CELEBRATED German-based poet Chirikure Chirikure has encouraged upcoming poets to manage their affairs well in order to reap rewards during the monthly House of Hunger Poetry Slam held at Book Café Saturday afternoon.
The poet, who is patron to the slam, is one of the most visible Zimbabwean poets on the international scene performing at various stages and festivals across the globe.
Chirikure said anything is possible if one managed their art well.
“Anything is possible with your art if you learn to manage it well. The work does not just end on stage, but goes on to how you market yourself, advertise and maintain your visibility using various mediums including the Internet,” he said.
He added that his daughter, who was part of the audience at the slam, can bear testimony on how he has managed to survive on poetry.
“My daughter Rumbi can testify how I have managed to provide for my family sending my children to school on proceeds from my art.
“If all goes well I will be sending her to Rhodes University to further her studies from what I earn through art.”
Chirikure said he has one of his poems Kuenda Kudzoka on the new wing of Vienna Airport in Austria.
“I performed in Vienna a couple of months ago, and after my performance I was approached by people who had been tasked to make the new wing of Vienna Airport different from other international airports,” he said.
“They chose to put poetry from different languages and nations.They asked me to contribute; which I did and right now one of my poems is on the airport for the world to see.”
Meanwhile, vernacular poets dominated the slam, scooping the first three spots.
The slam, which was opened by National Arts Merit Award winner Tatenda Chinoda aka Dhege, who came in as a sacrificial poet (a non-competing poet) saw 22 poets participating among them Oliver Twist, So Profound, Wabah, She Govanwa, Roots, Andrew Manyika and Illmatrix.
It was the last round that saw an exceptional display by She Govanwa, Andrew Manyika, Orator and Madzitatiguru all coming out with maximum points.
The slam master had to consider second round results to come out with first, second and third positions which were Orator, She Govanwa and Madzitatiguru respectively, all vernacular poets while Manyika, who presented English poetry, had to settle for fourth place.
To appreciate local talent Chirikure revealed that he had chosen the first four poets to perform at this year’s Harare International Festival of Arts.
The renowned poet is Hifa’s poetry consultant.