Manaka brings poetry to the stage

POETRY is taking centre stage at the Market Theatre Laboratory. One of the country's leading poets, Mak Manaka assisted by Flo Mokale has been holding workshops and poetry performances at the venue since Saturday.

These workshops and performances will take place against the backdrop of the emergence of fresh poetry voices all over the city.

Poetry 101 is a platform where these voices can be cultivated. It is a series of entertaining poetry workshops, and open mic sessions hosted by legends of the open mic.

"A platform where poetry not only articulates society's conditions, but also suggests change, transforming society through art," Manaka, pictured, says, quoting a poem from the collection of his late father Matsemela Manaka.

"Making art is more important than the finished product. Making art is some form of a ritual. A spiritual obsession that becomes some kind of a religion," Manaka says.

"Since art is an integral part of a people's culture, it bears witness to a people's myths and beliefs. It is through art that we can begin the struggle for social reconstruction.

"Our quest for freedom is not only the gaining of political power but also economic power and then social reconstruction.

"Our art should serve social, educational, religious, political and economic needs of our people."

Manaka and Liquid Tongue will be hosting poetry workshops and open mic sessions at the old Market Theatre Laboratory from 1pm to 3pm every Saturday.

Manaka will also host workshops on poetry and look at the person behind the poems.

After the workshop Liquid Tongue will host open mic sessions.