By Kundai Marunya
As has become the norm popular poet Tendekai Tati (real name Madzitatiguru) walked away $800 richer after winning the Lafarge Poetry Slam. Madzitatiguru is an urban poet who is now mocked by his friends as the former president Robert Mugabe who hung on to power for years. The poet has been winning the slam since its debut in 2012.
Talking on art development the artist encouraged his fellow scribes to be widely read.
“It’s key to read a lot and so as to write a lot,” he said. “In that way we develop poetry art into an industry.”
Though influential, poetry has long taken a back-seat in arts development. Since the closure of Book Café, the genre has been suffering lack of performance space.
Lafarge Cement communications manager Tsungie Manyeza said the event superseded what they had in mind.
“The event was an absolute success. It was a platform to give space for poets and they came in their numbers,” she said.
“The participation of young poets was very exciting. Speaking of a bright future, that’s what we have and are grooming as a company,” said Munyeza.
Though their noble idea only ran for two events, first in Bulawayo and now in Harare. It seems to be competing with the annual PPC Imaginarium which focuses on visual art.
Other winners were third placed Tanya who walked away with 200 dollars, while Ects, whose poetry sounds like the winner Madzitatiguru walked away with 400 dollars in a tightly contested event.
Madzitatiguru will represent Zimbabwe at the inaugural Africa Cup of Slam Poetry to be held in Chad in November. His popular work include “Bete Size Ten/Mapete”, “Chazezesa”, and ‘Mabasa’ all providing a commentary on social issues affecting urban young people thus going viral on social media.