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Poetry competition to target high schools


(file pic) POET Mpho Sefali performing at Lehakoe
(file pic) POET Mpho Sefali performing at Lehakoe

Mohalenyane Phakela

THE Afro Poetry movement is set to host a poetry competition for Maseru-based high schools on 24 September 2016 at Victory Centre in Moshoeshoe II.

Afro Poetry’s Thapelo “Polly” Makotoko told XpressPeople this past week the completion was meant to foster the development of poetry in the country.

“It is not secret that most people regard poetry as a dead art form due to the limited platforms available for poets. This has left budding poets stranded because they are unable to get the exposure and mentorship needed to develop themselves,” he said.

Makotoko said the top-three winners of the competition would perform at Afro Poetry’s annual show in December this year.

“Since our aim is to provide a platform for many students, we are expecting up to 50 students from 14 schools in Maseru to showcase their talents during the competition which we are hoping will become an annual event,” he said.

“The panel of judges will consist of renowned poet Mpho Sefali, writer and poet Khosi Rajeke, fine arts practitioner Liako Ntseli and myself representing Afro Poetry.”

Makotoko said the idea for the competition came about during Afro Poetry’s high schools tour which was launched in March this year and will end on the last weekend of August.

“We started visiting high schools around Maseru in March this year in which we made performances and allowed the students to perform as well. After watching them perform, we gave the students tips on how they can sharpen their skills,” he said.

“We came across a lot of talented students and decided to come up with this competition them. After all, poetry is not only a form of entertainment but also promotes creativity and language proficiency.”

Makotoko also said they aspired to cover the whole country but were held back by financial constraints, adding that they were looking for a platform to hold regular shows.


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