Poet Kabete targets youth transformation



SPOKEN word poet Leben Kabete (23) says merging poetry with comedy and rap music has enabled him to capture the hearts of people with different art preferences, and penetrate different markets.

Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style recently, Kabete said his musical storytelling abilities and use of vernacular language has done the magic in his career.

“My art is targeted at the modern-day youth. I speak to them in a creative way addressing various themes and problems they face. My poetry suggests solutions, keeping hope and morale alive in youth struggling with different problems associated with poverty,” he said.

“My poetry is social commentary and my music keeps hope and morale alive for the young soldier fighting poverty on a day. I identify the way of life in the ghetto environment, where most youth come from pushing advice and providing solutions.”

Kabete said through his art, he explained to the world some of the behaviour patterns young people portray and why that might be so.

“My poetry evokes a sense of humour because the issues I talk about are deep. I add humour so that it is consumable to the everyday person.

“I have also done a comedy skit series combining poetry and drama during last year’s lockdown where people were struggling to survive.”

Kabete said as a creative, he approached things in a different way.

“As one of those few poets to do poetic covers for songs in Zimbabwe, I believe I am good at telling stories in a captivating, unique poetic way. I also use Shona, which many people relate to,” he said.

“The way I play around with words draws attention. Music and poetry go hand-in-hand because it’s all about words. Anything that needs words, I can do given enough time and creative space. My art can also be listened to in the ghetto in the form of rap music when young people, who do not like poetry, are relaxing.”

Kabete said his vision was to positively impact people’s lives through poetry and music.

“I simply want to be the biggest, richest poetry and musical brand in Zimbabwe. I believe I can achieve that because I am multi-talented and not afraid to experiment. However, no matter how famous I become, I want to continue touching lives,” he said.

“I want to change the small world around me so that even when I am gone, people will still remember me as someone who contributed a lot to their lives through the power of words.”

  • Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari