MASERU — Local and South African poets are set to battle it out in the Poetry Is Alive show at Maseru Sun Cabanas tonight.
The show has been organised by a local events company, Sheila The Eagle Productions.
The show seeks to revive the poetry spirit in Lesotho and draw more people to write and recite poetry, Sheila Khala said in an interview with the Weekender.
“I spent most of my time in South Africa doing poetry.
“Coming back home I realised that the spirit of doing poems is actually dead, so this is basically my way of trying to uplift the spirit of local poets,” she said.
“I believe in local talent and I wish to take it to greater heights. I have brought along three South African poets so that our artistes can compare their stage presence with those from SA who have performed internationally so as to know how to up their game.”
She added: “I believe Lesotho has to feel the South African flavour and familiarise themselves with it which will help them flourish.”
Sheila has written two anthologies, Formula: Leading life to perfection and My Pen is a Socialite.
She is already working on her third publication, A Special Gift, which is aimed at grooming children to be poets.
She has performed in South Africa and at the Sadc Poetry Festival in Botswana and Namibia.
The Poetry is Alive show will see South African poets Mphutlane Wa Bofelo, Hector Kunene and Lesika Wa Ha Lipholo share the stage with Sheila herself, Mpho Sefali and other upcoming local poets.
Mphutlane, who is from Durban, is described as a slam poet.
He is one of those poets to whom poetry is not just a trend, a phase or an opportunity of branding himself.
He has been writing poems and performing them for years, to him it is a craft.
His poetry is drawn from many influences and cannot easily be clustered into one category.
Mphutlane has performed in places like Berlin, Shiraz and in a number of African countries.
He has become an icon and a pioneer of poetry in South Africa.
“The local market never takes us seriously unless we bring people they are not familiar with.
“We are also trying to bridge the gap between local artistes and SA artistes,” Sheila said.
Sheila is scheduled to perform in Qwaqwa where she will also feature local poets.