AWARD-WINNING poet Chirikure Chirikure and musician Okay Machisa have lined-up weekly arts events in Harare with a bias towards poetry.
Starting this Saturday, the two artistes, with the help of Machisa’s daughter Tulani, will entertain fans at 15 York Avenue in Newlands, Harare.
“The idea is to promote poetry as a genre and create a platform for students to interact with legendary poets such as Chirikure Chirikure and Albert Nyathi, to name but a few,” Machisa said.
The Machena band founder is also looking forward to using the first edition of the event as a launchpad for his daughter’s music career.
“She is a budding musician; we are to use the platform to introduce her to the fans. On Saturday, we are going to share the stage with her during the family show,” he said.
Machisa told the Daily News the weekly event is meant to fill the gap created by the closure of the Book Cafe.
“Ever since the Book Cafe closed its doors, arts genres such as poetry have suffered greatly. Promoters are biased towards music and we are coming in to fill that gap,” Machisa said.
Speaking at last month’s World Poetry Day commemorations in Harare, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) assistant director arts promotion and development Barbara Gotore underlined the importance of creating platforms for poets.
“Poetry, just like theatre, is an integral component of humanity as it affords communities to laugh at themselves while taking measures to correct mistakes,” Gotore said.
Rising poet Florence Ramani concurred with Gotore on the importance of making the local poetry and theatre industry lucrative and inspiring.
“The lack of funding and other opportunities in the sector is hampering the growth of the arts industry as a whole. I am itching to see a space and time where it pays in Zimbabwean art. To be honest, I have seen people from the 1980s, 1990s doing wonderful work in poetry and theatre but they never got the payment they deserve,” Ramani said.