Kwivuga Returns to Poetry Roots

When Kwivuga was launched at GattoMatto in 2012, it was the best thing to happen to poetry.

A night where multiple talented lyricists would grace the stage and before we knew it, Kwivuga had become an in-thing. This, however, came at a cost the art of poetry was sacrificed.

To satisfy the growing numbers and keep sponsors, the show resorted to programming comedians and musicians, to bridge the gap between poetry diehards and those that simply came for the fun. What had made the show a hit was its ability to surprise revellers with something they were not going to find in other bars and clubs – poetry.

However, with organizers turning it into a mini hip hop gig with majorly Babu’s Kinetic artistes, or another comedy night, the numbers dwindled, sponsorship left and finally on June 26, Kwivuga closed shop. On a very low-key event in October, the show bounced back with a new venue, vision and energy at Legends bar in Lugogo, their new residence.

“Poetry is therapy, it is about opening up, it is an art that has to be appreciated,” said Linda Butare, the show founder.

This time round, she has stripped the show of its glitz to bring it closer to the art it is meant to be there were no unsolicited rappers and comedians to steal the thunder. Even the only rapper around, Ruyonga, was invited to recite a poem, nothing else.

The second serving held last week on November 3, still kept to the book of poetry. Keko made an appearance, but it was a poetic one. Butare is doing it like this because, she hopes Ugandans get to love the art for what it really is.

“I love the audience we have here because they are sincere we are like a family,” Butare told The Observer.

The poets too were happy with the show’s new developments. Herman Kabubi, one of the few poets with a religious following, notes that Kwivuga had reached a point where it no longer belonged to poets.

“At times we would close minus many poets’ performances,” he says.

He, however, cautions poets to become more aggressive than before to get some shine onto their work. Currently performing at the Sondeka festival in Kenya, Kabubi says Ugandans have always appreciated the art of poetry although it is also a role for the poets to ensure that their works are relevant to their audiences.

It remains to be seen whether Ugandans will embrace pure poetry without comedians, famous DJs, presenters and celebrity appearances. Kwivuga happens every first Monday of the month at Legends bar, Lugogo.

Source : The Observer

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