In this article, as we celebrate World Poetry Day, we let the sounds of inspiring stories of poets and poetry previously published on Qazini (content you may have forgotten about) echo and reverberate in your mind with renewed power to inspire you, challenge you, and empower you to be your absolute best. And in line with this year's theme, ‘Always be a poet, even in prose.’
Happy World Poetry Day!
How much has your life shaped who you are?
For Onyango Otieno, Rixpoet, being a trauma therapist, poet, activist and podcaster is a result of the trauma he experienced in life. Growing up in a violent environment, being sexually assaulted and losing people close to him brought along trust issues, anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts. Read more about how he turned his personal tragedy into a conversation, especially about toxic masculinity.
Age is just a number…
At 67, Angela Rugara was motivated by another poet to start writing. She had always loved poetry, but it never occurred to her that she could write her own. Now, with her own poetry books published and read all over the world, Angela proves that in art, age doesn't matter. Enjoy her story as she talks of how she grows to be a better spoken-word poet and an even better writer.
What would you do to turn your dream into a reality?
Imagine being in a matatu and seeing a hawker come on board, his goods in hand. Imagine you, trying your best not to make eye contact to avoid buying whatever they are selling, for your own reasons. But instead of hearing them shouting the names of their products and prices, you are met with a gripping spoken word poetry performance. And a poet with a dream, working towards it and giving you an opportunity to chip in by selling sweets. Isn't that inspiring? That is the story of Cykam. Read more about his work and what he is working towards.
What is your story?
For Ernis, her story is one that reminds her of the lineage of powerful women that she belongs to. Raised by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Ernis witnessed the devotion and sacrifices of women in her life. And through their lives, she was inspired to write a story about it. Read more about how her life unfolded since she wrote her first poem at 17 years old.
What are you doing to become who you want to be?
Being the backup performer at a primary school gala event, Willie Oeba got his first chance to perform a poem when the main performer fell ill. Since then, his love for poetry grew and he began writing and performing his own pieces. Through his journey, and a near-death experience, read more about how he uses his art to inspire social change.
Have you heard that everybody else is advancing and getting better? Don’t be left out. Even vampires evolved; the things and people that hurt us the most no longer suck blood, they suck attention. May your attention be attentive to stuff that’s lifting you. See you again next Tuesday when we run it back to more inspirational stories!