Botswana will this week join the rest of the world to commemorate World Poetry Day. The event, organised by a local organisation, The Black African Poets Organisation in collaboration with the university of Botswana is pencilled to take place on Thursday at the Old Naledi Grounds.
This year, the event is held under the theme; Teme Yame Sekao Same. Various works of poetry and images of poets would form part of the proceedings of the day. In addition, Botswana poets would showcase various forms of poetry on the day. The Policy Specialist at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture, Dineo Phuti is slated to deliver the keynote address. The Director of UNESCO, Prune Motsewabeng is also expected to address guests.
According to a press release, the objectives of the World Poetry Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expressions and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. The release further explains that the day also seeks to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between other arts as well as theatre, dance, music and painting. It also seeks to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in media so that art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one that enables society as a whole to regain and asset its identity.
The event is supported by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), University of Botswana, Department of African Languages and Literature.
The 2019 edition of the commemorations marks the third time that The Black African Poets Organization is holding the celebrations. The organisation was established in 2008. It seeks to amongst other things: develop resource base for Batswana poets, and poetry in the digital space which will include formation on reading partnerships.