The poetry scene is growing in leaps and bounds, Tshwane Speak Out Loud is on its second annual youth poetry competition. The platform allows for the youth to express their social issues through spoken word.
Over 100 poets participated in the competition, going through 5 auditions and only 10 have made it into the grand finale. The finalists stand a chance to win a share of R50 000 in cash prizes and a trip to the USA valued at R60 000.
The grand finale will take place at the South African State Theatre’s Opera on Saturday, 26 November 2016 from 12:00 to 18:00. The event is free, RSVP at www.speakoutloud.co.za to secure a seat.
We spoke to three of the finalists who are quite familiar on our WordNSound stage: Emma Mabye, Bella Cox and Southren Mathibeng. They had so much to say about how much the competition means to them and a message their fans.
1. What would you like to say to your competitors?
Emma: Thank you for making this competition so real and no thanks for making it so damn tough.
Bella: I would like to say congratulations and good luck and may the best poet on the day win!
Southren: Bring Good Poetry. One Line Can Save A Life.
2. How do you feel about having made it this far into the competition?
Emma: I feel overly elated. The semi-finals were a real wake-up call as to how much work needs to be done. I had to change the pieces I had prepared for the day coz the competition had become that much tougher. I mean the names in the Top 10 are evidence of the quality of poetry and the level of this slam.
Bella: I feel incredibly excited to have made it this far, there were a lot of auditions to get through to make it to this point and I am happy that I have so far proved myself worthy of my spot.
Southren: I feel proud and ecstatic. It says a lot about the stroke of my pen.
3. What does it mean for you to be part of this competition, what would it mean to you if you were to win it, has being part of the competition made a impact on you?
Emma: I have mixed feelings at the moment. I’m grateful, excited, grateful and scared all at the same time :).
I would’ve finally conquered my fear of slams.
I have so much greater respect for this platform, the slammers and for slams in general. It has made me realise how much more work I need to put in (thanks to Word n Sound for the good start 😉 ) and also to not allow negative talk – which really can work on your psyche – deter you from what you want to achieve.
Bella: It means a lot, this is one of South Africa’s biggest poetry competitions at the moment and I’m thankful that I get to be a part of it!
It would be incredible to win it because it would mean travelling to America and getting the chance to hear their style of poetry live and getting to meet some of my all-time favourite artists in person!
I think being part of any kind of community or competition has an impact because you feel part of something, you feel included and accepted and who doesn’t like that feeling?
Southren: It means I’m part of the evolution of South African Poetry and I’m contributing to the scope of the poetry of the 21st century.
It would mean the world to win this competition since I haven’t traveled abroad.
Yes, the competition has impacted me in a positive manner in a sense that I can only get better and improve on my writing.
4. What would you like to say to those who are supporting you?
Emma: My thanks for your support can never be enough. You make this journey all the more worth it and at the finale we shall meet 🙂
Bella: To those who are supporting me, I hope you know how much I appreciate your applause and words of encouragement and selfies! haha I really do thank you for showing up to the shows and cheering me on. It means a lot to me and I hope I can continue to make you proud. 🙂
Southren: Your support is not in vain. I’m a reflection of a society I live in. I may be the one on stage but I’m made up of each of you. Thank you and God bless!
Make sure to come through and see the TOP 10: Emma Mabye, Bella Cox, Southren Mathibeng, Anga Mamfanya, Busisiwe Mahlangu, Sibusiso Simelane, Given Masilela, Kori Sefeane, Mwamba Chileshe & Zewande BK Bhengu.
Date: 26 November 2016
Venue: The South African State Theatre’s Opera
Entry: FREE via RSVP. Go to www.speakoutloud.co.za to RSVP