23 May 2018

Rwanda: French Poet Thierry Sinda on His Latest Book

Photo: New Times
Thierry Sinda with a copy of his book.

French poet of Congolese origin, Thierry Sinda, is currently in Rwanda to explore the country as well as promote his latest book; "Anthologie des Poèmes d'Amour des Afriques et d'Ailleurs", loosely translated as: "Anthology of love poems from Africa and elsewhere".

In an exclusive interview at The New Times' offices, Sinda, who is also a film critic for Amina Magazine, a university professor and founder of 'Le Printemps des poètes d'Afrique et d'ailleurs,' revealed more about his latest book and his stay in Rwanda.

"I am here to explore more about Rwanda, just like I have been doing for the past years. I travel across Africa trying to understand the culture of different countries, and this is what my first dramatic poem was about," he said.

Sinda's first dramatic poem is called 'Voyage en Afrique à la Recherche de Mon Moi Enivré,' loosely translated as the 'Journey to Africa in Search of my Inebriated Me'.

According to him, 'Anthologie des Poèmes d'Amour des Afriques et d'Ailleurs' is a collection of love poems from Africa and elsewhere, including in the Caribbean and Europe.

"In the book, there are more than fifty poems collected from different parts of Africa and other parts of the world, most of which are themed around love. This anthology is that of the nine years of a poetic festival that has its place in French literature," he noted.

For the past nine years, the poet has been leading 'Le Printemps des poètes d'Afrique et d'ailleurs,' as a festival that brings together poets to showcase the black and African culture.

He believes that black people and African people in the West should have platforms through which they can learn as well as tell their story and culture. The festival has been a key platform to promote culture and art.

"It is very important to keep your roots. This is why this initiative to promote African culture and art started as a way of giving a platform to Africans and black people to represent themselves," noted Sinda, who is a professor of film and literature at New York University in France.

He said he would be travelling across different parts of the country to learn more about the Rwandan people and the culture. Sinda has travelled to different African countries like Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Burkina Faso, and Egypt, just to mention a few.

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