BY KHUMBULANI MULEYA
THE country’s sole representative at the recently held Tanta International Poetry Festival in Egypt, poet and comedian Andrew Manyika believes the contacts he has made at the event would benefit the Zimbabwean poetry landscape.
Manyika was part of the poets across the globe who attended the seventh edition of the festival as Zimbabwe made its debut appearance at the prestigious festival held from October 29 to November 1.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Manyika, a member of Gourd of Consciousness Poetry, said the lifting of travel restrictions that were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic came as a relief for many artists.
“After a year plus of not being able to engage live audiences, it was wonderful to make the journey to Egypt for the Tanta Festival,” he said.
“There was a lot to learn, do and see, and I believe the relationships I have made will benefit the Zimbabwean poetry landscape.”
More than 32 poets were joined by renowned writers from countries that include America, Slovenia, Belgium, Spain, Lebanon, South Sudan, South Korea, Russia and Egypt.
Manyika claimed that he had always been fascinated by the world of Greek mythology, the adventures and characters it presents, and these had influenced and triggered his passion for poetry.
He fuses a unique combination of poetry and comedy to amuse and amaze audiences on both the page and stage.
On fusing poetry and comedy, Manyika said art forms were similar in that they all offer one’s perspective of the human experience.
Meanwhile, Manyika said tickets for his upcoming comedy and poetry show dubbed The Colo(g)niser, which makes its debut at the Jasen Mphepho Little Theatre in Harare on December 18 were now on sale.
Manyika is a storyteller par excellence, who is familiar with continental and global poetry platforms, having represented Zimbabwe at the Hadithi Ya Africa Ultimate Storyteller Contest as one of the continent’s top 10.
In 2019, Manyika published his debut poetry collection titled Man of Letters.
In that same year, he made history as the first poetry and comedy act to perform to a sold out Prophets Emmanuel and Ruth Makandiwa Invitational Concert and Awards Night held at City Sports Centre in Harare.
As an emcee, the multi-talented Manyika has brought life and laughter to events for clients.
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