Legendary poet and writer Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga has said poets in the country should pull up their socks and stop being childish.
The industry has grown welcoming several up-and-coming poets as well as attracting huge audiences during its feasts.
“I must admit that among most of our up-and-coming poets, there is a certain amateurish or childishness with which they approach what they blindly call poetry in the absence of an appropriate nomenclature suiting what they produce in their search of cheap and momentary popularity,” Wokoma-atani said.
“Additionally the people that wrote like Francis Moto, Sam Mchombo, late Alosius Dziko of Bwampini fame, Thengo Kumpumula, JWD Gwengwe, EJ Chadza, and others, were not lazy thinkers at all. Needless to say that they were not copycats but original thinkers who wanted to develop their own distinct poetic signatures which consumers of their poetic wares would identify them with.”
He said the future of poetry can only be assured if up-and-coming as well as established poets took time to continuously school themselves about what poetry is through reading the available literature.
“The truth is that there is no shortcut to success. That is why the best writing is rewriting because it leads to exceptional publicity. Like all well-written works their vintage poetry has stood the test of time,” Wokoma-atani said.
He said there were other poets who were doing well in their works.
Some people in the industry have observed that poets are rushing in bringing their works, with many taking comedy for poetry.
The issue created debate recently on social media where some people hit at poets saying they were ‘murdering’ poetry.
One of the poets, Joseph Madzedze, who has made for himself a name through his verses, among them ‘Achikabudula’, while admitting that poetry has changed its course and that it was no longer original but half-baked, said there are poets who are doing well on the ground.
“All I can say at the moment is that poetry has changed and we are moving with the times. What we have done is to adjust and give people what they want. Those who want poetry, with the comedy element we satisfy their needs. Those who want serious poetry are given their share,” Madzedze said.
The poet, who was launching a double CD and DVD of his works at Blantyre Cultural Centre yesterday, said they were striving for the best.
Recently another poet Hudson Chamasowa said the industry needed to adjust and embrace the current form of poetry.
“I think we need to accept that things have changed. The poetry that was done in the past is rich but people have moved on to embrace the current state of works and so we need to give this kind of poetry a new name and embrace it; otherwise, this is what people have fallen in love with,” Chamasowa famed for the poem ‘Ku Simongoliya’, said.