POETRY is said to be gaining ground in Malawi as demonstrated by a steady rise in the number of recitalists and fans.
Back in the early 2000’s, poetry was not as famous in the country as is the case now.
At the present time, events are packed with people lurking to watch poets mesmerize them with rhymes filled with idioms.
Artists agree that much as strides are being made to take Malawian poetry to grow the industry, there’s a lot that needs to be done.
What are the solutions?
Yankho Seunda, who is a poet, believes Chichewa poetry is well past that.
He suggests that that poets that recite their piece in vernacular have managed to get a fair share of the deal, attracting masses in the process.
The Times Group presenter, however, says that is not the case with English poetry which continues to strive for mainstream status.
Seunda is of the opinion that one barrier that demarcates English and vernacular poetry in Malawi is mostly the language itself because English has a lower preference to the public than the commonly accepted Vernacular.
Fungaih Matthew Chimwaza, is one upcoming English poet in Malawi.
Chimwaza, stage name Matt-Hew, suggests that Malawian poetry is improving in reference to the strides that have been made so far.
Fondly called Hew-Poet, Chimwaza gives an example of the Blantyre-based “Vilipanganga poetry movement” whose members have so far conducted workshops in schools like St. Andrews with an aim of advancing the art.
Steve Ching’amamba, an up and coming wordsmith, has a contrary view when he speaks of exclusion among poets.
He says that established rhymesters are not willing to promote beginners.
To curtail this development, he suggests that increasing the relationship between novel and deep-rooted poets is the best solution.