Q Malewezei Stages Gripping Poetry Fest At Mzuni, Drills Budding Poets



Malawi’s celebrated poet Q. Malewezi last Saturday proved his poetry prowess when he staged a thrilling performance before a sizeable audience at Mzuzu University.

Hours before the performance, the artist held a workshop where he drilled poets and other writers at the institution in the poetry writing process.

The show did not attract the audience worth its salt but that was no barrier to stop the performers on the afternoon from giving it the punch and touch that left all eyes and ears glued to the stage.

Throughout the three hour show, the seated audience remained captivated as creatively crafted and powerful pieces of poetry rolled beautifully off the tongues of various artists.

First to perform were a number of Mzuzu University students, mostly English students who performed poems touching a wide range of themes.

The event was spiced up by praiseworthy performances of Tadala Tembo, a law graduate from Chancellor College and 20 year old Jedediah (real name Chisomo Masambuka), a Business Communication student at the Polytechnic who is part of Malewezi’s team of four poets.

Tembo’s turn left the audience thrilled with his remarkably weaved poems radiating accurate, vivid and flowery metaphors and imagery.
Even with minimal use of body language, Tembo’s performance was razor tight.

The penultimate performer on the occasion was Malewezi’s curtain raiser Jedediah. His cameo raised the tempo of the show, as he recited long chunks of poems off script, creatively embellishing them with body language and gestures, arresting the attention of the captivated audience.

His fluent and spontaneous lines and his creative presentation set him apart as possibly one of the best poets the country should look out for.

Q took to stage amid applause from the audience, and his turn marked the climax of the fest. He dished out a number of power packed pieces that were clearly rich in both form and content.

 His work was particularly outstanding in theme, as it tackled, at great depth, a number of social ills such as economic exploitation, abuse of power and injustice, which constantly seemed like his flagship theme running through the veins of his poetry.

Speaking after the show Pius Nyondo writer and student at Mzuzu University who also performed a poem on the occasion was all praise for the event.

“It is has been incredible,” he said.

Malewezi said the show was part of his project where he is engaging University and College students in the country on a number of issues through poetry.

“We are poets because we have issues, and we need to bring the issues up through performances such as these,” he said, adding poets in the country need to harness their potential and put poetry to better use.

“Poetry can be gainful, we can use it in advertising, postcards, fashion, pillows, and so on," he added.

Speaking at the same function, Lecturer in the English Department at Mzuzu University Albert Mtungambera described Q’s poetry as a comprehensive summary of what Malawi is going through.

“You have managed to recount Malawi’s history through your poems. We want you to come back here very soon with another performance, and this time we hope the audience will be larger,” he told the artist.

Q and his crew have so far conducted similar shows and workshops at the Catholic University and The Polytechnic among other colleges.

On the international scene, Malawezi has performed in Zimbabwe and England among other countries

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