SOME of the poets who took part at the House of Hunger Poetry slam held in Harare recently bemoaned the gradual erosion of local languages, as many artists have resorted to using western languages in their works.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
The slam was part of Black History Month commemorations organised by the US embassy in Harare.
Zimbolicious poetry anthology co-editor, Edward Dzonze, said preservation of indigenous languages was essential in efforts to preserve the local culture.
“I am surprised and not happy that all participants that came before me used English. I am however going to do my poem in Shona. When we have a platform like this where many understand the native languages, it’s good to use them than to let English dominate,” he said.
Dzonze said preservation of native languages was a key ingredient in promoting traditional culture. Out of the 12 participants who battled for the first, second and third position, only three recited their poems in native languages.
Courage Shumba, also known as Nyanduri Boy did poems three poems in Shona. He shared Dzonze’s sentiments.
“Many poets love English, but we should not forget that these indigenous languages are pertinent in the preservation of our traditional culture, thus, we should love them,” he said.
Reciting the poem Operation Restore Legacy using Shona and English, Shumba stressed the need to restore the history of black people.
Another poet, Shoes Lambada, said “Venacular languages need to be promoted.”
Tatiana Kondo, also known as The Banshee, was the overall winner, while Francis Maponga, known as Reflection, and Anele Chinembiri, were the first and second runners up respectively.
The winner walked away with $50, first runner up, $40 and the second $30. The three also got books and solar chargers as part of their prizes.
Pamberi Trust representative, Morset Billie, said he was pleased by the turnout considering that the venue for the event had changed.
“The turnout was quite pleasing considering that we have changed the venue and this is the first slam we have partnered the US Embassy,” he said.