Yasus Afari goes patriotic for Poetry In Motion

Observer writer

Thursday, February 13, 2020

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Yasus Afari, head of Sen Yacum Entertainment, says the 17th Poetry in Motion will have strong Jamaican themes. The event will be held February 23 at Manchester Golf Club.

Poetry in Motion will also feature the presentation of prizes to the winner and runners-up of the Golden Poetry Competition.

“We opened applications on January 15 and they closed on January 31. We asked poets to submit poems speaking to Jamaican life and certain issues facing the country, as well as solutions to alleviate the problems. We had a team of adjudicators both locally and internationally that assessed the pieces to choose the winner and runners-up,” Afari told the Jamaica Observer.

The top three participants will receive cash prizes, gift vouchers and features in Art of Life Magazine. Prize recipients will be announced at the event.

Slated to perform are Professor Edward Baugh, Dr Leahcim Semaj, Dr Michael Abrahams, Ka'Bu Ma'at Kheru, El Jones from Canada, Marjorie Whylie, Dr Ann-Marie Wilmot, Denise Brown, Mik, as well as the Golden Tongue Awards 2020 winner and a surprise Dutch poet.

Yasus noted that poetry showcases have grown immensely in Jamaica, and he is pleased to be one of its pioneers.

“We have attracted hundreds of people, not only locally, but internationally. We have had performers from Vietnam, Africa, Belgium, Wales and now we'll have one from The Netherlands. Since I introduced Poetry in Motion and Jamaica Poetry Festival [in 2010], we have also received more corporate support,” he said. “People have also begun to host their own poetry shows. I am happy about the success of our events. It has acted as a model that many are patterning.”

Proceeds from the event will go to Friends in Need Foundation and Manchester Peace Coalition.

Yasus added that his event has grown in other areas.

“We maintain clean and intelligent fun; we start on time and we are working to end on time. We will also have an African bazaar with original pieces such as craft from Africa. We will have African and Caribbean food and fun, all in a nice ambiance. It's always like a family reunion. Lots of the hotels in Mandeville get many bookings because tourists from all over attend,” he said.

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