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Poetry Night II_Africa

Poetry Nights | Focus Africa

WithSusan Kiguli (Uganda/Great Britain), Chirikure Chirikure (Simbabwe) and Lebogang Mashile (South Africa)

Presented by: Silke Behl
Readers: Frank Arnold, Marie Löcker, Nina West

Event in two parts with interval

Susan Kiguli is regarded as one of the most interesting and promising young African poets who compose their poems in the form of oral tradition. The four sections of her “African Saga”, namely “Poems of Protest”, “Relational Poems”, “Poems of Nature” and “Existential Poems” perfectly illustrate the range of her themes.

Chirikure Chirikure is a critic of the political elite and a spokesperson for the disadvantaged people of Zimbabwe. He follows the oral story telling tradition of the Shona people in their language. With highly symbolic as well as simple and touching descriptions Chirikure reminds the people of their collective cultural tradition, condemns the abuse of power and selfishness, attesting to the importance of community.

Lebogang Mashile, poet, performer, actress, presenter and producer is among the most popular artists of the country. Her lyrical and sometimes raw poems tell us about life in the new South Africa. Issues such as the diversity and unity of the “Rainbow Nation”, the status of women, violence and the fragility of individuals are all treated with a sense of urgency, humour and at times with melancholy.

Susan Kiguli, born in Uganda in 1969, takes up the style of the African oral tradition in her poetry début, “The African Saga” (1998). She teaches at the Makerere University and is chairperson of the women writers’ association “Femrite”.

The Zimbabwean poet Chikure Chikure, born in 1962, is among the best known figures of his country’s literary scene. He often performs his satirical verse to the accompaniment of the mbira (kalimba), the traditional instrument of the Shona.

The popular poet, performer, actress, presenter and producer Lebogang Mashile, born in 1979, talks about life in the “new South Africa” in her poems, which she sets to hip-hop beats and the sounds of house and R&B.