Zimbabwean slam poet Dikson Monro, a.k.a. "the people's poet," heads for South Africa this weekend where he will perform at the AFR[WE]KA Poetry Festival.
The local lyricist will represent Zimbabwe at the event planned by the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa, in partnership with the Word N Sound Live Literature Co.
Dikson will perform with voices from the breadth of the SADC Region to sound positive vibrations that will echo throughout Africa. Joining him on stage will be Professor K. Kgositsile, Nova Masango, Lebo Mashile, Leshie Lovesong (Botswana), Tereska Muishond, Kojo Baffoe (Lesotho/Ghana), Vuyelwa Maluleke and Paul Mnisi.
Dikson will perform at the Wits Theatre on Sunday, May 31, 2015. He spoke to Zimbo Jam this afternoon about the work he will present. "I'll be sharing a new piece on xenophobia and immigration around the world," he said.
On performing in the same line up with legends like Lebo Mashile his comment was, "I've shared the stage with Lebo once before, years back. She's such an important part of the regional scene."
Inspired by the vision of nurturing a new national mindset that employs an intercontinental approach to understanding Africa, its cultures and challenges, the AFR[WE]KA Poetry Festival forms part of the South African Department of Art & Culture's response to the questions: Who and what is Africa?
Not only does the festival focus on the message of unity, it also ties in with the vision of strengthening cultural, socio-economic and political integration among African nations. Furthermore, the festival is intended to create much needed economic opportunities for artists in the field of poetry and help with fostering a culture of appreciation for their craft.
Dikson is a passionate spoken word artist, writer, photographer and is the editor of Kalabash Media, an award-winning website that publishes tongue-in-cheek, thought provoking content about life in Zimbabwe.
He was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the UK in 2000. There he started performing slam poetry in Brighton whilst at university. He competed in local slams, as well performing at the Brighton Festival and in 2006 reached the semi finals of the BBC Radio4 UK slam. He now lives in Zimbabwe and is part of Magamba Network, one of Zimbabwe's most visible youth activist organisations.
The 2015 edition of AFR[WE]KA started on May 21 in Pretoria, then had events in Johannesburg (May 27) and Bloemfontein (May 28). The event on Sunday brings the festival to a close. This year, the festival has brought together over 31 African artists.