Telephone Conversation

8:58:00 PM

Think of it as a new age Telephone Booth (:
Two Saturdays ago, May 14th to be precise, I began Series 3 of the Getting Poetic with Sitawa (twitter hashtag - #sitawapoetry) workshop. These are workshops I hold for aspiring poets at a cost of Ksh 100 to help build their poetic knowledge, incorporating theory, class practice and review, recitation and obviously assignments. In Series 2 which culminated with the event, Nairobi Meets London graced by UK based Irish Poet Catherine Brogan, my best sheng poet Fuse and the polite Ngwatilo.

The series included talk on the key things in poetry, we touched on stylistics, performance, the National Culture policy and I loved it when we borrowed from the Swahili saying, Mwacha mila ni mtumwa which loosely translates to 'those who leave their culture/tradition are messengers' (loose translation) we got to heroes and heroines and talked about honoring them and the legacies left. Ooh Series 2 rocked, if you came through tell someone about it and more so what you learned.

The new series of Getting Poetic with Sitawa
In this new series, we look at different stylistic devices and how to use them. We are also looking at themes and how they affect us. We are not just learning literature or mere poetry, we are learning our lives, the lives of those who took time to capture theirs, we are learning how to capture ours. The first of this series saw us discuss Characterization using Wole Soyinka's Telephone Conversation. Before I do a piece, I love knowing more about the poet if there is anything to learn. I also love knowing the setting of the piece, the location, geographical and time scale. For characterization, I picked two pieces, the one mentioned above and Benjamin Zephania's White Comedy. I looked up at the Benjamin since I already had facts about Wole my best being the day he went to the local radio station and switched broadcasts and also the fact like Kenya's own he wrote on tissue paper while in prison, thats a major challenge and inspiration to any writer worth there name. Both men are activists in their own rights, a weakness I possess and Benjamin is such a taker given he snobbed a prize from the Queen because of what her country did to his forefathers, I could marry the man. He is a total vegan, something I am working on and his White comedy piece was so relevant to out discussion of the day as brought out by Wole's piece.

If you have gone through Telephone Conversation by Wole, you cannot help but have the nostalgic feel that come to people my age when we remember life before the cellphone. There is also humor, alliteration, a pinch of sarcasm, use of repitition and capital letters to emphasis on some facts. The poem is remarkable. Wole uses the two characters, a white landlady and a black man looking for an apartment to bring out discrimination, segregation, racism and as weighty as those matters are, Wole managed to make me and my class laugh and I totally love it when I engage with them at that level. I wont explain the joke for then it will be diluted so grab yourself Wole's Telephone Conversation and while you are at it be sure to look for my new dab poet Mr. Activist who snobbed the queen, Mr. Benjamin Zephania's White Comedy, I will give you a hint, defamiliarization.

Enough about what was, on to things to be,this coming Saturday we meet again to discuss personification. Venue is Daas Restaurant, Woodvale Groove Westlands, if you are a party animal (wonder why they are called animals) or a club hopper you probably know where Bacchus is or Crooked Q, yep Daas is right on that block, 3p, Charges Ksh 100. We will be discussing personification, I know I already said that but any party animals was reading I might have derailed them. We will also have class presentation from previous assignments, loads of interesting facts about the poets, I always love them wrong and well you can enjoy a lovely Ethiopian meal for a very very very reduced price.Ok thats me trying my hand in advertising, some rate me.

My contact details are on the tab up there, looking forward to seeing you all and consequently engaging poetically, have a lovely night.

Remember the twitter tag #sitawapoetry

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