POETRY AFRICA ENLIGHTMENT TO STUDENTS
By: Khethukuthula Lembethe
The 17th International Poetry Africa festival brings together the world’s finest poets and musicians to Durban and the Durban University of Technology’s journalism Program today had the privilege to experience some of the poets and engage in dialogue.
The session was eye-opening and it unveiled the relationship between journalism and poetry and also pressed on the fact that journalists should speak and write truth in the best humanely possible way.
The three poets shared their rich understanding of what truth is. Nigerian poet Kole Oluwatoyin took the audience through a practical experiment and an example of what truth is when he posed the question: “If there is a car accident and two cars with just the drivers in it collide, how many people are involved?” The audiences responses varied and then he said, “There is no number of people involved because all those who were affected are then involved.”
Journalists should be conscious of all parties that could be involved in a story. “Life doesn’t begin when you are born and it doesn’t end when you die,” said South African poet Malika Ndlovu as she highlighted how our past is important to who we are and what we write about. She stated that the stories she writes are influenced by who she is.
Kobus Moolman expressed the importance of keeping a journal. “It allows you to write, scratch, correct, think and have conversations with yourself before presenting your work to the public,” Moolman said.
The journalism students that attended the event felt that they learnt alot about how poetry and journalism work together.
“The seeming dichotomy between prose and poetry especially for future journalists is something I think we all need to think about,” said second year Journalism student Takudzwa Makoni.
“The session was interesting and enlightening, we learned a lot as journalists,”said another second year student Rumana Akoob.
“It was very inspiring yet I am now skeptical of the word as Kobus said “inspiration is suspicious” and I think Malika is a breath of fresh air,” Sinenhlanhla Mthembu.
Indeed the poets made everyone think about how they see the world, journalism and poetry.