Thursday, March 31, 2016

TED TALK


used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”

- Frida Kahlo


I get asked to speak or weigh in on issues outside of my area of expertise - whatever mysterious thing that may be - and I almost always begin by saying no. to myself. and then look for reasons to say yes. If they present themselves well enough then I may very well wander down some unfamiliar road even if all I end up doing is asking a bunch of questions out loud instead.

I was asked in 2015 to speak at the first ever TEDxGaborone (Botswana). Daunting is the word that comes to mind. The idea was to speak on imagination and I did so, not because I felt comfortable doing so but because I have trafficked in it for the better part of decade and figured that if nothing else I could chat my way through that ...history.


The video can be found here:    The language of imagination: a conversation we dream to ourselves    I hope you'll share your comments below the vid on you tube

Monday, December 14, 2015

TOP TEN BOTSWANA POETRY ADVOCATES IN THE LAST TWO YEARS 2014-2015


To begin with, as any list not using an agreed upon metrics etc, this list is subjective . It is also heavily weighted in favour of those whose efforts I'm aware of. Botswana has no proper networks, no main centres of poetry, most people are still new to the internet or have unreliable access, there is little to no translation of work etc and therefore I am certain there are folks working hard, in languages I don't speak, or away from the cities, main towns and their presses and therefore they may not appear on this list. For these reasons and more, the list is ...incomplete and you can add names in the comments section with a few words on the individual you believe should appear on this list

The below appear in no particular order:

Lauri Kubuitsile (festival/event reviews, book review/s, columnist & blogger)
Legodile Seganabeng & Poetavango (poet, festival organiser & chair, Maun based activists)
Leshie Lovesong (poet, singer/songwriter who has extended her audience to outside our borders)
Drea Chuma (poet, initiator of Christian poetry festival)
Gofa Nfila (literary event logistics for SAUTI Arts)
Moroka Moreri (published and oral poet, Setswana columnist)
Mandisa Mabuthoe (poet, programming within the Maitisong festival & for SAUTI Arts)
One Rabantheng & Phondo Dikgomo (the now defunct "words" slot on GabzFM  every Wednesday)
Thato Ntshabele & the Poets Passport team (poets, hosts of a regularly staged show)
SAUTI Arts and Performance Management (as the boss I know how hard the team works to manage poets all year round, map out trajectories, set up a poetry reading room in the city's public library, mentorship and workshop facilitation, record poets and host live literature events)


Lists are only that. They in no way nullify the work of those working quietly away from the national spotlight but this list attempts to highlight the sweat of those working in this often unforgiving landscape of late or no funding, inconsistent or last minute ticket buyers, no infrastructure etc. 
Here's to you and yours, and here's to 2016.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

STILL IN MEXICO

The art of losing isn’t hard to master; 
so many things seem filled with the intent 
to be lost that their loss is no disaster. 

...

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, 
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. 
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster. 

Elizabeth Bishop, One art