NGO supports national DEFT Poetry Festival scheduled for July 30

* The Festival uplifts budding poets as well as development of arts in the country

* The donation will go along the way in making the smooth preparations for the event to be successful

By Steven Godfrey Mkweteza, Correspondent

A local non-governmental organization, Centre for Sports, Culture and Arts (CESCA), has committed a financial contribution of K2 million towards the second edition of the national DEFT Poetry Festival scheduled for July 30 this year at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.

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At the cheque presentation and launch of 2022 DEFT Poetry Festival, CESCA board chairperson, Caleb Thole said they decided to reach out to this biggest local poets’ festival as part of the organization’s efforts towards uplifting the budding poets as well as development of arts in the country.

Thole disclosed that his organization and the organisers of the festival have been in a cordial partnership for some years now, and pledged during the maiden 2021 DEFT Poetry Festival that it would also support  this year’s event.

“Poetry, as a spoken word industry, is vital as it helps the communities understand and appreciate the culture, arts, tourism and social-economic development of the country.

“We feel a great need to promote it through this festival,” Thole said, adding that there are over 500 poets in the country that need to be promoted through nurturing their talents.

“We therefore, call upon the upcoming and veteran poets to take this opportunity to apply for the festival to showcase their talents and explore other opportunities.”

Thole, who pledged to honour his organization’s commitment to sponsor the colourful festival for the next three years, said the poetry industry in the country has been sidelined for years and that a lot of poets have been underutilized manly due to the absence of arts and culture policy to guide arts and culture.

“The unavailability of the policy is infringing on the development of arts and culture in the country. We will  continue making deliberate efforts to lobby the members of parliament to pass the arts and culture bill,” he said.

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In his remarks, DEFT Poetry Festival  managing director, Rodwell Lumbe expressed gratitude to the kind gesture, saying this year’s event would be so special unlike of the last year as it has received the financial boost.

“We struggled financially last year as we sponsored from our own personal pockets,” he said. “But this year this financial boost will definitely make the event superb.

“We pledge to apply financial prudence towards this resources as we  want this relationship to continue for a long time so that the poetry industry is improved,” said Lumbe, himself a poet.

He added that the donation will go along the way in making the smooth preparations for the event to be successful and that they have also partnered with Amaryllis Hotel who shall provide the venue for the festival.

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The theme for this year’s Festival is ‘Adoption of Renewable Energy’ — to bring awareness to the masses on adoption of the renewable energy sources such as gas.

Lumbe said the event will comprise two categories — one for school students up to tertiary level and the other will be a poetry celebration for veterans and upcoming poets on the stage such as Robert Chiwamba, Dr Q Malewezi, Phindu Banda and Yankho Seunda, among others headline poets.

The national DEFT Poetry Festival was launched in 2021 with an aim of promoting the local poetry industry through the recitals of different local languages.

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