by Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THE 100 Girls 100 Voices poetry slam during the just ended Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo showed that young girls can speak for themselves and all they want is a platform to be heard.The poetry slam, which was held over two days, the beginning of the festival on September 24 and last Saturday at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, had 17 schools participating.
The 100 young girls were mentored by award-winning poets; Lady Tshawe, Sibonokuhle Netha, Tinashe Tafirenyika, Sithandazile Dube and Thandokuhle Sibanda, on how to tackle their issues using poetry. Topics that were tackled included issues of child marriages, alignment of marriage laws, child sexual offences, the scourge of Vuzu parties and empowerment of the girl child.
Memory Ndlovu, a Form Three Northlea High pupil who wrote a poem titled Early Child Marriages said she benefited immensely from the 100 Girls 100 Voices poetry slam. “Here at Intwasa we were taught not to go to Vuzu parties because these lead to unwanted pregnancies and we can contract diseases. I want people to learn something from these poems that we came up with,” said Ndlovu.
Festival director Raisdon Baya said the 100 Girls 100 Voices has unearthed activists.