South African poet Thabiso Mohave, whose stage name is “Afurakan”, walked away with the International Poetry Slam title at Shoko Festival after he managed to outclass Zimbabwe’s Arnold Chirimika, a.k.a Soul Profound in the last round of the competition at Book Café on Thursday .
Report by Kundai Marunya Own Correspondent
The competition, which ran under the theme “Breaking Barriers” started off with 12 poets from different countries including Malawi, South Africa, Botswana and the host nation Zimbabwe. The winner of last year’s competition, Mandisa Mabuthoe, set pace for the night as she took stage as a sacrificial poet. Local poet Robison “Shoes” Lambada became the first competitor with his piece Confession of a War Veteran.
The crowd chanted along to his chorus “dollar for two”. However, his glory was shortlived as he could not make it to the second round. Various poets took the stage at different intervals including Nomsa Mazwai (South Africa), Aura Kawanzaruwa (Zimbabwe), Tim Mwaura (Kenya), Emma Mabye, Soul Profound amongst others.
Though all did justice on the stage, only five scrapped to the second round, namely Aura, Afurikan, Tswarelo Mothobe, Emma and Soul Profound. Aura and Emma did their best to keep their male counterparts in check, but their pieces failed to get the judges’ favour to get into the final round. In the final round, Afurikan was first on stage with the anthem of Doomed Poets which was relatively short, but straight to the point. Soul Profound did his piece Memories of a Broken Record which puts life into a CD, each track representing a particular stage in one’s existence.
Afurikan walked away with the first prize which comprised Oliver Mtukudzi’s CDs and a Shoko festival T-shirt. Afurikan said he was excited by winning the slam title.
“I’m glad and excited that I won but the whole point is of having a whole lot of poets going on stage to express their art”, he said.