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Folklore poetry legends inspire ‘Poo E Padile’

NNASARETHA KGAMANYANE
Poo e Padile
It is rare to find young people showing interest in traditional poetry enriched with Setswana language as many are more invested in English and slang. However, it is different for Kabelo Maabong also known as Poo E Padile, a 30-year-old born and bred in Artesia village.

The young man is among a few youngsters whose passion is to revive the Setswana language and culture through poetry. “I am normally a quiet and shy person.

I was raised by a single mother with my five siblings I being the oldest of three boys and three girls. I studied up to BGCSE and have no tertiary qualifications. I am currently doing odd jobs to survive.

I started poetry in 2008 when I was doing Form Four. Growing up,I enjoyed listening to old men reciting poems at the kgotla, weddings and on radio.” “

I listened to the likes of Kobedi Tsheole (Delebeseke), Komiti Mogorosi, Ponatshego Mokane, Sekokotla Kaboyamodimo and the late Brown Machobane. They inspired me.

I never really thought I had it in me to stand before an audience and perform let alone compose a poem till 2008 during the Day of the African Child at Kagiso Senior Secondary School,” he told Arts & Culture. He explained that after that specticular performance he grew the confidence to carry on, adding that the following year, he performed again when the school celebrated its 30 years anniversary. Maabong added that his mother and grandparents who were fascinated by their mother tongue also inspired his love for Setswana. 

They used Setswana proverbs and idioms to advise their kids including him at all the times. The young poet also disclosed that he prioritized to use his native Setswana language in his poems.

He added that he also partakes in social media challenges in his native language because it gives him pride, identity and a sense of belonging and enables him to express himself without any effort.

He added that his poems were in

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most cases inspired by his environment, current affairs, mood, his life experiences, other people’s views on different aspects of life and social illnesses. “I am a team worker and I am open to collaborations anytime. So far I collaborated with Bathusi Pule and Kagiso Lekorwe in a poetry ensemble called Kgosi Tse Tharo in Mochudi since 2016.

It was created to welcome the roving torch at Mabalane where Pule originates and we then kept it alive as people welcomed the idea wholeheartedly.

I also featured in a song Corona ke Mmoko by Poo E Padile versus Thetele. The song’s main objective was to sensitize people about COVID-19 and the importance of adhering to health measures and protocols,” he said.

He also stated that he featured in Dilo Makwati ‘s song titled Monna Ke Yo addressing tribal disputes and crises. He also collaborated with a group called Phafana on a single dubbed Pelo Ya Tlhoi, which will be out anytime soon. The idea was to get exposure and explore the market in any way possible as long as to build partnership. He has a number of achievements and poems under his sleeve.

He was recently nominated for FNBB Africa day concert alongside local music giants and won Constituency Arts Competitions. He further pointed out that he faced some challenges in his career. However, he pointed out that those challenges would not bring him down as they made him stronger.

He pointed out that lack of funds was the biggest challenge since he lost a lot of gigs due to lack of required paperwork, political affiliation that cost him opportunities and empty promises from prominent figures that also demoralized him.



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