Land of Poets Festival will this year honour veteran poet Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga for his contribution to the country’s poetry industry.
Land of Poets will take place on July 3 at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC), courtesy of an independent organising committee of poets.
Malunga is an iconic performance poet who has recited smash hits such as Ndidzakutengera Kunyanja Ligineti, which still holds the listeners’ interest a decade after it was first performed.
“Among the top agenda of the festival will be presention a Lifetime Achiever Award to Wokomaatani
because of his significant contributions towards the poetry industry,” said Sylvester Kalizang’oma, one of the organisers of the festival.
This year’s festival will be celebrated under the theme Poetry: Expanding Wisdom, Deepening Knowledge.
“This year we are celebrating what poetry has done in the areas of human and career development. We have seen people, including artists, tackling significant issues and improving their understanding simply because of the poetry. It is such a powerful tool for inspiration,” said Kalizang’oma.
However, he said this year’s festival is being organised by independent committee of poets due to lack of funding.
“We are organising this year’s festival within our means and without any funding. Hence the formation of an independent committee to champion the cause. As poets, we don’t want the festival to die a natural death due to lack of funding,” said Kalizang’oma.
Previous festivals were funded by Norwegian Embassy through the Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma).
Kalizang’oma said all is set for the festival, saying artists have come forward to register for the annual celebration of poetry and other cultural expressions. n