Last year I had an opportunity of being part the Ts’epe Promo Tour Bloemfontein by Kommanda Obbs where he was promoting his album; Ts’epe. The show was held at Colourful Coffee bar in Batho location. I was to learn later on that the same is also used for poetry sessions every first thursday of every month. Below is more information about Poetry and spoken-word in Mangaung township. Courtesy of Serame Icebound Makhele.
Colourful Poetry Nites co-ordinated by Icebound, Serame Makhele, in partnership with Colourful Coffee Bar have been taking place for six months in Bloemfontein’s township of Batho. This is a monthly event that happens in the first Thursday of every month. Colourful Poetry Nites features the cream of written and spoken-word practitioners from Free State and other provinces. The main purpose of this stage initiative is to encourage Free State artists particularly in the field of performance-poetry and its sister genres such as literature and song writing, to master their craft by performing regularly to a live audience. Another aim is to popularise the culture of reading and writing among the youth in Mangaung.
Participants at the Colourful Poetry Nites are mainly the poets who have been supporting the initiative since its inception in July last year. The line-up includes the most sought-after poets in the province such as Jah-Rose, Hector Kunene, Charmaine Mrwebi, Magic Khotseng, Job Mzamo, Dr. Cool, Rethabile Zilila to name a few.
Through this endeavour, Bloemfontein community also witnessed the emergence of new but powerful voices such as Neo Mvubu, Thabo Falatsi and Tessa Muller who have now became part of the scene.
The session has thus far also attracted a number of poets from Eastern Cape, Gauteng and North West provinces. These include a slam-poetry collective called Blaq Seed from Vanderbiljpark, a poet from Port Elizaberth by the name of Bandile and a popular figure in the SA’s poetry scene, Tereska Muishond who is based in Johannesburg but originally from Heidedal, Bloemfontein. Tinah Mnumzana who plays the Character of Constance on Etv’s drama series scandal shocked a packed audience when she revealed that she is also a poet at January’s session.
It is not only poetry that is offered in Batho, but also related genres such as Hi-Hop and afro-soul music are shared so as to spice up the mood and provide entertainment for the audience. The MeloDj who has a rare skill of mixing various forms of music as well as recorded audio poetry keeps the mood of revellers ablaze. Bloemfontein’s songstress, Mamickey also provides a sort of healing when she performs her songs incorporating Jazz, R&B and ragga.
The recent Colorful Poetry Nite was held last night, the 2nd of February.