Bamenda’s lead poetry show Black Swagger has celebrated three years of existence. The 3rd anniversary event took place in Bamenda Sunday August 26 under the theme “Africa.”

The anniversary event which assembled lovers of poetry at Bamenda’s Blue Pearl Hotel provided another unique opportunity for a look back at three years of a monthly event that literally started like a joke.

 
Bob Ben on stage with "The web we want" at the Black Swagger Poetry Slam 3rd Anniversary
With a power point, music, several spoken word and classical poetry presentations, Black Swagger Poetry Slam valorized the African continent as a place of plenty yet corruption and lack of political will has turned the continent to an international beggar.


According to one of the presenters and active partners of Y’G Yembe Carl, ‘It’s three years, three awesome years of creating and presenting this event’


Budji Kefen Co-host affirms through social media though not present at the anniversary event. “Black Swagger Poetry Slam is an educative and entertaining program which brings together Culture lovers in an extravaganza of Poetry: Reading, Spoken word performance spiced with Music by local artists of the North West region with the main objective of promoting Performances by North West Poets and Singers.”


In the last three years, the show has seen performance from great poets such as Dr Focho Gladys, Sophie’s Voice, Joyce Babatunde, Mottani, Dr Fai Donatus , Vugah Samson aka Grandpa amongst many others .Singers in the persons of Shura, Leonnete, Zitalight have all graced the platform Created and produced by La Liberte Arts Group, a creative arts group in Bamenda headed by Mr Akumbu L.Jones  with her strategic partners The GREENS International and YG Incorporated three years ago. The event jointly celebrated all these individuals and institutions.

According to Akumbu Jones founder and coordinator of La Liberte Arts group organizes of the poetry event, “Black Swagger is a Clarion call for us Africans to embrace who we are and to use our local resources to develop our country in particular and our Continent in general through the creative arts. BLACK Swagger affirms that we can enjoy poetry as a tool for intra Africa unity and prosperity. Black Swagger poetry Slam BSPS is the only arts events that have been consistent in the region for the past three years, organized once every month, despite little sponsorship.”


Explaining how it all started, Akumbu states “it was difficult to get Bamenda populace to embrace the concept, the fact that there is the absence of a cultural center to fully engage with the population.”


“I have pleasantly and patiently seen the show successfully create a place for Bamenda population to get first hand performances once every month” Ngalim Franklin,aka Mr Green President and Founder of The GREENS noted.


As to what plans at three, Mr Akumbu L. Jones  adds “It has developed a loyal audience of close to 200 -300 audience .The show is built for TV, soon very soon we take it to the TV.”

The core value of BLACK SWAGGER POETRY SLAM (BSPS) Akumbu notes “BSPS is a non-traditional Poetry Event. It posits that Blackness is a strong clarion call to stand up, stand out and be proud of whom we are. BSPS asserts that we can bring about Change and it can only be sustainable if we work from within, that's why we work mostly with home talents or unsung talents: Singers, rappers, poets.”

A Common Future organization also used the event to send across The Internet Freedom Festival IFF message which intends to encourage and increase the active participation of women and girls online without harassment. While Ignatius Nji with the artistic name Bob Ben played back one of his songs “The web we want” which promotes internet and digital rights, Pedmia Shetu handled the details of the festival encouraging men to respect women online.
Derick BAKAH

Derick BAKAH

Bakah Derick is a Broadcast Presenter and Multimedia specialist with focus on sharing with the rest of the world the daily happenings in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. You can contact us on +237 675460750 or debakah2004@gmail.com.

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