We first saw Desire at the Season 8 finale when her collaborative performance with Masai Sepuru hoisted him to victory. As the only poet to make it to the Top 5 every time she competed in the slam, it is no surprise that she’s made it to the final Top 5 this season.
What did it take to get you to the Top 5? Please tell us about your journey in the league?
Considering that I am fairly new to poetry and I still have a lot to learn, I am surprised and intimidated by the position in the final top 5 but at the same time, it encourages me to not sleep on myself and explore the possibilities of what I can be as a poet.
Getting on the Word N Sound stage every month and opening up has been an educational journey. It takes guts to do that, to expose yourself like that and other times it makes you feel vulnerable. So throughout the League, I’ve learned to grow a thicker skin and embrace the purpose of criticism, to identify teaching moments and advice that is meant to uplift me. I still have a long way to go but being in the Word N Sound Poetry League has helped me find my path.
What has been the biggest lesson learnt through this slam?
The biggest lesson I learned through this slam is to be daring. When I started slamming in the Word N Sound Poetry League in March, I was testing the waters because I did not think that I would get here. I didn’t even regard myself as a poet at the time. But after coming back to the stage every month, I began to take myself more seriously and realize that this is my magic and I should stretch it out into the universe.
This year’s slam has been male-dominated. How do you feel we can make it more womxn friendly in the future?
In my experience, Word N Sound has been womxn friendly and I believe that as time goes on more womxn will come forth and share their poetry. The womxn who have come up to the stage this year have delivered phenomenal pieces the fact that most of the time the top 5 was dominated by male poets, does not mean that womxn’s poetry is worth any less. It’s all a matter of time and encouragement. We are still in the process of creating spaces where womxn feel safe and comfortable enough to speak up after a very long time of being silenced.
Which performance has been your best? Why did it stand out for you?
My best performance to me was when I performed This Is Not A Poem in the 7th episode. The poem itself was inspired by one of the battles that leave us mournful as a society, drug abuse. However, I feel that we forget that drug abuse is a symptom of a deeper trauma so much so that we end up drawing conclusions about the people who live on the streets because of it. I’ve watched us shun drug addicts and cast them aside like they are just expendable. We do not try to find the roots to the drug abuse, we do not even consider the factors that might have contributed to the person’s drug abuse. We pretend that it was their fault and they should’ve made better choices but what we do not realize is that anybody can end up abusing drugs and there are different unimaginable reasons why. So I wrote that poem to teach myself and everyone who hears the poem to empathize with the people whose lives have been destroyed by drugs and not just rush in with judgement. And hopefully, that would be the beginning of a healing process.
So my best performance was not really about the results of the slam but what the poem means to me.
Who is your biggest threat in this finale and why?
This is a tough one. All four poets are amazing writers and I can’t even imagine what they must be preparing for the finale so it’s safe for me to say that all four of them are my enemies until after the slam
Join us for the Word N Sound Poetry League Season 9 finale on Sat 5 Oct at the Con Cowan Theatre in Auckland Park. This finale will see 5 formidable opponents in a battle to be crowned the 2019 Poetry League Champion.