South Africa’s Afurakan Wins Shoko International Poetry Slam

South African poet Afurakan won last night’s Shoko International Poetry Slam in lightning around against Zimbabwe’s So Profound.

In a night that went a bit longer than most people could bear mostly due to the fact that the MC spent too much time on stage and all the poets seemed to be in the mood for those long poems.

It was a rich field too, featuring the Award-winning Nomsa Mazwai, Chigo Gondwe, Emmah Mabye, the returning Tim Mwaura, Aura, A Scribe Called Tswa, PAN, Aspire and Shoes Lambada. Last year’s champion Mandisa Mabuthoe was the sacrificial poet with her deep poetry.

While the night did go for long and the end felt a bit like an anti-climax the poetry was deep and pretty much world class. A lot of it was taken from a place of anger and protest. On the whole the crowd was generally entertained.

Our only disappointment was that there were no poems in ethnic languages. This is in spite of every poet on stage was from an African country. Performance poetry however should mean that you should make the audience feel you in whatever language you communicate.

It’s a learning curve.

That aside, there was some knowledge shared last night.

And to winner, Afurakan, take a bow, son.

International Slam Winner Afurakan (second from left) poses after receiving winning prize

From today we get into what some would call the business end of Shoko Festival with a powerful set of concerts. Expect Chiwoniso, Natty, Dadza D and a few more to grace the stage tonight. We have had two full-houses in a row. Are we in for a third?