Valley Breeze, Now Bigger and Better

ROMA – A local poetry collective; Poetry Farm has brought back to the local poetry calendar, the Valley Breeze poetry festival which was suspended in 2009 after running for three years. Valley breeze is held annually towards the end of March. This year it will be on March 26.
Valley Breeze, so called because the festival is only held in the roma valley promises to be one of the biggest Valley Breeze seasons to ever be organized. This year the festival not only has more partners joining but also sees Poetry Farm hosting a well known South African slam poet, Thabiso T. Mohare commonly known was Afurakan.
Apart from Women of the Well, all-ladies poetry collective which has been working closely with Poetry Farm in most of its events this year Poetry Farm has three other partners namely; +266 Lapeng LS brand, Thalitha Smile and Multimedia solutions.
Peter Mahase, the managing director of Poetry Farm indicated that it was necessary for Poetry Farm to partner with the afore-mentioned partners as Valley Breeze IV will mark the return of Poetry Farm and poetry festivals at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and Roma in general.
“To make the return of the Roma poetry festival (Valley Breeze) a memorable one and perhaps the most biggest we found it necessary to partner with other groups and companies so that we not only make it a memorable show but also the most successful in terms of package within the show and diversity” he said.
Valley breeze will be the second Poetry Farm-organized festival to host a South African poet, with the first having been Urban Poetry Buffet 2009 which hosted Napo Masheane. This will be the first time Afurakan performs in Lesotho.
The 29 year old Motswana poet, writer, activist and entrepreneur has a very lengthy career record which includes having organized and facilitated the “poetry in locomotion” open mic poetry sessions at Cool runnings and the Baseline for a period of eighteen months. He has to his name a poetry compilation named Slamathology released in December 2004.
Afurakan has opened stage for prominent poets like Kgafela Wa Magagodi, Lesego Rampolokeng, Lebo Mashile, Makumeele Manaka, Keorapetse Kgositsile to name but a few. He has also performed at the Urban Voices Poetry festival at the Baseline, Newtown sharing stage with Saul Williams and at the 3rd World Festival at Black Arts and Cultures in Senegal among other performances.
As has been the case with the past Valley Breeze festivals, upcoming poets are given chance to take to the stage, after having gone through an audition and rehearsal session. This year saw about only four male poets participating in such auditions held last week at the NUL campus. All four are said to have successfully passed the audition and rehearsal session.
The organizing team which comprises of Poetry Farm and Women of the Well members said they believed the turn up to this year’s Valley Breeze will be much better than past years, as the festival has never suffered poor turn up since its inception in 2007.
Individual poets who will also take to the stage on Saturday include Ms Liatile Mohale, Nthati ‘Gifted’ Nt’sohi, Kekeletso Sekhoacha, Kamohelo Sebapo and Sello Mpakanyane to name but a few.
To add more flavor to the festival, there will also be music (fusion of reggae, jazz and hip hop), dance and visual creativity display.


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