RISING poet Tendai Maduwa, who recently represented Zimbabwe at the first ever Kistrech Poetry Festival in Kenya before embarking on an East African tour, says the journey was an eye-opener that will help him nurture his career on the local scene.
The festival brought together over 40 African and overseas poets for performances and interaction.
“The event was so unique from all other festivals because it took poetry away from the city buildings to the countryside,” said Maduwa.
“We performed in people’s hut and also visited the area of Kenya’s popular tribe Masai Mara, which is more or less like our own Zimbabwean Tonga tribe from Binga.”
He said they experienced the root and origin of the Kenyan culture.
“The Masai Mara shared with us their daily chores and food such as Matoke, a mixture of boiled bananas, tomato soup and mutton.”
Maduwa said it was also exciting to go to the Kisii University where they facilitated literature discussions.
“Soon after the festival I personally embarked on my East African tour which started at the University of Nairobi where I performed. I also performed at the Kwani Open Mic session, where I graced the slam as the guest poet,” he said.
He said he was impressed by how other countries appreciated the poetry industry and the main festival had benefited him greatly.
“I learnt and experienced new ideas on how to promote our own poetry, other people’s norms and that was an eye-opener which challenged me to start thinking outside the box and dream huge in the industry.”
He added that despite establishing more contacts, he realised that the Zimbabwean local spoken word industry still needed a lot of work done.
He said Zimbabwe had vast established and up-and-coming talents with great potential, but lacked support and exposure.
“There is much to be done to put the local poetry industry on the international market, and I am glad I have managed to represent my country well.”
He will soon be launching his latest poetry recording project titled The African Drumbeat on which he collaborated with South African Poet Queen LungileLithola.