Poet Marumbo Sichinga on Friday failed to advance to the last 16 of Africa Cup of Slam Poetry competition when he lost out to South Sudan.
Marumbo was at pains after the loss, saying he tried his level best to advance to the next round.
“I wanted to go all the way but South Sudan was too good for me. I have learnt lessons and I am hoping to participate again,” he said.
Some of the countries that went through on Friday include South Sudan, Madagascar, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
And, Sunday, eight countries were expected to go through to the last eight in the competition which takes place every two years.
Asked what missed in him to fail to advance, Marumbo pointed out energy as one of the key things.
“Competitive poetry and performance poetry differ a lot in delivery and dramatic approach to how the poem is delivered, one of the biggest takeaways was being more energetic and dramatic with delivery,” he said.
He said going forward, he is targeting more practice doing slam performances and applying for more activities to get into a rhythm.
Ahead of his debut performance in the contest, Marumbo posted on his Facebook page that he was nervous.
“I think the nerves were there naturally, haven’t performed to an audience in over a year but I think nervousness is good for me; it helps me prepare and make sure that I care about my performance. But I will continue to learn and seek to improve,” Marumbo said.
He said he was grateful for the platform and opportunity to compete for Malawi.
The first edition of the contest was in N’Djamena, Chad in 2018 with 20 countries competing and Senegal emerged winner.
About 33 countries competed in the first round from last Tuesday to Friday.
The the first phase of the contest was online and the second phase will be quarter finals whereas the semi-finals will take place in November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
As a spoken word artist and poet, whose poetry is deeply rooted in the understanding of culture, life, love and God, Marumbo, draws deeply from life’s experiences and his observations to create well-meaning and relatable poetry that not only entertains but also educates and raises awareness for the struggles and issues of daily life.
The poet shows these attributes in an array of contexts in his debut Extended Playlist titled Broken Keys. His other works include Conversations of A Broken and Mended Heart.
Marumbo, who recited a poem titled ‘Poetry of Africa’, was nominated to represent Malawi by poet and Tumaini Festival founder Menes la Plume.