AVBOB launches poetry project to grow ubuntu
IN celebrating Mandela Day, AVBOB has found an unorthodox way to encourage South Africans to give back to the community through poetry writing.
As the country celebrated the birthday of Madiba, AVBOB launched an “I Wish I’d Said” poetry project to be used as a tool to carry on his legacy of ubuntu.
AVBOB chief executive Frik Rademan, said: “Poetry brings us closer to those we love and binds us to the universe in which we abide.
“Perhaps most importantly of all, poetry brings us closer to our truest selves and reaches chords within us that cannot otherwise be touched. This unique competition is AVBOB’s way of catching hold of a moment and lifting it out of its the ordinary.
“Our sponsorship is aimed at providing a platform for poets, both unknown and lauded, to offer words for comfort through their craft.
“We want to publish as many quality new poems as possible in all 11 of the official South African languages and the website will form the platform which we will launch a nationwide poetry competition.”
One of the contributors to the AVBOB poetry project, Coenie De Villers, said that it was the first he had heard of a sponsor that put major funds into poetry as such funds usually go into sports.
“The most beautiful and authentic voices you have ever heard in any language across the world are poetry,” De Villers said.
“People think that using poetry is a little bit unorthodox, but it really isn’t unorthodox. We listen to poetry all day.
“If you put on the radio there is Khuli Chana, AKA and rappers who do some of the most exciting poetry that we have in the world today.
“The target market is for all South Africans with a thought, hope and aspiration and the words to articulate. Enter and let’s see what happens.
“Even if it’s just for the joy of writing.
“I love poetry. I grew up in the previous era in South Africa and one of the only ways where I could really understand what was happening to us was by reading the struggle poetry of the time.
“Hearing the voices that we weren’t allowed to hear then and in that sense, I am also proud of this project because we live in a country where we have freedom of speech and whoever you are, wherever you might be, if you have a voice, write it.”
Yesterday marked 99 years of AVBOB in existence and was on the same day as Madiba’s birthday. It was also on this day that the AVBOB poetry project came to life on their website.
“Now is the time for us, as a nation, to take up the pen and not the sword. This is when we should focus on what unites, rather than divides us. And the AVBOB poetry project strives to do exactly that,” Rademan said.
The competition is expected to run from August 1 to November.
For more information on the competition prizes, entry dates and terms and conditions, visit www.avbobpoetry. co.za
FOCUSED: AVBOB chief executive Frik Rademan sees poetry as a way of uniting South Africans.