Poets attempt to change narrative

2019-07-30 06:01
Poets filled the room in Manenberg and listened to one another as they recited their poems, with some moments filled with giggles.PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Poets filled the room in Manenberg and listened to one another as they recited their poems, with some moments filled with giggles.PHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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To use art as a form of expression and to start a conversation that will bring solutions to societal ills, poets and poetry lovers came together to begin a poetic discussion.

Themed “Poets Came To Play … But”, the intimate session was hosted in one of the members’ lounge which has been turned into a small theatre room in Manenberg on Saturday 27 July.

It was organised by poet and community activist Faizah Rahbeeni in collaboration with Fiona Franks.

Rahbeeni is a founding member of a community organisation called University of the Third Age (U3A). The U3A seeks to address issues in the community by using arts – it collaborates with similar organisations in a quest to talk about these difficulties.

Franks is the director of a non-profit organisation (NPO) called Excellent Life Child (EL Child). The NPO seeks to promote a healthy eco-system, and conscious and compassionate communities.

According to Rahbeeni the event was not only about tackling issues but also about catching up and sharing artistic tips as the poets filled the small house, turned into a theatrical space.

“We are here to have a fun time and speak about the issues in our society,” she explained.

Her wish is for people to remove the negative perceptions they, according to her, have about Manenberg and all other townships.

“Manenberg is a great place with potential, it has the light,” she described.

She welcomed the guests and introduced different poets who recited their materials and left fellow guests in stitches.

Franks said she was very excited to be part of the event as it aims to address a subject that she is passionate about.

She said the event was testament to the fact that when people come together, they can do more. “The people that you see here bought tickets and some poets even brought food,” she shared.

The event was also to raise funds for the organisation.

She touched briefly on the issue of crime in the townships.

She said it is time for residents to stop pointing fingers but deal with crime as a collective and not to judge. “We need to reach out to one another and recognise that on the outside we may be different in terms of race but we need to look beyond that and hold hands. (We must) be the peace we want and open our hearts to compassion and help the community,” she motivated.

Also, present at the event was Siv Greyson, an artist who said she felt great to be part of the event. The Observatory resident said the event offered an opportunity for artists to interact and share artistic knowledge.

“I am quite excited to connect to people with different experiences and to also connect to different parts of myself,” Greyson said.

The University of Cape Town Anthropology Honours student said it was important for communities to form collectives.

They would stick out for each other because the police system is failing the people, she reckoned.

The event was also held to allow them to be more vocal about what is happening in the communities.

Greyson said it is too wise for people to expect the future to be perfect when they have not done anything to prepare for that.

“I think people just need to do what needs to be done to get to tomorrow and deal with tomorrow when it comes,” she said.

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