Albert Nyathi protégé aims big
GWERU – Upcoming performance poet Dumisani Ndlovu is determined to surpass the great heights scaled by his idol Albert Nyathi.
The 33-year-old Dumisani, who hails from Dorset, a resettlement area situated some 66km south east of Gweru, said he was inspired by the internationally-famous Nyathi to take up performance poetry at a tender age.
“I was very young when l started reciting poems at private and public gatherings,” said Ndlovu.
“Today l have made a name for myself as a respected performer. Together with my brother Siphosami, we participate at numerous gatherings organised by non-governmental organisations and government departments.”
The two brothers, who perform under the moniker High Voltage Poets, have repeatedly fallen victim to the country’s polarised political environment.
“In 2006 after our performance at a political rally, we were forced to desert our home village after receiving a lot of threats,” said Dumisani.
“A rival party was offended because we had attended the political rally of its opponents. Their fierce opposition could not stop us though.”
Dumisani, an admirer of legendary South African poet Mzwakhe Mbuli, claims he has no political affiliation and is willing to perform at any political rally for a fee.
“It is very unfortunate that our society with highly-educated individuals fails to appreciate the fact that art is a business. As such there is nothing which should stop us from performing at political rallies across the divide.”
The former Amakhosi student and his brother are keen to have hundreds of their poems compiled into a single volume.
“We are working hard to maintain an essence of contemporary freshness in our poetry and we hope to achieve our long-term plan of creating a single voluminous multi-lingual, Shona, Ndebele and English collection,” said Dumisani.
The Gweru poet is the founder of the Dorset Performing Arts Association (DPAA) which produced over 20 radio plays aired on Radio Zimbabwe.
The plays include Imicimbi cimbi Kasatani (2007), Inkeme nkeme Phezukwe sihluku (2002), Izithukuthuku igazi lenyembezi and Ikhanda lilabanikazi (2004). – Alfred Tembo