A local non-governmental organization, the Centre for Sports, Culture, and Arts( CESCA), has committed a financial contribution worth 2 million kwacha towards the second edition of the national deft poetry festival scheduled for July, 30 this year at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.
Speaking in an interview during the cheque presentation and launch of the 2022 deft poetry festival in Blantyre, the board chairperson for the organization Caleb Thole, said they decided to help the biggest local poets festival with the lump sum as part of the organization’s efforts towards uplifting the budding poets as well as the development of arts in the country.
Thole disclosed that his organization and the organisers of the festival have been in a cordial partnership for some years now, and pledged during the maiden 2021 deft festival poetry festival that it will sponsor this year’s event in a lump sum.
“Poetry as a spoken word industry is vital as it helps the communities understand and appreciate the culture, arts, tourism, and social-economic development of the country. We, therefore, feel a great need to promote it through this festival,” said Thole
According to Thole, there are over 500 poets in the country that needs to be promoted by nurturing their talents.
“We, therefore, call upon the upcoming and veteran poets to take this opportunity to apply for the festival to showcase their talents and explore other opportunities, ” he said.
Thole, who pledged to honour his organization’s commitment to sponsor the colourful festival for the next three years, said the poetry industry in the country has been sidelined for years and that a lot of poets have been underutilized mainly due to the absence of arts and culture policy to guide arts and culture.
“The unavailability of the policy is infringing on the development of arts and culture in the country. We, in vein, will continue making deliberate efforts to lobby the members of parliament to pass the arts and culture bill,” said the board chairperson.
In his remarks, the managing director for the deft poetry festival, Rodwell Lumbe, expressed gratitude for the kind gesture, saying this year’s event would be so special unlike the last year as it has received a financial boost from the organization.
“Last year we struggled financially as we sponsored from our pockets. But this year this financial boost will make the event superb. We pledge to apply financial prudence towards these resources as we want this relationship to continue for a long time so that the poetry industry is improved, ” Lumbe, a poet himself, said
He added that the donation will go along the way in making the smooth preparations for the event to be successful.
According to him, his organization has also partnered with the Amaryllis hotel to provide the venue of the festival.
Lumbe said the theme for this year’s deft poetry festival is “Adoption of renewable energy” to bring awareness to the masses on the adoption of renewable energy sources such as gas.
He further highlighted that the event will comprise two categories of which one will be for the school-going poets of up to tertiary levels.
“The other category will be a poetry celebration for veterans and upcoming poets on the stage such as Robert Chiwamba, Dr. Ouee Malewezi, Phindu Banda, and Yankho Seunda among other headline poets.
Lumbe said the Facebook online call for application for the interested contesters has been opened up to June 15 this year and thereafter, the names of the successful applicants will be announced.
The national deft poetry festival was launched in 2021 to promote the local poetry industry through the recitals of different local languages.