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Bhekumusa — voice of the voiceless

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Bulawayo-based protest poet, Bhekumusa Moyo says he seeks to be a “voice for the voiceless”.

“As protest poets, we speak for the masses,” he said in a recent interview with NewsDay.

“There are a lot of issues that need to be spoken about but people are afraid to speak out. When we get on stage and speak about the issues that affect them, they appreciate that”.

Moyo said his poetry addresses social and political issues.

He says politicians take citizens for a ride most of the time. In the piece, Poverty, he puts the blame for the demise of living standards squarely on the shoulders of leaders.

“Were it not for bad policies, the majority of the people would not be poor. At the moment, only a few well-connected individuals benefit from the policies,” said the poet who does not mince his words.

In Election Thoughts, Moyo uses phrases such as “dinner of violence”, “breakfasts of torture” and “lunch of slogans”.

He says his poetry has been well received although it has ruffled feathers with those who support the status quo.

“Some people do not feel comfortable with my poetry but why should I praise where there is no need to?” he asked.

Moyo says artists should criticise the political establishment so that politicians may not “become too comfortable”.

“When leaders become too comfortable they forget to address real issues that affect their people,” he said.

In April this year, he performed at the Harare International Festival of the Arts.

Last Friday, he was one of the performers at the Poetry Potpourri Bulawayo.

Next month, he will take part at Intwasa Arts Festival’s Night of African Poetry before making his way to Malawi for the Blantyre Arts Festival.

He says the arts scene in the country has improved since the formation of the inclusive government.

“There is great improvement than before and people are now able to spare some money and watch an arts performance,” he said. “Art is a communication tool.”

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