-based poet, said.

Gospel rapper David Kalilani, who patronised the festival, described the performances by the poets as amazing.

“Poets are a voice and I really love the fact that they are addressing things that we are going through especially currently as a nation. Poets are using the vehicle of arts to be a voice for the people. This is a powerful platform,” Kalilani said.

Tresor, who was also performing at the festival for the second time, said she has seen growth.

“I was here last year but this year it’s been great and I love the mix of budding and established poets. As poets, we are 100 percent benefiting from this platform. Poetry is being exposed,” she said.

Centre for Sports, Culture and Arts (Cesca) Chairperson Caleb Thole, whose organisation committed K2 million towards the festival, was also present during the event.

Apart from Q, other poets that starred at this year’s festival include Phindu Zaie, who sparked, Sylvester Kalizang’oma of ‘Unkalindanji Moyo’, ‘Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera, Robert Chiwamba, Patwell Phiri, Yona Mlakatuli and Mbumba.

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