Being yourself, in a world that’s constantly changing and somewhat exposing young people to different things out there, being a unique individual can be seen as a rather challenging task for most. This is the kind of mentality articulate youths from all around Cape Town try to push and they do so through spoken word (poetry) and what most call conscious rap.
Every Friday night, Zolani Centre in Nyanga, a township reputably known for its high crime and high unemployment rate plays host to people from all walks of life. Young people who are “hungry” and eager to be fed “the word” fill the Centre with zeal and enthusiasm. Poets and musicians who have made it their duty to educate and eliminate self-doubt from others in their neighborhoods and surrounding areas do this with passion and heart
Through poetry and song they highlight burning issues that we face daily, such as rape, illiteracy, poverty and war all around the globe. Though done in a constructive manner, the way in which these issues are put to the forefront triggers and sends a strong message to those listening and demands that the audience thinks and tries to see beyond their current situation.
Performers believe that people have heard about issues of violence and crime far too many to times. People have become numb and issues have become the norm. These performers therefore try to invent new ways of highlighting these issues. They do this with the hope that those listening will take a stand and be the change they need.
These sessions are not only for educating and mentally equipping young minds but also a place where youth can get together and interact with other youths with similar interests and issues.