A rolling stone gathers no moss, so they say. But the story is different with one young man who started his arts journey with music before he ventured into theatre and dance.
He came back to music, but not for long as he moved to another component of arts—poetry. It is in poetry that Qabaniso ‘Q’ Malewezi curved a name for himself.
He has and continues to command respect both locally and internationally. His excursion has seen him being among the top Southern African poets in the just ended year. His first anthology, The Road Taken, released in 2012, was incorporated in the creative writing course at the African Bible College (ABC) in Lilongwe.
To add to the list of his growing achievements, in 2014 he established a production and promotion company, Qoncept Creative, which has raised the bar in terms of organisation of entertainment activities in the country.
Having accumulated a worth of expertise in different aspects of art, Q has done something new as his career takes another interesting turn.
He has released his first ever poetry album titled People, which arguably cements his voice in local poetry and spoken word.
“I feel it is about time for spoken word and poetry to make a big statement in the country and I feel this is the perfect opportunity.
“So all I want to do is raise the profile of spoken word. This can only be done as a collective,” said the poet in an interview.
The multi-decorated performing poet is set for the launch on April 2 at the Bingu International Conference Centre (Bicc), which will see South African poet, Vangile Gantsho performing as well as DRC asylum seeker slam poet, Menes.
Seven local poets including Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga are also expected to perform at the album launch.
“I have invited fellow poets from different backgrounds and style to support me at the Bicc Auditorium. For example, we are going to have Vangile, one of the most genuine and authentic poets I have come across. I had the opportunity to share the stage with her at Poetry Africa in 2014. We connected almost immediately,” he explained.
Going through the list of performers during the event, one realises that most of the local poets are fairy new in the industry or are not known at all. Q says it is a deliberate ploy to create a platform for up and coming poets in the country.
“I have a mix of established and up-and-coming talent. The line-up has some of the most amazing talent I have come across. I also want to give them access to a big platform as a way of inspiring them further.
Some of them I know personally while some were referred to me when I asked on social media,” he stated.
Partially self-recorded, the album features a number of local artists, including musicians who will also perform with him during the album launch.
Stated the poet: “I will collaborate with some musicians, including George Kalukusha, Faith Mussa and Marlen Chakwera. These are just some of the artists featured on the album which got some help in some recordings, but mostly I did the recording myself.”
The album is a combination of his old and new poems.
“Not everything in the album is new as there are compositions from my first anthology for example. It is great to have them produced as an audio version. The album has 10 poems and will be on sale on my bandcamp page and website and physical copies will be in gift shops and at my other performances,” he said.
Q has had prestigious international performances at events such as The Sadc Artists Against Aids Festival, Poetry Africa through Blantyre Arts Festival, Harare International Arts Festival and Word N Sound Poetry Festival in South Africa.
Also the recipient of the Poetry Association of Malawi’s award for Best Performance Poet, the artist believes his efforts have contributed to putting Malawi somewhere because the country is not known for arts.
As the day draws closer, Q has a simple message to poetry enthusiasts: “I will bring my best.”