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Poet reflects on GBV



LOCAL award-winning poet Shaznay Woods has said her recent release, Chipondamoyo that has accompanying visuals, is meant to expose gender-based violence (GBV) in marriages and relationships in present-day society.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Woods, who is also an actress, model and a video vixen said in Chipondamoyo she focused on verbal and emotional abuse as it affects mental wellbeing.

Chipondamoyo is a spoken word piece based on verbal and emotional abuse in today’s marriages and relationships. GBV is not all about physical abuse, but emotional and verbal abuse as well which leads to mental health issues,” she said.

“Many people focus on the aspect of physical abuse without considering the emotional trauma. People exchange words that are harsh out of anger that can affect the next person directly or indirectly.”

Woods said poetry could be used to curb mental health issues in society.

“Many people suppress their emotions in the name of family and love, but love should not hurt.”

The 21-year-old Woods, who entered the poetry world at the age of 12, said gender roles and patriarchy negatively affected women in society.

“The biggest challenge women face is patriarchy in the workplace, in gender roles and certain careers that women choose to pursue that are male dominated. There should be positive change,” she said.

“I am just an instrument through which information is passed on, more of a reflection of society so it all boils down to us as a nation if we are willing to make a positive change.

“Some men are also abused, but because of the African mindset they are forced to suppress their emotions.”

Woods, who has won two Kanyanisa poetry slams, said her dream was to make poetry as good as music in message conveyance.

“My vision is to change the narrative of spoken word by making it as good as music and pushing it with visuals to reach out to everyone in the nation and beyond,” she said.

“My poetry is versatile. I cannot categorise it as most of it revolves round social issues which are linked to mental health.

“Some of the poems that I have done include African yet White, Shungu and Musoro Bhangu.

As a video vixen, Woods has featured in videos by Jah Prayzah (Porovhoka), Baba Harare’s Ruva, Life Yangu by Qonfuzed and Banga by Probeatz.

She has also featured in a movie called Hadassah.

Follow Kimberly on twitter @lizellekimkari

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