May 12, 2022

Poetry Project is growing by leaps and bounds

The bi-monthly Poetry Project attracted various talented poets for the second installment of the event which took place recently at the Goethe Institut-Namibia in Windhoek.

The event is organized by renowned Namibian poet and actor Keamogetsi Molapong as part of his company Township Productions.

The captivating theme of the session was, “Words Are Strong, Healing Tears,” which saw various poets of different ages and ethnic groups pouring out their hearts to express their thoughts and feelings through recitation.

Poets like Franklin Shitaleni, better known as Frankly Speaking, took to the stage to present their works on topics related to past trauma, the letting go of loved ones who died due to Covid-19, as well as to the love felt for a mother.

According to Molapong, the event contributed to the progress of poetry in the country.

“Through the engagement I have with township productions and through the bi-monthly sessions of The Poetry Project, there is a growth in the number of poets coming out.”

“There is a growth in terms of unknown poets and poets who have done it for the first time and shared their poems with the public.”

The poems that were presented were broad, with different styles of presentation.

“Every session we have, there’s one or two people who do poetry, but have never done it in public. And that’s a sign that the more we do these sessions, the more confident people become to sharing their work, and that’s very beautiful,” Molapong said.

He added that despite this growth, there is still a long way to go for poetry in Namibia to be published consistently.

“There are also poets on social networks who make their presentations there. They share their poetry on different international platforms and regional platforms and I think it’s a good sign to see them taking the social media approach.

“In terms of books and publications, we still need to grow because most of the time people still believe in paper books to have published works in their hands,” he said.

Molapong promised through the activities of Township Productions to get more poems published by Namibians in the future.

“That’s why we started the whole poetry anthology issue. Every year, we aim to establish and publish an anthology,” Molapong said.

Individually, Molapong has published numerous anthologies, including a corpus entitled “A Poem to the President”. The poem, which has been divided into 50 parts, was published last year, with the aim of addressing the socio-political and economic realities of Namibia.

The next Poetry Project session is scheduled for the same location next month.