RSS Feed

Poetry Update: Word ‘n Sound

We Are Poets?

As you all know, Tuesdays are poetry days. As a surprise I was going to upload a video of Ole from Ole’s Truth performing his poem Hold My Nigga Moment at the Market Theatre this past Saturday. Alas I did not have time to work on the video and fix a sound issue. Instead of doing that, I’ve decided to share with you the experience.

Poetry has always been one of those weird writing styles that I have a love/hate for. I used to do quite a lot of poetry back in the day, performing at Constitutional Hill and Johannesurg Art Gallery. We had a poetry club, printed an anthology, and had meetings. I was part of the “founding” partners of the poetry club. At that point in my life I thought I was a poet, standing up with confidence and a slight ego. I’ve learned now that young Nthato wasn’t a poet – he was a good rhymer with a big head.

image: Dominican Convent School poetry evening. 2015

School poetry evening back in 2005

I stepped back from the scene after that, focusing on writing fiction. I dabbled a bit in poetry but it was only until recently, when fellow writer and good friend Olerato told me he wanted to get involved in poetry, that I dived back in. It was also part of a side writing project I’m working on, and with that in mind I decided to help him. Hence the return of Tuesday poetry as well as all the guest posts.

Part of getting involved included going to poetry sessions and performing poetry in public spaces. So this past Saturday, 3 February 2018, Ole and I went into the heart of Johannesburg. We experienced the crowds. The taxis. The stench. The dichotomy of beautiful skyscrapers and decrepit buildings. The gorgeous Mandela Bridge overlooking the old-but-functioning train track, congested-filthy taxi ranks and the revamped buildings beside the highway.

Our first stop was registering Ole for a Poetry Slam at the Market Theatre. An elegant, revamped building that smelled and shouted “art” and the potential for our city. After that we met other poets who were going to an audition at the Joburg Theatre. Thus began our track through the bustling Joburg streets.

image: view from Joburg Theatre

A view from Joburg Theatre

The audition was part of a poetry programme that would run for the year. Selected poets will attend workshops run by prolific South African poets, will perform poems, and other really amazing opportunities to better their poetry.

This wasn’t something Ole and I were going to do but I convinced him that if I auditioned then he has to, too. Motivation right? So without any preparation, I went into the audition room. It was dark, walls and seats painted black. Spotlights shining onto the stage as an invitation. Three judges sat on a table clothed in black. Two women, one man. Intimidating. I climbed onto the platform and answered the usual drabble “Who are you? Where you from? What do you do?” spiel. Then I performed my poem “Hypocritical”. I think they liked it but they didn’t necessarily like me – something about being too nonchalant. At the same time they seemed persuaded in giving me a chance as I had potential. I’ll only find out at the end of February.

Ole then went in to perform his poetry. They loved him and his performance, though they were a bit apprehensive of his poems (which I think are amazing). He may also be considered for the programme.

Word ‘n Sound

Following our track back, we stepped into the Market Theatre auditorium for Ole’s actual performance. I’d listened to him recite it to me but this was it. The main event. The big stage. Word ‘n Sound is an organisation that hosts poetry sessions, and runs the Poetry League. The event runs on the first Saturday of every month and this year will be its eighth season. There were returning poets and champions, newcomers of every age and location. Pretoria poets even came down.

Not to be biased but I loved Ole’s performance. So dramatic. And the crowd did too. Every time they saw him they would say “That’s a nigga moment.” as reference to his poem. A really enjoyable experience. Of course there were other really amazing poets there to, and some not so great. It was the first show of the year after all, setting the scene for what was to come.

image: Ole performing at the Word 'n Sound poetry league

Ole performing at the Word ‘n Sound poetry league

We even had a surprise guest performance by singer Samthing Soweto who has an incredible voice: https://www.facebook.com/SamthingSoweto/

Where To From Here

On Sunday we went to The Orbit, a jazz lounge. It was open mic session where we were expecting poetry but instead were serenaded by amazing voices and great music. Nonetheless, it was one of those things we will be doing more often. Every first Saturday of the month we’ll be at Word ‘n Sound. We’ll be looking for poetry spots and being intentional about performing our poetry. It’s going to be amazing.

Advertisements

About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African born, published author working as a Technical Writer for Everlytic and a writer for Gamecca Magazine. He has published short stories both internationally and locally, and is hoping to publish a novel in the near future. He is an avid reader, inspired blogger, and an aspiring digital artist.

13 responses »

  1. Glad to hear you’re performing your work. I always thought it would be awesome done out loud. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Kelly – you’ve been a great encouragement to my writing.

      It wasn’t my intention to perform but now I’m feeling just a slight buzz of excitement at the prospect. Perhaps my next published work will be that book of poetry everyone keeps telling me to write.

      Reply
  2. This sounds amazing! Congrats on performing. I’m sure it’s a wonderful experience. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Cool that you liked a like on Milly’s post in Australia now ive read your post about foraying back into poetry. I like the writing, it was straightforward but gave me a sense of being there. New to all this and finding it had just to blog daily. Any tips about that welcome, if you get a chance to read even one post in http://www.aeudeabikes.com I’d be most appreciative, @Nthato Morakabi (I don’t know how to highlight names). Thank you, A Dude Abikes, Austin, Texas USA

    Reply
    • Hey Dude, thanks for dropping by and glad you enjoyed my post.
      From an advice perspective, I would suggest consistent blogging even if it’s not every day, and always check other blogs and engage with the community.

      I’ll definitely come see your site 😉

      Reply
      • Thanks! So far this year it’s daily blogs but I want to write my book too just not sure how to start. Just wondering if it’s worth the effort if there aren’t many readers.

      • Ah if you build it, they will come – or in this case, if you write it, they will read it.

        Right now then would be the perfect time to not only hone your craft, but also build followers while you’re doing it. Writing everyday is great and from your blog posts you have a great sense of humour and general awareness. Plug that into your books!

      • I hope so. I suppose I have to get on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram to find followers? Seems like alot of effort and time I need to spend as you say honing I. appreciate that you noticed my attempts to amuse. Interesting that a random post on a pun mentioned Desmond Tutu and now I’m corresponding with a South African poet and writer. Not sure where this leads if anywhere while I’m out if work, maybe it’s just a hobby for a while. Guess none of us really know. Process not outcome is the focus. ☮️

  4. This was exciting. Thanks for taking me along with you.

    Reply

Any Words to the Writer?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lorraine Ambers

Writer & Queen of Daydreams

AllthingsUncanny

Goodbye, good night's sleep.

SAM's Book Reviews

Books Old & New

xolisilesite

Personal blog

The Parisshian Legacy... And other things

Anything my little heart desires

Chhotewrites

CHHOTE THEE POET

Young Author

With new Ink.

A.A. Frias

Author of fantasy and young adult fiction

Write for the King

The writings of a Christian college student and her publishing journey

Trebles On My Mind

A blog about crochet, knitting, and other stuff

Danger Kit

- Poetry -

Thoughts of a Bored Writer

My writing. Mostly.

lou rasmus

DEAD RED FISH - debut novel on Amazon

Melody Chen

Word-Experimentalist

Life

Literature & Lifestyle

The tears of chained words

The words left unsaid, pouring out as poetry.

The Official Blog of Horror and Fantasy Writer Lionel Ray Green

"Life is horror and fantasy, not necessarily in that order."

%d bloggers like this: