The first installation of Mmakgosi Live poetry session showcased powerful and inspirational poems that left the audience with mixed emotions at Travel Lodge on Friday night.
Mmakgosi Live is an exclusive poetic affair hosted by Mmakgosi Anita Tau and it is intended to sensitise people on mental health issues, raise awareness and bring forth an element of healing through poetry and song. It was an enlightening event that was intended to inspire the audience and leave an unforgettable impact in their lives.
The event themed ‘Rooted In Africa’ lived to intention as it brought the power of healing through poetry, spoken word and live music.
Mya Serame opened the event with an emotional poem, reciting: “There are many things they can say you are not able to do but hold onto. There are visions in life but insanity reduces you into nothing”.
She said some things could reduce a person to almost nothing, but urged whoever might be facing such challenges to hold on.
In her other poem, Serame recited about the anxiety that people living with mental illness face on everyday life. She said growing up she was told that a father was the one responsible for teaching his child how to walk but she never had one. She told how the pain and anxiety were too much for a child to bear.
But, as her poem goes, she was “trying to be free from bipolar, trying to be alive, trying to be happy and trying to contain herself”.
She told how having bipolar at 22 years of age was not easy because she was being judged and labelled.
In her poem titled ‘Tshiwele’, the lady of the moment, Mmakgosi narrates, “I am because I am. Santlha ke Santlha.” In this poem, the poet
The mother’s bond with her child starts long before a child is born until it grew into an adult. She tells that such bond could not be broken.
“Many young women are looking for mothers. Mothers who will guide and be there for them,” she recites.
In another poem, Mmakgosi expresses her undying love for her son.
She thanked him for remaining constant by her side even when the blue Sbrana Psychiatric hospital skies could not shine on her. She reminisces how her son’s love for her had never died despite the circumstances.
But it was Mmakgosi’s poem ‘Mental Moods’ that seemed to have brought tears to a number of spoken word enthusiasts.
“My wounds mean nothing to humanity, my scars mean nothing to humanity. I tear up the walls trying to find my inner peace. Sanity what price do I have to pay for you? My mental wounds must mean something to humanity”.
The audience was also treated to a touching clip from one of Mmakgosi’s poems titled ‘Mad Woman’.
In the piece, she talks of discrimination and challenges that people living with mental disabilities face.
The poem is basically taken from Mmakgosi’s personal experience as a person living with mental illness.
The young poet and writer was diagnosed with bipolar and depression at a tender age when she was a university student.
Another poet, Phopho also treated the audience with beautiful poems such as ‘Mama Africa’, ‘Le Bo Mang’ and ‘Heal’, which asks children whose fathers were absent in their lives to forgive them and move on with their lives.