Emerging poet Shane Linyando, alongside accomplished poets Patricia Lafewa Uapunduka and Franklin Shitaleni, consistently captivates audiences, leaving them yearning for more with each lyrical offering.
For Uapunduka (22), who goes by the stage name PatricStar poetry, is a profound and beautiful form of human expression, saying, “It’s a way to distil complex emotions, thoughts and experiences into carefully chosen words and images that resonate on a deep and often universal level”.
Uapunduka started writing poetry at the age of 13, and by the age of 17, she had her first open mic night at which point she knew she possessed a rare talent – the ability to move people with her words.
Her stage name, PatricStar, was introduced by her best friend, Jodie, who thought it sounded cool, and it has since grown onto Uapunduka, who has been writing for eight years. Her first gig was with MTC at the Teen Summit in 2019, a moment she recalls fondly, as she delivered one of her best pieces at the time. Uapunduka’s advice for people who want to venture into poetry is, “To know that thoughts are the only things people have of anyone, but their greatest power is themselves”. She further urges them to keep writing and share it with the world when they are ready.
Her co-founder of ‘Writer’s Bloc’, Gustavo Shitaleni and herself are hosting an event on 27 September 2023 at The Breakroom. “It’s not only limited to poetry; there can be singing, rap and comedy as well.”
“Come as you are,” urged Uapunduka.
Two days later, on 29 September, their next event will be hosted at the ‘Frankly Speaking’ poetry platform at Muso’s Café. One of the speakers at this event will be Linyando, who goes by his stage name, ‘Ahdoesit’, which is short for ‘Ambitious does it’.
Linyando (20) describes poetry as “inducing purpose”. He started as a Grade 6 boy, who loved writing, and later expanded his writing to something he believed would enlighten people.
“I decided, why don’t I be the one to create the meaning in poetry to create poetry that makes sense to everyone more than it makes sense to me,” he said.
Linyando has had about 14 gigs thus far. His first this year was in January when he performed one of his pieces at the Township Productions event. This was after they stumbled upon a reel he posted on Instagram, and they reached out for a session and later partnered with him.
He advises people who also want to do poetry, “Not to fear being different, as poetry allows each individual to be themselves”.
Linyando has been under the mentorship of Franklin, who describes poetry as the “antidote to chaos”. It has allowed him to encapsulate his being and essence in words, as well as share it with the world. They met at Goethe Institute, where Franklin saw Linyando perform, and he reached out for mentorship from Franklin.
Linyando said it is a pleasure working with him, and it is always a learning experience. Franklin, who is also a well-known TV host, together with a good friend, run the initiative, called ‘Frankly Speaking’, which, according to him, is undoubtedly
becoming the biggest poetry platform in the country.
He also teaches poetry at Windhoek High School on Tuesdays to more than 20 learners. Outside that space, he mentors about 15 poets. To benefit from his mentorship, poets should have desire and passion; however, literature experience is an added advantage.
It focuses on establishing a style that is tailored specifically to each poet. They have a weekly cycle of meetings on Thursdays.
He also has a book club, where they discuss literature, among other things.
“The plan is to produce the world’s next big poets,” said Franklin.
“Now, just like athletics, poetry demands discipline in its expression. You need to have the capacity for patience and the ability to be taught; it’s fine to be inspired, but it’s even much better to be deliberate about your growth,” he advised.