29 October 2014 Volume :2 Issue :55

Poetry Africa Closing Night Thrills Audience

Poetry Africa Closing Night Thrills Audience
South African music veteran Hip Hop Pantsula performs for Poetry Africa Finale.

The 18th Poetry Africa Festival, organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), held its grand finale at the Rivertown Beerhall Gallery, a satellite of the Durban Art Gallery.

The exciting Festival programme consisted of workshops, open mic performances, book launches and musical and poetry performances.

South African music veteran Hip Hop Pantsula delivered a stellar performance as part of the Festival’s finale programme and there were free Creative Writing workshops featuring Festival poets Vangi Ganthso and Croc E Moses.

This was followed by open mic and musical performances and the launch of poetry publications – the Uhlanga and Poetry Potion anthologies and the isiZulu poetry book, Izithunzi zemizwa, by Musa Nhlumayo.

Earlier during the annual Slam Jam event, Durban poets competed for the title of Poetry Africa Slam champion. Final performances from Poetry Africa participants were also presented.

Kenyan poet Ms Raya Wambui described the Festival as enriching and powerful. ‘This is a great poetry event that showcases the talents of amazing spoken word artists and I hope to return in the future. Well done to the organisers of the Festival.’

The Schools Poetry Competition, formed part of the Festival. ‘This popular component of the Festival gives learners the opportunity to showcase their poetry writing skills,’ said CCA Programme Manager,’ Ms Tiny Mungwe. ‘Entrants from schools were invited to submit original poems. The winners’ cash and book voucher awards were sponsored by Adams Campus Books.’

The Poetry Africa 2014 Schools Poetry winners in the English category were:

1st: Ayanda Mgoduka (Westville Girls High) for My Melanin Incarceration 

2nd: Jessica Govender (Durban Girls High) for Kaleidoscope Dreams 

3rd: Tejal Rajoo (Manor Gardens Primary School) for Miyoko Shida’s tree

The Poetry Africa 2014 Schools Poetry winners in the isiZulu category were:

1st: Nokubongwa Nzama (Dwengu High School) for Uyikho Konke 

2nd: Sane Majola (Dwengu High School) for Ungumbulali 

3rd: Thabile Khumalo (Mnyamana Memorial High) for Mhlabe Ngoneni Kuwe.

*Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 18th Poetry Africa was funded by the City of Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts and Culture, Goethe Institut and the French Institute of South Africa. The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is a special project of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

Melissa Mungroo

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