Minister of Sports and Culture Grace Obama Chiumia has commended organisers of this year’s Land of Poets festival which is scheduled for July 3 at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) and will be held under the theme: ”Poetry ,expanding wisdom, deepening knowledge”
In an interview, the minister said poetry is one strong tool that can be used to disseminate information to the general public describing it as a powerful campaigning weapon.
Said Chiumia: “Poetry is very important because it is one way people are trying to unearth their talent and in fact it’s another way of also teaching people where people are able to understand things as people are saying. They take it as a play because it is also entertain and educate.”
The Minister further said government values poetry very much hence intentions to establish different centres in all major cities across the country where poets can meet and expound their talents and skills.
She said: “Issues of infrastructure is a major challenge, we don’t have places where poets can meet and share ideas and others to come out and showcase their talent. As a ministry we are already working on Blantyre Cultural Centre,… in central region we can also organize a space at Kamuzu Institute for Sports and also in Mzuzu, at the museum we can create space for poets to meet and improve their skills.”
Turning to the organizers, the minister advised them to make such events friendly and conducive to other people who have talent in poetry but do not want to come out in the open.
“My word to the organizers is let them organize it in a very special way so that it should be a motivation to other youth who have got talent in poetry but they don’t want to come out and showcase their talent,” she said.
Poetry Association of Malawi Publicity Secretary Sylvester Kalizang’oma said this year’s event will be special compared to the past events saying during the festival they will also honour Veteran Poet Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga with the longtime achievement Award.
“I would like to assure Malawians that this year’s event will be the best considering that we will have the cream of poets and apart from being an achiever, Okomaatani Malunga will also perform,” he said.
During the event different poets from across the country will perform including Raphael Sitima, Yankho Seunda, Joseph Madzedze, Luckier Chikopa, Nyamalikiti, Given Chichitike, Aunt Geti, Samuel Joseph, Atcheya Frank Naligonje, Mr Malawi, Agoloso and Chichiri Prison Cultural Troop.
There will also be a guest poet coming from Germany.
Land of Poets Festival started 4 years ago in 2012 and this year’s event will attract an entry fee of K1000 per head.