UKZN's Poetry Africa Opening Night Wows Audience
An enthralling line-up of 24 poets from around the world wowed the opening night audience at the Poetry Africa Festival at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
The Festival, now in its 19th year, was hosted by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities.
The Festival provides a space for intercultural exchange and dialogue by hosting an extensive community outreach programme with poetry readings, performances and workshops in community centres, campuses and also visits to schools across Durban to share ideas about poetry.
Guitarist Sebastian Goldswain, a full-time Music student at UKZN and part of the UKZN Jazz Legacy band, delivered an exceptional opening performance. With just an acoustic guitar and a Marshall stack, Goldswain enthralled the audience.
Acting Dean for the School of Arts, Professor Donal McCracken, spoke about the College of Humanities, mentioning how important the Festival was for the Arts, while CCA Project Manager, Ms Tiny Mungwe, said: ‘Poetry remains relevant as it allows us to voice our opinions and thoughts and this festival reaches people and allows us to build bridges. This is a celebration of words and their power to stimulate, intrigue and inspire.’
Head of the eThekwini Municipality’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department, Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo, said he believed the Festival was in line with the fundamental values of government. ‘In order to further entrench Poetry Africa, we are increasing our financial assistance from R1 million to R4 million and we will continue to be committed and involved in the event.’
UKZN Drama and Performance Studies student, Ms Nosipho Magcaba, was one of the participating poets for this year. ‘I was a prelude poet last year,’ said Magcaba. ‘I began writing poetry in primary school and started reciting at university and I am now beyond excited to be part of the official poets line-up for this year.’
Sharing her sentiments, UKZN alumnus Ms Nokulunga Dladla said she was overjoyed to be part of Poetry Africa.
Another of the poets, Mr Matt Vend, added: ‘It’s a dream come true for me, although I'm not really in the poetry scene. Poetry Africa has been a big event for me as a patron for many years and I have seen some inspiring performances there. So I’m pretty excited about it and just very humbled to be a part of the festival.’
*Poetry Africa is presented by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts and made possible by support from the eThekwini Municipality, KZN Department of Arts and Culture, National Arts Council and the Goethe Institute. The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the College of Humanities and is a special project of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.