Poetry will be on display next weekend when over 500 youth battle for top prizes at the 2023 East Africa Poetic Hour Battle (EAPHB) in Kisumu County.
Organised by Talent Industry Limited, the show set to be hosted at the Sarova Imperial Hotel on May 27, will feature a spectrum of poets with diverse social and cultural backgrounds, sharing and enhancing our community’s poetic canvas.
Talent Industry Director Godfrey Kedogo revealed to The Standard that top poets from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Congo, and Tanzania will compete at this year’s event.
Kedogo said their main goal is to enhance cohesion among the East African community through arts and culture.
“We want to revive and spark conversations on poetry as a social tool in promoting the collective identity of the East African Community.
“We are thrilled to present the 2023 East Africa Poetic Hour Battle, an initiative aimed at promoting the collective identity of the East African population which is dubbed Let’s go East,” said Kedogo.
The director also added that through the creative use of poetry and performing arts, they have the opportunity to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize the East African population toward positive change.
“In April 2022, the East African Community achieved a significant milestone by welcoming the Democratic Republic of Congo as its newest member.
“This expansion calls for practical programs, activities and collaborations that strengthen unity among the seven countries and reinforce their commitment to the collective identity of the East African Community.
“Our goal is to reach over 1,000,000 people across East Africa and host more than 500 youths at the event,” said Kedogo.
Kisumu CEC for Sports Arts and Culture Beatrice Odongo said Art has proven to be a powerful agent of change, addressing socioeconomic and political issues both within our country and beyond East Africa.
“Arts and culture play a crucial role in shaping society and fostering unity and a sense of belonging. That said, the East Africa Poetic Hour Battle is an exceptional event that harnesses the power of poetry and performing arts to promote the collective identity of the East African population,” she said.
"By bringing together top poets from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, and Tanzania, we are providing a platform for these gifted artists to not only showcase their skills but also to inspire and unite our communities."