The Sadc Poetry Festival held in Botswana last weekend offered regional poets a golden opportunity to create synergies meant to enrich their artistic works.
Zimbabwe was represented by a six-member team made up of Tinashe Muchuri, Nqobile Malinga, Siphosethu Mpofu, Bhekumusi Moyo, Memory Chirere and Batsirai Chigama.
The annual festival, organised by Artsinitiates-Southern Africa, was held in Gaborone between August 27 and 29.
Muchuri told NewsDay yesterday that he had benefited from the festival mainly through the workshops and interaction with other poets from the region.
Muchuri said since the participating poets were drawn from different cultures, each brought their own expressions influenced by their culture.
Director and founder of Artsinitiates-Southern Africa Wonder Guchu said this year’s event was bigger than the one held last year.
“I think we have moved a rung up from last year’s event held in Windhoek (Namibia). This is not only in terms of attendance but quality of discussions and performances,” Guchu said.
He said in line with their mandate, they managed to bring together seasoned and budding poets.
He added that the major highlight of this year’s edition was that they also blended visual artists and poets on the same platform.
“For us, this year’s festival was unique in bringing together visual artists and poets sharing the same platform. We bridged the perceived gap between the two art forms,” he said.
Guchu said he was satisfied in that they had offered the poets a “platform to synergise” in future, but added that it was now up to the artists to see through the collaborations.
He commended the Zimbabwean contingent, saying the country’s representatives were “a hybrid of quality” who could hold their own anywhere in the world.
“These are by no means minors in the arts. But again Botswana has great poets who have their own style mainly pastoral.
“Mozambican Tania Tome, who doubles as a poet and musician, has her own style, but in the end what matters is that when all these styles where put together, the Sadc Poetry Festival happened,” Guchu added.