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An evening of poetry, discussion and mu- sic saw many young artists shine at the Kayamandi Arts & Cultural Festival (KACF) held at the Stellenbosch University (SU) Museum last Friday.

The event was aimed at featur- ing art and conversation, which merged seamlessly thanks to local talent and a receptive audience.

Aptly taking place the evening before Freedom Day, the night did not merely focus on entertainment. KACF also aspired to create an on- going conversation that centres on contemporary problems experi- enced by South Africans.

The evening’s theme, “Is Election Freedom?”, gave poets the opportunity to engage critically with current political issues. Those at the festival expressed their admiration for the poets’ bravery and courage in confronting South Africa’s past and current political climate.

Discourse between the poets and audience members revealed a desire for further conversation re- garding the theme. Opinions were shared, and the atmosphere of the festival proved to be the perfect space for the proceedings.

The event certainly encouraged the audience to take part in the festival with an open mike segment as well as Q&A opportunities with the poets.
Additionally, prizes were handed out to audience members who chose to participate in the festival. An energetic Mawande Ndywambu used his position of MC for the evening to drive interaction between performer and spectator, further cementing the festival’s all-round inclusiveness.

Ndywambu performed his role with distinction, ensuring that those present understoodthe night’s objectives as well as drawing audience members into conversation with the poets. Paul Roviss, a facilitator of the Lokxion Foundation which is the parent organisation of the KACF said: “KACF is encouraging poetry with conversation”, and that the event was aimed at having “a strong focus on the youth”.

Indeed, the young poets Genevieve, Molupi Lepeli and Nqobile Mmope maintained a strong presence throughout the performances. Roviss expressed that the festival, which certainly achieved its aim of incorporating poetry into political discussion,is hoped to be the first of many.

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