23 January 2018

Namibia: Esperance Luvindao Releases Poetry Album

Despite running slightly behind schedule, it was a poetic affair at The Confab bistro in Windhoek as medicine student and poetess Esperance Luvindao released her first-ever poetry album titled 'Etha'.

With a full house and Paul Da Prince playing MC, the event saw Luvindao share snippets of her life and past relationships with friends and family members, perhaps most prominently, her mother.

"This is a project that is very close to my heart," Luvindao said of her latest project. "Where did 'Etha' come from? Well, it's an Oshiwambo word that means leave or let go. It's so strategic. This was probably one of the most vulnerable pieces of work I've ever done."

Working alongside the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, the piece Luvindao is most proud of is 'Gender-Based Violence'. "It's not a taboo to speak about gender-based violence. A lot of musicians and others forget the fact that you are supposed to impact lives for the better. If you've been a victim of GBV, you need to speak about it."

Diving into the world of words since 2007, Luvindao said her first works were published in a young writer's anthology and in 2015, she had her first one-man show in Windhoek. "Over 300 people were in attendance and that was a learning experience. There's growth from that point on," Luvindao divulged. "I can only thank God for that."

Performing a piece for the audience which she admitted she only finished that morning, Luvindao had the attitude of a young lioness as she fiercely portrayed a side to herself that not many get to see. Quite passionate in the way she speaks, the 20-something-year-old also prefers not to reveal her age as demonstrated in several of her works.

'Meme', one of the most thought-provoking poems on the album, shares a time in the 90s when she details some of the best qualities of her mom through young eyes. "You beautiful woman with the legs, I didn't know you would leave me on the stretcher for the long run. Mama's perfect. Mama ain't got no flaws..."

Other than the release of the album, Luvindao also screened the video for 'I Am Not Your Negro', inspired by the 2016 Raoul Peck documentary of the same name. Sharing vibes much like Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' album, the poetess careens through a field, dances ballet and delivers punchline after punchline in the stunning visuals for the poem.

But one of the most interesting points of the night was an auction held for one of her CDs, with proceeds meant to be donated to charity. Starting off the bid at N$100, the auction took a thrilling turn as the price shot up to N$2 500.

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