Mmegi Online :: Awards for poetry legends slated for April
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Last Updated
Friday 13 July 2018, 06:00 am.
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Awards for poetry legends slated for April

Setswana poet, Moroka Moreri, has taken it upon himself to honour legendary Setswana poets, and keep their memory alive as some of them have since passed away.
By Maureen Odubeng Tue 15 Mar 2016, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Awards for poetry legends slated for April








Moreri will on April 30 host the inaugural Setswana Poetry Awards, which will be held at Limkokwing. He said he noticed that musicians and visual artists have awards, which cater specifically for them, but no poet had been given an award in the last 50 years. He explained that as a poet, he decided to start the ball rolling and come up with the awards to recognise the contributions made by legendary poets. He said this year’s awards would be restricted to Setswana poets of the yesteryears.

“Even though these poets have never received recognitions, in the form of being given awards, they have contributed a lot to the growth of poetry in our country,” he said. Award recipients include Sir Ketumile Masire, former minister Kebatlamang Morake, Moabi S. Kitchen, N. Kitchen, L.D. Raditladi, R. D Molefhe, Malikongwa, Billy Mokgosi, R. K. K. Molefhi, Robojalwa Keetile, Sekokotla Kaboeamodimo, Benjamin Janie, Still Waters, Mzwakhe Mbuli, Ralou Sebetlela, Delbesek and Ponatshego Mokane. The list includes both oral and written poets.

While most of the award recipients are Batswana, there are a few who are from the neighbouring South Africa. Moreri explained that South Africans who have been picked to be honoured alongside local poets, contributed immensely to local poetry.

“If you take South African poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli for example, he influenced a lot of local poets,” he said.

He explained that there are local poets who use Mzwakhe Mbuli’s style of poetry, adding that the poets have made names for themselves and have become respected in their own right. The Kitchen brothers, also from South Africa, have also played a major role in the local poetry scene.

“Their books were used on our syllabus, at both primary and secondary level,s” he said. Moabi Kitchen’s poetry writings include the popular Go Nwela Ga Mendi, from a primary school textbook in

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the 1970s. The ceremony will also honour one radio personality and one journalist who have contributed to growth of poetry in the country. Moreri said for the radio personality award they are going to rely mainly on the first radio station in Botswana, Radio Botswana to nominate someone.

He explained that to cater for all members of the society, the awards ceremony presentation would include sign language, animation, and the use of braille. He said Namibia Broadcasting Corporation Setswana radio station and Motsweding FM have confirmed that they would broadcast the awards. The keynote speaker will be Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Prior to the awards ceremony, Moreri will host a workshop for upcoming and established poets still at Limokokwing. The workshop will have a number of experts presenting on different topics, which will undoubtedly benefit both upcoming and established poets. Moreri explained that Prof. Thapelo Otlogetswe would present rhyming in Setswana poetry, while Member of Parliament for Kanye North Abraham Kesupile, is scheduled to present on reading poetry written by another person and reciting poetry mimicking another great poet.

Moreri explained that they want to show young Batswana that poetry was diverse, adding that they want to show possible avenues of poetry so that those who have great voices, but lack the skill to write, know that they could go into reading poetry. He also said cultivating the culture of having people who read poetry by other poets or reciting poetry mimicking great poets will keep old poems alive.

Dr. Dudu Jankie will present on reading and writing poetry from the multicultural perspective. He said this would encourage poets to celebrate their identity without fear. The South African award winning Setswana writer will also present at the workshop. Minister of Education and Skills Development, Unity Dow will give a keynote address at the workshop.

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