Power of poetry under spotlight

Mangaliso Kabulika

THE second edition of “The Power of Poetry Spoken Word” is set to take place on August 14 at the Nexus, Batanai Gardens, in Harare.

The poetry competition aims to provide a platform for individuals to showcase their talent and connect with others through poetry. 

According to Lennox Gondo, founder and president of Spoken Word and Writers Association (SWWA), the competition is meant to provide a platform for 400 poets, who currently have no exposure. 

The competition will explore diverse themes such as gender-based violence, gender equality, sexual reproductive health and rights, drug abuse and mental health. The entries will be evaluated based on their poetic structure, use of language, the ability to evoke emotions, and more. Experienced poets will judge the entries. 

Poetry has been present for centuries and is used to promote self-expression, emotional well-being, mental wellness and social change. 

The organisers hope to expand the festival and reach a wider audience in future.

“The competition was inspired by the zeal to make poetry popular because we have realised that we have quite a number of poets, but they don’t have a platform to showcase their talent. 

“Through a social media survey, we have more than 400 poets in Harare who don’t have a platform to share their experiences,” said Gondo.

“We have been engaging with poets and participants through the use of social media platforms, mostly Facebook and WhatsApp.

“Promoting the competition hasn’t been easy for us, but for the first round we managed to get assistance from Mosci Engineering and some individuals, including family members. 

“However, we have pitched some concept notes requesting for funding to some renowned organisations.”

The competition will also explore diverse themes that shape contemporary society into a harmonious entity.

“The entries will be judged according to the poetic structure, use of language, ability to evoke emotions to the reader or listener. This will be done by a panel of judges who are experienced poets and lecturers,” he said.

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