Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
Seasoned spoken word artiste Tendekai “Madzitatiguru” Tati is preparing for the inaugural Africa Cup of Slam Poetry to be held in Chad later this year.
He will represent Zimbabwe at the continental showcase following his win at a local qualifier held in Bulawayo last year.
Madzitatiguru has been reciting what he dubs Urban Ancient Poetry since 2011 in which he employs a colloquial rhythmic use of language.
His popular works include “Bete Size Ten/Mapete” and “Chazezesa” and he mainly provides commentary on social issues affecting urban young people.
“Poetry movements from various African countries conceived the idea of having an inaugural intra-continental poetry slam. Each country was to hold qualifier poetry slams so as to find representatives for each respective country,” he said.
“For Zimbabwe, the Bulawayo-based Mlomo Wakho Poetry Slam undertook the qualifying process, being directed and organised by Tswarelo Mothobi and I was the winner.”
He has an advantage of more preparation time that some contestants that will be in Chad because some countries are still going through the selection process for their representatives.
“Qualifier competitions are still being held across the continent, with countries such as Congo, Zimbabwe, Burkina Farso, Togo, Ivory Coast and Morocco having already confirmed their representatives.”
The competition is expected to be multilingual.
Madzitatiguru has participated at a number of poetry events including the Harare International Festival of the Arts, Shoko Festival and Intwasa Arts Festival.
In 2012 he was part of Poetry Africa which travelled around the world giving teachings to artistes.
His winnings include the Afro Express Poetry Slam 2011 (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Shoko Festival Poetry Slam 2015, 2016 and 2017, HIFA Poetry Slam 2015 and the 2017 Mlom Wakho Naxional Poetry Slam.