Mmegi Online :: Poetess raises mental health issues through art
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Last Updated
Thursday 19 October 2017, 16:39 pm.
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Poetess raises mental health issues through art

After overcoming depression, and managing her bipolar condition, local talented poetess Mmakgosi Anita Tau has decided to use her experience to raise awareness about mental health issues.
By Nnasaretha Kgamanyane Fri 11 Aug 2017, 14:56 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Poetess raises mental health issues through art








The 28-year-old talented mental health activist told the press at Mmakgosi Live press conference, held at Elements Executive Accommodation in Gaborone yesterday, that she was diagnosed with bipolar and depression when she was at tertiary school. She said she was a constant patient at Sabrana Psychiatrist Hospital during that time. However, against all the odds the poetess decided to find her inner strength and talents to overcome her problems.

“I decided to use my art to communicate my problem. I believe that my purpose is to serve my country. My poems communicate a message. That is my purpose. I have overcome my challenges and depression through my talent. As a woman I cannot sit back and watch my nation being derailed in negativity. I use my art to bring positive impact to lives,” she said.

Tau explained that poetry lives in her. She said for the past 18 years she lived art, and every challenge pushed her to keep pushing. She pointed out that after overcoming bipolar and depression she felt that the burden to inspire people rested with her. However, she pointed out that her journey to overcome her health problems was not smooth due to discrimination. She said she was judged and laughed at. She therefore called on the public to stop stigmatising people regardless of their health problems.

“Tlogelang gore batho ba jele ditlhare ka meno. Stop stigma. Re mmogo go aga Botswana. I am determined to use my talent and experience as a testimony that if we can embrace other people with love despite their challenges we can build a better Botswana,” she advised.

For her part, Zenzel Hirshfield of Zen Productions commended Tau for overcoming her health problems, finding her inner strength and using her talent to share her story. She explained that they live in an era where young people use drugs and alcohol due to

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depression.

“Mmakgosi has used her God-given talent to ovevrcome bipolar. She has a tremendous talent and is a remarkable woman. We need to see a lot of young people performing in the international platform like her,” she said.

Hirshfield commended the poetess for working hard to achieve her dreams despite her challenges. She also said even though being a young career mother was not easy, Tau had been able to balance both the family and work lives. She called on young mothers to follow suit in Tau’s footsteps. The director of Maitisong Tefo Paya said having worked with Tau, he realised that she was an outstanding human being. He said as her mentor he realised her drive to achieve her goals.

“Mmakgosi has grown to be a phenomenal woman. I urge her to keep breaking boundaries and being a pioneer that she is,” he said.

Tau would for the first time host her first ever-exclusive poetic affair dubbed Mmakgosi Live on September 8 at Travel Lodge. The theme for the event is ‘Rooted in Africa,’ which entails spoken word poetry, song and a traditional Setswana buffet to bring the theme a little closer to home. To make the event more interactive, the audience is set to honour the theme and dress in their German Print or preferred African attire.

This event is coined to sensitise people on mental health issues, raising awareness and bring forth an element of healing through poetry and song. It is said to be an enlightening event that will inspire the audience and leave an unforgettable impact in their lives. 

The gist of the night is to share the true life experiences of Mmakgosi, her inspirational testimony of overcoming bipolar and depression, her healing journey, faith, hope and love through storytelling and poetry. The show features the likes of poetess Phopho, Nametso Dorothy Phonchy and Tshegofatso Kwadiba.

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