The bwalo la Alakatuli poetry feast organised by Matindi FM once again pulled a huge audience at Robin’s Park Hall in Blantyre on Friday cementing talks made by several poets that poetry has conquered and is here to stay.
The past years has seen poetry playing second fiddle to other artistic events attracting smaller audiences but the art is no longer a small meat in the eyes of Malawians these days as noticed from the huge patronage.
During the gathering people sampled poetry performances but also saw some poets being honoured for uplifting poetry in the country.
The poets who were honoured on the day include Michael Benjala, Sylvester Kalizang’oma, Hudson Chamasowa, Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga, Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa, Felix Njonjonjo Katsoka and late O’Brien Nazombe.
Nazombe, who was awarded posthumously, is a name that has helped raise the poetry bar in the country and has also assisted several poets to be where they are today. Late Nazombe created a poetry programme Patsinde on Joy FM which is still there until today and is being hosted by Evelyn Pangani.
The recipients received wall clocks and medals plus other items given by among others Oasis Conference Centre.
Kalizang’oma could not hide his excitement with the award saying the awards were the first in the history of poetry.
“Matindi FM has led the way; I never knew that one day I will be honoured. I just want to say thank you to God for the talent and the award will surely motivate me with the other recipients,” said the ‘Unkalindanji Moyo,’ creator.
Benjala also hailed Matindi for the medals saying they have come at the right time and has motivated them to keep on creating quality poems.
Katsoka, who is Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) President, also said he was thankful to God for being honoured with a medal.
“I never saw this coming, I am overwhelmed with joy and we hope other companies will also come in and support poetry. There are great poets out there who deserved these awards but it’s all fine that I am part of it,” he said.
He then called on poets to keep track of poetry and not lose direction.
“We need to do poetry for the sake of poetry. Unfortunately we are missing poetry by mixing with other arts fields which is not right. But this has also come about as the poets are responding to people’s demand. But as Pam we will look into this because we want poetry to grow,” said Katsoka.
Katsoka said having put themselves in the limelight, they now have a huge task to safeguard their position and impress the audience going forward.
The poetry feast was also spiced up by other acts including a performance by a dancing group GYV and also mimickers Frank Naligonje alias Atcheya and Kenwood Sambalika aka Aunt Geti.
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