Tuku to grace Durban's Poetry Africa Festival

HARARE - Superstar musician Oliver Mtukudzi will grace the 16th edition of Poetry Africa Festival set for Durban, South Africa from October 15-20.

Tuku, whose 60th birthday in September was matched by the release of his 61st-album, last performed at Poetry Africa in 2006 and this giant of the music world will certainly set the Poetry Africa stage alight this year amidst a strong lineup that also features Tumi (without the Volume) and the enigmatic Saul Williams.

The Zimbabwean presence in Durban is marked through the participation, in solo mode, of Mtukudzi.

The week-long Poetry Africa Festival programme in Durban, featuring 24 participants from eight different countries, also includes live music performances, book launches, readings, schools visits and wide-reaching day activities that include seminars, workshops and poetry performances.

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the Poetry Africa tour is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder) and Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos).

The popularity of the spoken word is evident in the powerful performance arc that threads through the 16th edition of Poetry Africa Festival.

The festival includes satellite components taking place in Malawi (sixth and seventh), Zimbabwe (eighth and nineth), Botswana (10th and 11th) and Cape Town (13th) before culminating at the main event in Durban.
Pamberi Trust’s arts administrator Penny Yon said the Poetry Africa Zimbabwe programme takes place at the new Book Café in Harare.

“On October 8 at 7pm, audiences can enjoy the Poetry and Music Expression Session, featuring a mix of musicians and poets, while the Poetry Africa Showcase takes place on Tuesday, October 9 at 8pm,” said Yon.

She said the lineup for the showcase features musician, composer and storyteller Pedro Espi-Sanchis (Spain/South Africa), popular Durban MC and slam poet Ewok, poet, novelist and human rights activist Philo Ikonyaof Kenya, Xhosa musician and storyteller Madosini, Nii Ayikwei Parkes a poet, editor, social commentator and author from Ghana, and the dynamic dub poet, educator and Jamaican-born performer D’bi Young.

“Local spoken word artist, Flowchyld, and poet, comedian, actor and composer Madzitatiguru, add a Zimbabwean flavour to the occasion,” she added.

A free discussion titled “Poetry as a Voice for Africa” takes place at Book Café at 5:30 pm before the Poetry Africa showcase on Tuesday, October 9. - Staff Writer

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