~ Nationality: Zimbabwe ~

Thru Hell by S’phongo

Thru Hell is a video I found among the finalist films from the 2022 Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition. It is by S’phongo, an artist born in Zimbabwe and now living in Sierra Leone.

A village boy with a dream, S’phongo is a published author and spoken word artist from south-east Zimbabwe. With two slam champion titles three years into his career as an artist, S’phongo has appeared on stages in Zambia, Sierra Leone, Italy, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe. One of his poems has been published on poetrypotion.com (South Africa). He currently works as the Operations Director for VAfrica, a youth media organisation in Sierra Leone and as the senior Technical Officer at LitFest Harare. (source)

S’phongo writes about his poem:

In my life, things weren’t easy, and I believed they weren’t until I adopted a new set of eyes. At that moment, I realized that if my life hadn’t turned out the way it did, I wouldn’t have been able to experience that moment.

Looking around me, I saw birth, growth, and death. Every year we chain the oxen to a plow, take baskets of grains, chasing behind the oxen, dropping them into freshly plowed earth. A week later, life shoots off the ground in hundreds of tiny microgreens. These include growth hindering weeds that will be killed only a few weeks into their lives. Death.

Life continues for the grains while some fade into nutrients for the living. Three months down the line, we witness another birth. The only difference now is it’s in abundance. One grain has become a hundred, then it withers.

This pattern of birth, life, and death can be seen even in man-made objects. It is what it is. We give birth to habits; they live through us and we can kill them at will. I killed some and gave life to some, this being one of the living at the moment. (source)

His synopsis for the video:

Thru Hell explores how all human interaction has the potential of being hell when it is not nurtured from a place of love. It is a reminder that we are all similar, and that hurtful intentions, no matter what their source is, can hurt the same. Most importantly, they can be survived. (source)

More videos from S’phongo can be found here.

A Shred of Identity by Dambudzo Marechera

Based on the poem A Shred of Identity by Zimbabwean novelist and poet Dambudzo Marechera this film explores the notion of a double identity in two ways: the split between the self can be interpreted as a product of colonialism, migration and displacement, where the mother tongue mutates into a foreign language. Double consciousness, however, is also at the heart of the creative act; artistic practice could be seen as a constant exploration of the tension between inner and outer self.

Thus the description of this wonderfully disturbing 2009 film by the Ghanaian writer, art historian and filmmaker Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, pasted in from the website of the ANO arts institution founded by Oforiatta-Ayim. I also found the text of the poem by Dambudzo Marechera.

Limbo by dikson

A good example of the music-video style of poetry video, directed by Laurence Dobie. Dikson is a slam poet from Zimbabwe. The text is here.