Mangaliso Kabulika

IN celebration of World Poetry Day, local poets are using their voices to shed light on the challenges they face and the progress made on the country’s poetry scene.

This year’s theme is ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants.’ 

Award-winning poet, Mambo Guramatunhu, challenged the mainstream media to provide more space for poetry on their platforms.

“Media should create a space for us as this art form has the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s economy,” said Guramatunhu.

Max Magaba, another poet, said it is difficult for poets to publish or sell their work as many publishers shun their products.

 “Many publishers and sponsors tend to overlook poetry, making it challenging for poets to earn a living from their craft. 

“This discouraging situation also diminishes the motivation for poets to invest their full energy into their creative endeavours,” said Max.

Herbert Matanda said there is need for incorporating other languages besides Shona, Ndebele, and English in Zimbabwean poetry.

“Embracing a diverse range of languages in poetry serves as a means of preserving the country’s cultural heritage and celebrating its rich linguistic diversity,” he said.

Cynthia Mapando highlighted the growth and recognition that the industry has experienced in recent years.

“There is increased coverage and visibility of the genre on the local scene as we now have poetry-specific award shows.

“This is a stepping stone in the industry although we aim to do more than that.”

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