30 September 2017

Tanzania: Modern Poetry Sees New Dawn in Dar

TRADITIONAL Swahili poetry has seen a bright future in Tanzania and East Africa as the wave of Bongo Flava music, which adheres to its discipline, continues to appeal audience worldwide.

The emergence of mega stars such as Diamond Platinumz, Ali Kiba, Rich Mavoko, Vanesa Mdee and many others whose music appeals multinational audience, helped to promote the traditional poetry through music.

But a little is known about poetry writers due to lack of enthusiasm, awareness and interest in using poetry as art especially in drama. In efforts to enhance and further promote it, a certain company named as Las Consultancy decided to indulge itself in creating more interest in the art by preparing one stage for different poets to showcase their talents.

Last Saturday, different poets and emerging artists engaged with entertainment and music fans in an event themed and named as "Alternative Nights". Knowing that most poets also have the ability to sing, the stage allowed these young talents to do both if they wished to do so, making their performances much more appealing.

The event was conducted in a coffee Shop in Watering hole at Masaki whereas nine emerging artists which consisted of three poets and other six singers were given a chance to showcase their talents to the large audience that attended the event.

That was such an appealing event that under the sponsorship of Hennessy beverage while what was even more tantalising was the locations which were well decorated with good seating arrangement and immaculate stage.

Every performer was required to climb on the stage and perform in front of a large audience that was there to see these new talents. The stage was first graced by poets where as a young lady who introduced herself as Pepita Sam recited her poem that urged the audience not to 'touch her hair', a line that she used at the end of each of her poetry stanza.

Poetry is said to be used to talk about things that are relevant and this seems to be exactly what Pepita depicted. Being a lady who is brown coloured and long haired, she was able to captivate her audience as they related her poem with her physical appearance.

After her first poetry, she proceeded with another poem that talked about gender discrimination which also captivated her audience, especially the females. The poem which went by the name 'Shiiiiii' blamed the society for not warning men on oppressing women and it was a poetry that brought a mixture of creativity and activism.

Speaking after narrating her poems, Pepita said that poetry is of high importance to our society which highly needs to be provided with information in form of arts as art attracts more people unlike other things like plain activist actions.

She also added that she has a lot of poems that she has written and most of them are about the problems that surround her environment, politics and other social matters. She revealed that she uses a short time to create a poem as she usually writes depending on her desired audience.

"Poetry is something that needs to be developed and highly invested in and I think that these people from Las Consultancy have really indulged themselves in making sure that poetry moves to the next level.

I will continue to cooperate with them and anyone who would want to make this industry progress" she added. The next performer was Rhoda who narrated her poetry that was named as 'Kiss Me' which gained her a lot of audience since she talked about the most widely and loved topic by people, love.

Rhoda was later preceded by another female who introduced herself as Salma Munde. This young female performed in a creative way by narrating her poetry and later shifting to rap.

The event was followed by other several artists who were singers, such as Sabi John, Teekila- Davies, Raphael Mukimala, Bitungwa Gammaril Mtunga, Frankie Maston, Ben Mlowezi and Chi-Aichieli Temu.

In the part of music, the young lady Chi-Aichieli Temu stole the hearts of most audiences that night simply because of her incredible ability in singing and playing her guitar.

She displayed an incredible ability as she was able to sing songs in different genres such as Jazz, Raggae and even Blues while she also highly enter tained her audience by covering songs from different artists in the world.

She first sang three songs named Echoes, Bomb bomb and I like you so much which is used about forty five minutes to sing these songs along with the audience. Speaking about her songs, Chi-Aichieli said that she has many songs that she has already recorded but she hasn't released them yet while revealing that for now, she performs her three songs which are already completed.

"Music is my profession, I love it and I do it passionately as it makes me happy. Today we have already heard voices from poets which have also melted our hearts" commented Rhoda who was also one of the night's performers.

The event was also attended by different graffiti painters who drew outside the event area while they provided some awareness of this kind of painting. The organiser of this event from Las Consultancy, Asnath Ndosi said the event aims at lifting and building a better capacity for emerging poets so to they can get exposed to the industry.

She told the poets that they have a big contribution in the entertainment sector and they deserve to be empowered and invested on. "We are trying our best to improve and empower all artists starting with poets and musicians so as to build their ability and this is the fourth time this year that we prepared an event like this" added Ndosi.

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