Govt, NGOs urged to promote poetry in schools


Renowned poet, Tendai M Shaba, has urged the Malawi Government and Non-Governmental Organisations in the country to start promoting poetry in schools.

Shaba was speaking this in an interview with Malawi24 as the country join the rest of the world in celebrating the ‘National Poetry Month’ which is commemorated from 1st to 30th April every year.

The poet said if the country is really serious about having a brighter future on poetry, government together with some NGOs should from now think of introducing programs that will promote book reading culture.

Shaba who is the author of ‘Moments to cherish’, mentioned that promotion of poetry through funding of educational resources, activities, and the promotion of a book reading culture, is an ideal for an excellent poetry industry to come.

“Government and private organisations need to start promoting poetry through funding, particularly in schools. Pupils and students are the future storytellers. As for established poets, they just need more opportunities to thrive as creatives,” explained Shaba.

The poet also encouraged other Malawian poets to start using poetry in addressing some burning social issues including mental health awareness, women and youth empowerment and gender based violence.

“Local poets should use their story telling skills to address burning social issues and current affairs. This creativity and wealth of language must be taken seriously. We need to encourage Malawian storytellers to produce Nobel Prize worthy content,” he added.

Shaba has officially been involved as an activist in various campaigns including; mental health awareness, women and youth empowerment, GBV elimination, labor and productivity, climate change and safe motherhood, thereby proving how crucial poetry is in addressing such burning issue.

Each year, April is celebrated as the ‘National Poetry Month’, commemorating significant poets and empowering the world of poems and it also aims at reminding people the importance of poetry in the society and culture; to uplift ideas, to offer wisdom, and to connect people.