SFYL: “Spoken Word deserves more appreciation” – Page Ngwenya

Page Ngewnya says he is honoured to have been selected by his province to represent them at the National Arts Festival in the first ever Slam For Your Life National Poetry Slam on 13 July.

It’s official! Your province has chosen you to represent them at the first ever Slam For Your Life National Poetry Slam at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Now, how does that feel?
It is insanely inspiring. I am grateful to KZN for showing that much trust in me and also allowing me the opportunity to go to Grahamstown for the first time.

What was your strategy to get as many votes as you did?
I appealed to close friends and sometimes even total strangers; and pretty much nagged everyone on social networks to vote (to the point of annoyance hahaha). Even live shows were a platform to encourage voting.

What are you most looking forward to and what are you not looking forward to at all?
I am most looking forward to exploring the Arts festival, getting to know the poets from other provinces, and to working with Word N Sound, Connect ZA and the other parties involved. I am not looking forward to the events’ eventual and inevitable end haha.

Given the chance to speak to sponsors like the British Council who make such projects possible, what would you say to them, as an artist?
I am grateful that you have risen to the challenge that so many ignore, and that is the delivery of spoken word to the public and a raising of the awareness of it’s importance. Spoken Word really does deserve more appreciation, so please grow strong, and thank you very much.
Word N Sound is looking to expand their national footprint. Do you have any ideas around how poets and poetry movements across the country can work together better?
Good tings are gwaan! I think it would be beneficial to create an expansive database of performers and organsiers across the country. The establishment of permanent solid branches in the cities Word N Sound visits would be ideal, if not that then at least inspiring the creation of a local poetry movement would lead to there being a market for poetry showcases and poetry product. Frequently revisiting these areas would also maintain the momentum.

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