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Poets live up to billing

poetryMohalenyane Phakela

This year’s first edition of the Poetry is Alive series started on a high note with a thrilling performance pitting poets from the Eastern Cape in South Africa, against their local counterparts at Maseru Sun Cabanas on Thursday night.

Ntsie Phetoane, 17, who received his first break at last year’s show while he was still in high school, was the curtain-raiser for the event, setting the tone for the scintillating performances which followed.

Phetoane was discovered by poetry icon Sheila Khala during high school poetry competitions held last year in collaboration with popular radio station, Ultimate FM.

On Thursday, the teenager gave a mature presentation which showed a marked improvement from his previous performance.
Phetoane’s presence behind the microphone –– where he presented the poems in three languages namely Sesotho, Xhosa and English –– gave the impression that he has been doing it for years.

Mzi Matiwane and Wandile Wara Bafo, guest poets from the Eastern Cape, added flavour to the event with outstanding performances, which was duly appreciated by the crowd.

Although Bafo recited his poems in Xhosa, the crowd was bowled over throughout the recital as if they could understand every word he was saying. One of his pieces was Only God Can Judge, a poem about gays, lesbians and prostitutes.
“We, people, tend to judge gays, lesbians and prostitutes, yet we do not know what drives them to act the way they do,” he orated.
Matiwane’s presentation, on the other hand, took a more political slant.

His poems, a mixture of English and Xhosa, carried a message of South African politics and how they affect the general citizenry of the country.

Both poets told Xpress People they were happy to be in Lesotho and hope to come back on a more regular basis as the crowd had shown them much love by calling them back on stage well after their act.

Lesotho’s very own Khala, Sekete Lesaoana and Drizzle, ensured the host country was well-represented with sizzling performances which won them standing ovations.

Although Bloemfontein-based comedian, Itumeleng Molise, who was billed to entertain the crowd at the event, he was unable to make it. His local counterpart, Hlophe, made sure everybody left the place in stitches.

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