Breaking Barriers: International Poetry Slam

This September the effervesscent African poetry slam movement explodes into life across borders, featuring poets from five countries - Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe – with a poetry slam at Book Café on Thursday 20 September as part of Shoko Festival 2012.

The regional slam is a continuation of the exciting regional poetry initiative first launched in 2011, and this year destined for stages in both Harare and Bulawayo, presented in a partnership between Pamberi Trust (Zimbabwe), African Synergy Trust (SA), Magamba Network (Zimbabwe), with support from Africalia (Belgium) and Pro Helvetia (SA).

The art of live slam poetry and spoken word has taken off in Africa new voices, bold and rebellious, are sweeping across the continent with humour, candour, slang, infectious rhythm with an extraordinary new poetic imagery and built on social consciousness. The movement knows no borders, or boundaries of expression. In Harare, the “House of Hunger” poetry slam movement is a living legend.

Expect spontaneous live poetry and amazing energy from African poets Tim Mwaura (Kenya slam champion), Chigo Gondwe (Malawi), Afurakan and Emmah Mabye (South Africa), Botswana’s Mandisa Mabuthoe, and Wanjika (Kenya), and Nomsa Mazwai (South Africa), along with Zimbabwean poets from Mlomo Wako (Bulawayo) Mashoko Spoken Word Event and House of Hunger Poetry Slam in Harare.

The Shoko Festival will run over 6 days and will also feature live concerts, DJ parties, photo exhibitions, workshops, debates a comedy night and much more. The theme this year is “Take Over The Town” as Shoko spreads across the city into the suburbs and the townships.

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