WNS Awards: “Talent alone is never enough.” – Zewande Bhengu

Zewande

 

Slam Poetry can stretch far beyond just
the man and the mic.”

 

Where did you find out about the Word N Sound platform?
I honestly cannot remember how I found out about Word n Sound but I think it was just buzzing in the poetry scene and I kept telling myself that I will slam for a whole year but never did until this year. I decided to start slamming to gauge myself against other fellow writer/performers and then while slamming my reason changed. I just wanted to grow and become a better writer and then later to I just wanted to see how people would respond to a little theatrical twist to slam poetry.

What has been your highlight of the year?
The Word N Sound Festival! I think the idea of a no holds barred slam really let me play to my strengths and also I was really hungry for that title so I spent a lot of energy on it.

What has been the biggest challenge you faced in the Open Mic Poetry League?
Working with a microphone in front of me. PHEW! That took some time getting used to.

How has this year on the Word N Sound stage taught you about;
a. Poetry: Versatility. I am more aware of the different styles of writing from person to person also that Slam Poetry can stretch far beyond just the man and the mic.
b. Slams: It’s a highly competitive field with a lot of hungry people so you need to constantly be working on your poems and performance.
c. The audience: The audience we perform to very easily recognise good writing and responds accordingly…most of time. So I highly regard their opinion. We are performing to a well-learned, socially aware audience after all.
d. Yourself: That I have a lot of growing up to do.

Which of your performances did you enjoy the most and why?
Word N Sound Festival, second round – “Lilly Blue”. I was extremely nervous about audience response because people would have easily taken offence on how I was dressed [as an old woman] verses the subject matter of the poem. When the audience took to it, that nervous energy just turned to almost overwhelming performance energy. But I spent a lot of time trying to perfect it in delivery and timing with the music and the projection and sorting out costuming and props so it was also my most prepared for piece ever.

Will you be returning to the slam next year?
Before the Word N Sound Festival, I had told myself that I would not be returning to the slam but after the festival, I was asked by a number of people I respect much not to leave so…I am still thinking…

Any advice for those who plan to slam next year?
Rehearsal. Rehearsal. Rehearsal. Talent alone is never enough; you must sustain it with hard work.

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