Poets battle


Poets from Blantyre and Lilongwe on Monday met at the Blantyre Cultural Centre where they shrugged it off during a show dubbed Nkhonya ya Ndakatulo.
The event was organised by a non-profit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) known as Fertile Brains International, with the aim of raising funds in aid of Tikondane Women Social Enterprises in Blantyre.
With poetry events pulling huge audiences of late, this one failed to do so—perhaps because it was Chilembwe Day.
However, the organisers showed creativity at the show, which was more like a boxing duel where poets came on stage in sets.
Unlike in other poetry events, where poets, one by one, come to the stage and then offer their poems, the case was different this time.
For instance, Sylvester Kalizang’oma from Blantyre battled it out against Michael Benjala from Lilongwe.
The two were invited to the stage by the hosts Mollen Nazombe and Kenneth Khondiwa, who, in this case, served as referees.
It was a battle that saw Kalizang’oma dish one poem and then Benjala drop his. It went on like that, while people cheered them on.
It was a tussle that saw the ‘Unkalindanji Moyo’ star and the ‘Zitsitsi za Yehova’ creator exciting the audience.
The other battle was between Yohane Pangani from Blantyre and Thomas Chigo from Lilongwe.
‘Achikabudula’ creator Joseph Madzedze battled it out with Hudson Chamasowa.
But, in this case, Chamasowa was vibrant throughout while Madzedze seemed to have run out of gas in some instances.
Although some of the poems from the poets have now started losing steam, the audience enjoyed them.
Despite that poetry is enjoying its fair share of appeal in the creative industry, poets have a long way to go if they are to continue enjoying support and this can be done by creating quality work and following the rules of poetry.
In their poems, the poets tackled various issues and, in one of Madzedze’s poems, he highlighted several issues that engulfed the country in 2017, including that of bloodsuckers, Area 18 residents drinking contaminated water and blackouts.
Poets Raphael Sitima and Samuel Joseph closed the chapter on the day.
They, too, touched several issues.
There was also a performance from The Mighty GYV.
Fertile Brains International Administrator, Mathias Maguda, said they were happy with the way things went during the day.
“It was a good event; we actually are looking forward to doing more. Of course, being the first time, it was difficult but we have learnt lessons. We have more events lined up,” Maguda said.
He said, apart from raising funds to go towards women’s project, they also want to help youths showcase their talents.
He said they came up with the Nkhonya ya Ndakatulo because they wanted to move away from the usual poetry event setup.
“This was more like boxing where poets battled [against each other] and we are happy people enjoyed it. We would like to thank them for the support,” he said.
One of the people who patronised the event, Goodluck Mtambo, said he was satisfied with the performances.
“Today, it was well organised, including in terms of the equipment, which had no technical challenges. The battle was good and the poets did well on the ground. The only setback was the turnout,” Mtambo said.
Sitima described the concept of the event as good and creative.
“It was a set where poets battled it out and it challenged us. We are looking forward to more of such unique platforms,” Sitima said.
Sitima also revealed that he has produced a DVD to be launched in March in Blantyre and Lilongwe alongside a new album.
“The DVD has poems from my albums Kalata kwa Jailosi and Chala Changa. I will launch it in March in Blantyre and Lilongwe. It will be a double launch which will include the new album Fiti za Fiti,” he said.

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