Saving the World with Poetry

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By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK At the young age of 17 upcoming poet Chivimbiso Gava, affectionately known as ‘Bibi’, believes she can save the world through her poetry. The bubbly Zimbabwean teenager who has been living in Namibia ever since she was a baby is passionate about reciting poetry at different functions in the capital. Just recently she performed with a local band called G3 in celebrating the one-year anniversary of the local outdoor advertising company Eishisha Media Network. Sitting down on a black couch that blends in well with her short Rasta dreadlocks, Bibi said that poetry is part and parcel of her life. “It’s part of me and I love poetry. When I do this something just hits me or I see something and a write about it in a poem,” said Bibi rather excitedly. Knowing very well what’s happening around her and as an African, this poet critically analyses and is vigilant about challenges facing the continent Mother Africa. Whether it be poverty, HIV/Aids, violence against women and children, unemployment, politics, child abuse and many others, Bibi always finds a way to recite these issues in interesting poetry through her eloquent and sweet voice. Sounding as though she’s almost chanting her poems, Bibi has a look on her face that is passionate and enticing for the audience to listen and pay attention. “Its like a little chant thing,” she said with bright eyes. In most cases the G3 band with whom she performs gives her the musical background against which she recites her poems in a melody-like fashion. If one listens very closely it’s enchanting and real at the same time. Born in the capital Harare on July 27, 1988, Bibi came to Namibia when she was just a year old and grew up here having a strong interest in the line of poetry. Most of her works have now been published in various local publications and even the Anthology of Verse by the Poetry Institute of Africa. By the looks of things Bibi is on a mission to save the world through her poetry and in changing the negative image of Africa into what is positive. For too long the continent has been considered as a dark continent by the outside world and time is long overdue for poets like Bibi to change this scenario through the power of words. When asked what kind of a message she has for her peers who are also interested in poetry, Bibi said that first of all young people should learn to savour their talents, while at the same time being aware of what is happening around them at all times. It is only in this way that young Africans can bring about positive change in a continent that is still riddled by socio-economic challenges. “We must move out of the youthful bubble and stop absorbing the petty things in life, but rather see what you can contribute as an individual in society,” said the young poet. For now there is still a lot that this poet would like to achieve in the near future. This includes either doing some humanitarian work for global institutions like UNICEF, studying either media or international relations at university and at the end of the day to do something that can give her a platform to get messages across to a much wider audience. “I really love to save the world because I’m so much aware of what’s going on around me,” she said getting up from the couch to give another poetry recitation to the audience. Just before she left she was also eager to say that she’s “young free, single and free to mingle” for any admirer that comes her way.