December 6, 2022

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IMFURA poetry Exchange on making awareness on mental health and peace

A local social enterprise that aims to inspire sustainable peace and change, Imfura Heritage Rwanda in partnership with European Union in Rwanda and Israel Embassy has organised a competition in Kigali to celebrate Internationa Poetry Day, 2022.

Poets performing at Imfura Poetry Exchange and Awards

The competition aims to portray messages about peace, mental health, unity and reconciliation, according to Fred Mfuranzima, Founder and CEO of Imfura Heritage Rwanda. The messages are conveyed through written and spoken poetry.

Best 4 winners, among them, Gashora Girls Academy Students

 “We chose arts, especially poetry because it makes expressions easier and serves as a great tool to spread messages, especially for young people. At Imfura Heritage Rwanda, we also train different artists on how to use their art to build peace as well as solve community problems.”

The contributing 25 poets perfomed their work in different languages, Kinyarwanda, French and English, and different nations represented, like DR Congo, Burundi, Gambia, Kenya, Ivory-Coast including the winner Dela Dube from Zimbabwe.

Dela Dube getting award from H.E DR Ron Adam

Mfuranzima believes that the poetry exchange will inspire the community and provide a safe space for young artists to showcase their works hence presenting their ideas.

He also expects a boost for the art industry, especially poetry since it has been undermined in the community, adding that they want to reach more people who can experience authentic local stories told through the poetry being performed. 

Second Winner of the competition

Delah Dube, poet, thespian, singer from Zimbabwe who performed her poem titled ‘Class Struggle’ said that the platform provided a gate that she has to pass through to share messages that can heal, change and inspire audience.

Mfuranzima talking about weekly poetry events planned, he said “People will have a chance to know and access easily what we do as well as have a good time interacting with poets and the world at large.”

Steve Khalid, a poet said that the poetry exchange is important for him since he showcases what he experience in everyday life.

H.E Dr. Ron Adam, Israel Ambassador to Rwanda said to deal with trans-mission of trauma in post-genocide country like Rwanda, people have to get free space to share their stories like in Israel did, after Holocaust.

“I expect this space to serve as an easy way for reconciliation and healing for those who lost their loved ones, and” he said.

H.E Nicola Bellomo, European Union in Rwanda Ambassador

H.E Nicola Bellomo in his remarks, said that youth leading organizations like Imfura Heritage Rwanda needs support and European Union is glad to be a part of the program which ensure sustainable peace and development.

Besides trophies and medals, winners got financial allowances and studio recording of their poems.

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