Life & Arts

Poet Ncube relishes Ivory Coast performance

Tanyaradzwa Marabada

SPOKEN word artist S’phongo, real name Tennson Ncube  says performing for the French audience in Abidjan in Ivory Coast was an exciting experience and great honour for him.

This comes as the Matobo-born artist performed as a guest poet at the Bout de Pagne Poetry on Saturday in West Africa.

“When I received the invitation to perform in Abidjan, I was super excited, my only fear was the language barrier as my poetry is all in English and the show had only French performers and audience,” S’phongo said.

The Bout de Pagne poetry show, meant to celebrate nature, made the Matobo-born poet to appreciate and learn French.

“My French is not even close to anything that can be described, but the talent I shared the stage with was phenomenal and this made me learn the language for my future performances.”

Ncube, currently in Sierra Leone, performed a poem from his recently released anthology Trials published by Ubuntu Afro Publishers in May.

“I did one of my favourite and oldest poems titled the Moon Stars which talks about how people live in harmony with nature. 

“It was a befitting show to say the least,” he said.

Prior to his Ivory Coast performance, S’phongo has showcased in a number of African countries such as Sierra Leone, Zambia and South Africa among others.

Ncube, who initiated poetry shows dubbed Speak Up Poetry sessions in 2019 in Harare, has also done online shows during the Covid-19 national lockdowns.

“I have started hosting the editions of the Speak Up Poetry sessions here in Sierra Leone and they are doing well. I am driven by the need for African stories to be told by Africans,” he said.