Chioniso Named 1st Runner-up Champion At The 65th Poetry Slam Africa Competitions Held In Kenya

Chioniso. image: Remyshoots

After getting shortlisted for the Poetry Slam Africa competition recently held on the 22nd of January in Nairobi, Kenya. Bulawayo based spoken word artist and musician Chioniso was crowned as the first runner up with a cumulative score of 29,73 points.

Chioniso was only 0,11 points shy of upsetting this year's winner.

Established in 2008 by Cre8tive Spills - a disruptive creative collective, Poetry Slam Africa has been the forerunner in providing a platform and recognizing performance poets for their ability to put out conscious works that are stage worthy and that speak about issues affecting young people in Africa. 

"Kenya has had a really intimate and well established poetry culture over the last couple of years and Grand Slam has been around since 2008. I was in primary school then." Says Chioniso in a conversation with GreedySouth. "It just so happens whether chance or divine intervention that it was brought to my attention when someone in my contact's list forwarded the preliminary call out poster to me on WhatsApp. I decided to give it a shot and on performing virtually was shortlisted for the slam final which was subsequently held on the 22nd of January 2022. I wasn't the only foreigner who made the cut. There was also Ema DeJesus from Mozambique who unfortunately was not able to make it to Kenya." She continues.

This year's Poetry Slam Africa edition celebrated the resilience of the people in the midst of all the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

We asked Chioniso what Poetry Slam Africa victory means for her brand and what’s next. "I'm not sure what's next because I'm really the type of artist that feels her way by instinct." She says. "If it feels right and I'm passionate about it I'll give it my absolute best. But pertaining what this means for my brand. I'd say that I'm grateful that my craft has cross over appeal. I was worried as most of my competitors were performing spoken word in Swahili and English. My hope was that I'd be able to deliver just the same impact with the one language. On hearing the audio reaction, I felt accepted and loved and seen. The whole point of what I do is so that whether you're in Tokyo or Bulawayo when you hear or read my work it moves you." She explains.

Congratulations Chioniso!

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Mungwadzi Godwin

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