By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
WHILE not everyone possesses the talent to effortlessly wax lyrical or write poetry as it were, it is an integral part of the spoken/written language.
Poetry not only allows for people to express their thoughts and feelings, but also boosts their confidence, especially where public speaking is concerned.
Cognisant of this fact, the Franco- Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC) will once again host its annual Grassroots Slam Poetry workshop.
The poetry workshop was the brainchild of Sheena Schwartz and the FNCC, with the aim of providing a platform for the arts to young learners from Government schools.
The first workshop was initiated in 2012, after which the FNCC adopted the project which has grown from strength to strength over the past four years. This year they drummed up so much interest that they were forced to turn away some applicants.
“The slam poetry workshop is an educative platform for children and teenagers to develop themselves through writing. Such initiatives allow the youth to build their own personalities and strengths, and to encourage them to pursue artistic activities. At the end of the (workshop), the learners perform their works on stage in front of a public, also allowing them to develop their skills in public speaking and their confidence and self-worth,” Alexandrine Guinot, FNCC’s communication officer said.
The project is also part of the FNCC’s mission, to promote and develop the arts and culture in Namibia.
Including the learners who will be participating in this year’s workshop, a total of 61 learners will have taken part in the project since its inception.
The four-day workshop will see learners being mentored by the likes of Sean Kamati, multi-award winning musician Ann Singer and Toshi, to name a few. “The mentors chosen for this project are Namibian professional artists who have a deeply rooted interest for the youth in their works. They also are famous artists, who are able to teach something to the learners and make their message go across easily while using their image.”
Guinot explained that learners are not merely discarded after the workshop is over; the project keeps track of them and their achievements year after year. She added that there are many alumni of the project who come back to lend a helping hand. The current director of Grassroots Slam Poetry, Cecilia Nghidengwa, deputy director Leena Shipwata, as well as this year’s facilitator, have all gone through the programme.
Poetry is not only an art, which is important to give the youth access to. It also holds an educative dimension, making the youth use their words and their writing to develop themselves in an ever-digitalised world…It is all the more important in the Namibian context, to keep the youth, in particular those with less access to resources, on the right path of education and self-development,” Guinot stressed.
The workshop will take place from September 5th to 8th, and the final performance will be on Friday, September 9th at 19h00. Tickets are selling at N$30 in advance and N$50 at the door.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015