As August removes its wind-torn monkey hat and the September sun winks glowingly into the Copper blessed earth of Kitwe, a battalion of traditional griots, poets for human rights, word slingers and pen wielders from Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe gather in Kitwe, Zambia at the Live Literature Hub or simply the Sotambe Poetry Café, a fringe word fiesta slated by the organizers for the 6TH Sotambe International Festival of Film, Documentary and Arts. The Poetry Café is headlined by trailblazing words slingers, Lusaka’s Poetic Queen Vanessa Chisakaula aka VAN VAN has done invitational performances for Action Aid, Center for Trade Policy & Development Zambia and Hivo’s Southern Africa. She has also scintillated audiences at the Annual Anti-Drug Day 2018 and is the Founder and Curator of Word Smash Poetry.
Botswana’s Poetic Blood Lame Pusetso is the brains behind Dare to Fly, a School Spoken Word Movement offering writing & performance clinics & poetry slam contests in which prizes and poetry anthologies add a gleam to the eye of every beholder.
Kitwe’s trendsetting Versifier Mwenya Makupe, an Ardent Poet/Rapper, loves to read and follow pop culture, but clings to elderly people so as to have a sort of bridge that joins both worlds through poetry and intensive interaction. Zimbabwe’s top drawer spoken word artist Philani Amadeus Nyoni PAN contributed to the Caine Prize for African Writing anthology and remains the only poet to ever receive National Arts Merit Awards for Literature and Spoken Word along with a World Record for The Most Shakespearean Sonnets in a Manuscript since the age of twenty-six.
The talent sizzling griots lineup includes Zimbabwe’s Robson Isaac Shoes Lambada, Tinotenda Waison Wilson, Zambia’s Gerry Sikazwe, Livingstone’s Milimo Chinimbwa, Ndola’s Benedixio Moore Khoti, Kitwe’s Mwanangwa Zombe, Lydia Mtonga aka Mutinti, Mbwangi Mwenya, and Botswana’s Gorata Mighty Tshwabi and Poet Phodiso Modirwa.
Mbizo Chirasha, popularly known as the Black Poet, will launch his recently published collection of experimental poetry, A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT.
The Poets will also attend the Live Literature Talks with University students, Media and Kitwe writers at the American Corner housed at the Catholic University in Kitwe. The HUT, a food café and restaurant, is the fontanel of the Live Literature Hub where a hive of activities will happen—Poetry Readings, Dub Poetry (Poetry and Music), Poetry book launches and signings.
The Live Literature Fiesta will be epilogued by the Southern Africa Poetry Slam that will see three poets receiving prizes. The SOTAMBE Live Literature and Poetry Fiesta is curated by seasoned Poet, Writer and Literary Arts Projects Curator Mbizo Chirasha.
Daniel Mwale is the founding partner of Sotambe Festival and Martina Mwanza is the Director of the Sotambe International Film Festival.