Maisy Fidence Odalo is the 2023 East Africa Poetic Battle champion.
Commonly referred to as Order-Low The Poet within the poetic corners and stages, the upcoming Kisumu based poetry maestro floored contestants from Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda on Saturday night.
With an epic ‘When a Man Cries’ final piece performance that left the audience at the Sarova Imperial Hotel gasping for more, Odalo floored Nyaruoth Mercedes from Uganda and Wangui Kimani from Nairobi in the finals.
Mercedes who won the hearts of the audience with her fearless pieces advocating for peace, equality and good governance in Uganda came second as Kimani who reminded the audience of embracing their cultural heritage with beautiful Kikuyu eloquence.
The poets, 15 in number, lined up for the annual show is an impressive and diverse list of notable names around the East African poetry scene, each bringing unique individual style, strengths, and stature on board.
The show will be one to remember after the performers wowed the audience with their words, spark grins and giggles.
Others including Priest the Poet and Mayuu Sanaa from Nairobi provoked brutal thoughts while eliciting painful reflections.
At the end all, Odalo stood tall wearing the same smile similar to Lupita Nyongo when she won the prestigious Oscar award in 2014.
To crown it all, Lupita’s mother Dorothy Nyongo awarded Odalo as all poets celebrated together.
The poetic battle was organized by Talent Industry Limited and featured a spectrum of poets with diverse social and cultural backgrounds, sharing and enhancing our community’s poetic canvas.
Talent Industry Director Godfrey Kedogo said their main goal was 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.
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.