Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
As his voice continues to grow, reaching a wider audiences on the international scene, celebrated local poet Tendekai “Madzitatiguru” Tati last week staged at the prestigious Edinburgh International Book Festival in Scotland.
Performing under “In Light Of What We Write”, a platform that brings young Scottish and Southern African artists together to create cutting edge, multi-discipline work, the poet was among those that shone from Africa.
It was Madzitatiguru’s debut performance both at the festival and in Scotland.
“The main purpose of the platform is to highlight various forms in which literature can be delivered,” said Madzitatiguru.
“In Light Of What We Write” is being curated by a South African artist Linda Kaoma and Scottish artist Micheal Pederson. Linda (Kaoma) had to select several multi-lingual artists from Southern Africa who live and work in their countries, and I was picked from Zimbabwe as a spoken word artist,” said Madzitatiguru.
The poet’s performance was made possible through a partnership between British Council and Edinburgh International Book Festival. Speaking of his experience in Edinburgh, Madzitatiguru said he was overwhelmed with the convergence of art in one city.
“I had to go through a bit of a culture shock, seeing so much activity happening at the same time. There were various other festivals happening at the same time including The Fringe Festival and Edinburgh International Festival.
“The city only stops when it’s you who has decided that it should stop. This only shows the potential that art and culture has at any scale, because if it works here, then it probably should work anywhere else, including in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Madzitatiguru is a multi-poetry slam winning artist whose creative use of street lingo has earned him recognition. He has participated at a number of poetry events including the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), 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, the 2017 Mlom Wakho Naxional Poetry Slam and Lafarge Poetry Slam this year.