Last Friday 21st of July, I went for a poetry dinner at BBQ Lounge a small meet and greet event for poets, sounds exclusive for the most intelligent and classic people. Am not a poet but of late have developed a liking for poems or I would say i have come to see their value in society and humanity as a civilization. So today i want to try and write about the real writers.
About 2 months ago a friend who thinks I like poetry sent me a poster on the internet for a poetry group called Ink-net and there were three telephone numbers on it Daniel’s, Frendoh and Rachel, so I contacted them and asked if the event was on because i thought the rendezvous had been demolished to lay the new sewage pipes for National water, but it was not the case which meant i had a dinner and poetry to catch. I hate mobile money because i kinda think it is anti-economics but it was the mode of payment so i had to find an agent a day before to make my payment.
After work on friday I went looking for the place and when I got there, it was not easy to single out poets because they are ordinary people, the fast person I talked to was called Romeo who later told me was an accountant in the making that is how normal this group of poets was. So the accountant poet showed me where to sit and then i met Daniel i had earlier talked to through internet texting thanks to whatsApp, for Esther i had talked to her over the telephone, for starter the most stand out person was the love poet, was getting the event hyped as he cracked joke after joke and he was a computer scientists and at some point he did poem called “MY SWEET MELODY”.
By 18:20 hrs we had all settled down and because it was a gathering of talkers that is what poems are about or am mistaken, maybe they are ” great talkers” we had no clear MC, we started with introductions Names, the type or kind of poems that each one was into and how every body had ended up at the event, since am a not a poet I did a lot of listening and developed many questions, some i got a chance to ask and some i kept to my self. During the introduction I realised father that millennials are not as wasted as researchers want as to believe, because in the roots to write segment when we had to talk about why we write, those ideas that we face as a society started coming up and that is what defines modern poetry, the kind of ideas make many relate to art.
Today like in the past poems are every where, they are used to communicate in every aspect of life, politics remembering Barack Obama’s very first inauguration as head of the free state he invited a poet and she did her thing, in 2012 i got to Know of George the Poet during the Olympics when he did my city and in 2011 at the opening ceremony of the rugby world cup, when The Russian President Published his poems from the past his approval ratings not just in Russia but world over went up, Our own Yoweri Kaguta Museveni did a rap song out of a traditional poem that got viral. That is house powerful and deep poetry can be, there is even a Noble peace prize for poetry. So when i see young ambitious poets here home, then only words will describe where they will end up.
As the evening passed on more joined in and poems were coming from every end of the table, just like many or all artists it was evident that the silent critique inside us had taken root in some of us, I is normally the silent critique that will have one present a poem on behalf of another who is present, funny i related more to that poem because i summed up my life situation, wow the power of art had well for that while.
Before Dinner the guest performer was introduced Zombie Ant” fungus was his name no just Zombie, he didn’t have the full scientific name so i had no reason to fear since i was sited next to him, i could not get a fungus infection on my brain. Zombie introduced him self and the kind of poetry he did spoken word the most trendy today. He started of with Paper people, had about it on BBC and Harry Baker, Zombie also did a poem about how attached we had gotten to technology and the internet and how fake we were leaving.
For Daniel and Frendoh they were up and down preparing for what i wanted most the dinner, i had tested the poems and the food would make the event complete. These young ladies and gentlemen pooled of a simple well organised dinner, i was really a nice way to spend a friday evening or end the long week.
During Dinner there was talk of music old and new because of maybe the music in the background, according to my observations i also realised there were other Throners so i was not alone in thats aspect because some how game of thrones is some kind of away of life, there was also this other guy who did a poem in a local language, Luganda to be specific,that was a highlight for me and i think have i have met him on a rugby pitch before, there were also these two ladies who talked about which courses they were going to do,at the University.
I could not follow what was happening in the far end. I also noticed there were like only five ladies and I can only blame that on the society. In school the poetry club was like a girls thing but here we were and girls had been looked up somewhere by many factors.
Zombie a law student then did this last poem that had all of us involved and it was real, felt like it was Prince Ea but this guy was far better, even better than those YouTube things we feed on, and quality applies to all the poems I had that evening, i will not forget Ice cream. For one thing am sure about is that this group is destined for great things and i also left a happier person.
All photo credit Daniel Semwogerere