The maiden edition of the WPM Africa virtual congress was held from the 21st to the 22nd of January 2023. The World Poetry Movement welcome close to 30 national coordinators from different countries in Africa with key dignitaries of WPM Colombia and Venezuela in attendance, also our respected continental coordinators from other continents joined us. The maiden Africa congress which was the 1st WPM Africa Virtual preparatory congress towards our WPM Global Congress. This important congress involved national coordinators from different countries. The Congress-themed “Migration from Death to Life.” At this preparatory congress, these national coordinators in Africa presented their short report, which contained an account of the activities that have been carried out in each country; a description of the group with which they work; comments to the WPM central report, proposals for the development of WPM and its strategic plan.
We have national Coordinators from Namibia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Mali, Lesotho, Cameroun, South Africa, Malawi, Tunisia, Ghana, Togo, Algeria, Kenya, Niger, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sao Tome, and Principe, Sudan, and Zimbabwe to date.
The congress presented a declaration for Africa as presented at the African congress.
Today, we present reports and strategic plans from the WPM Coordinators in Cameroon, São Tomé, and Príncipe, Nigeria, Guinea Equatorial, Mali, Lesotho, and Ghana to the WPM International Congress in Medellin.
For the period from 2023 to 2028, World Poetry Movement Cameroon plans to focus on the following projects: –
Extend the movement, at least, in five of the ten regions of the country; – create an annual international poetry festival that brings together poets from Cameroon and Besides; – initiate radio programs around poetry and slam; – organize monthly recitals in cultural spaces across Cameroon – create an annual poetic magazine; – publish at least one poetry anthology per year; – from the 2023-2024 school year, my colleagues and I intend to involve young Cameroonians to the poetic thing by organizing poetry workshops of performance and slam in schools, etc.; – organize poetry caravans in the streets of Yaoundé once a quarter.
WPM São Tomé And Príncipe
Report and proposals for the Strategic Plan from 2023-2028 for São Tomé
There are not many poets in São Tomé and Príncipe. About six published poets live in the country and about four live abroad. Of those published, most belong to the National Union of Poets and Artists of São Tomé and Príncipe, founded in the years 80 of the last century.
Proposals for the Strategic Plan
1. Creation of the Facebook page of the WPM – São Tomé and Príncipe to promote the principles and goals of the Movement and use it as a tool to attract the attention and the adhesion of potential members, particularly among youngsters.
2. Working in partnership with the National Union of Poets and Artists of São Tomé and Príncipe in specific activities.
3. A partnership with the Ministry of Education and Culture to have facilitated access to schools, particularly secondary schools, and universities, to promote and diffuse poetry, stimulating the student’s creativity.
4. Organization of an annual poetry contest and publication of the best works in an anthology.
5. At least three annual public Reading sessions in different places
6. and different public.
Conceição Lima – National Coordinator
WPM Nigeria Report and Strategic Plan
The WPM Nigeria Chapter under the current coordination of Paul Liam was inaugurated in January 2023. The previous coordinators in their respective efforts had tried to register the presence of WPM in the consciousness of Nigerians, especially among the literary community. Although, a lot is still left to be done in consolidating the previous efforts of the former Coordinators, and this is what I have been doing in the last five to six months.
1. Attendance at literary and poetry events: I have attended various literary events in the last
five months where I have gotten the opportunity to introduce WPM to such gatherings. By
constantly appearing at these functions and introducing WPM Nigeria, people are becoming
more familiar with the Movement.
2. Virtual Poetry Events: I have successfully organized two virtual poetry events centered
around poetry and its potency to change society. These events were attended by notable Nigerian poets and young ones as well. We are lucky to always have our Continent’s
Coordinator, Dr. Ayo Ayoola-Amale attending and giving moral support.
3. Facebook Page: Following the directive that national coordinators should create Facebook
pages for WPM in their nations, we went ahead to create a Facebook page for the Nigerian chapter known as WPM Nigeria.
4. Discussion for Collaboration: We have initiated various collaborative conversations with art
and poetry organizations to strengthen our presence and jointly organize various events. We have spoken to Aroja Royal Theatre, Lagos International Poetry Festival, Abuja
International Poetry Festival and Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation with whom we are
already in collaboration.
5. Constitution of National Coordination Team: I have spoken to some remarkable poets who
have expressed interest in being a part of the national team which is needed to drive the
affairs of the Movement more concretely. Although this has not been finalized yet as we
want to ensure that those who come on board are committed to making things work. Once this is done, we will advance the nomination to the Africa Coordinator for ratification and
formal constitution of the team. This is needed to give legitimacy to the team.
Our Strategic Plan
Our strategic plan is aimed at positioning WPM Nigeria as a key player and driver of poetry for social change. We want to be seen as the rallying point for art and poetry organizations in Nigeria interfacing with the government and non-governmental organizations in advocating for literacy, social justice, human rights, peace, and the development of poetry in Nigeria.
Our Key Focus Areas Include:
1. Strengthening collaboration among art administrators and poetry organizations in pursuit of
social justice through art advocacy; including the organization of art and poetry symposiums,
workshops and conferences.
2. Organisation of a national poetry dialogue geared towards the celebration of poetry as a
powerful tool for national integration, cohesion, and consciousness building amongst
citizens. This can be achieved through strategic collaboration with government agencies like
the National Library of Nigeria, the National Council for Arts and Culture, and the Ministry of Education
among others. However, this noble initiative requires funding to be executed.
3. Convening/Organising: As an organization that aspires to be the leader of other art organizations, WPM Nigeria needs to be able to organize convening from time to
time will bring together art leaders and stakeholders to set agendas for art-based
advocacy in the country. This is a major gap in the art and literary sector in Nigeria presently,
there is no art collation pursuing change or the welfare of poets, writers, and artists.
4. Form a National Art-NGOs Coalition: WPM Nigeria aspires to become the leading
organization that will facilitate the formation of an art-NGO- based national coalition that will
coordinate national advocacies for social change like organizing protests, press conferences and
releases and issues communique, and advocate on behalf of writers, poets, artists, and society in general. For example, Nigeria has an Endowment Fund for Art and Culture law that has never been implemented since its passage into law in the 1990s. There is a need for WPM Nigeria to lead in lobbying and advocating for the implementation of this law. But this will require collaboration, organizing symposiums, and advocacy visits to the appropriate authorities. And this will require funding.
5. Grooming of Young Talents: We intend to introduce a mentorship program that will offer
free training through workshops to younger or aspiring poets and writers and at the same
time encourage them to develop positive social attributes. We believe that for sustainable
poetic advocacy, young people will need to be mentored and trained to fully realize their potential.
The major challenges include:
1. The absence of a national coordinating team means that only the National Coordinator is
responsible for the functioning of the Movement.
2. Funding challenges are central to our work because organizing certain events would require
some amount of funding and there is little that can be achieved through small personal funding. With our ideas, WPM is capable of taking over and providing leadership in the art sector in Nigeria.
3. WPM Nigeria needs a constitution or an organogram that clearly defines the responsibility of
the National Coordinator and the coordinating team. This is important to ensure that activities are carried out within the overall ideology guiding the Movement.
We hope that by pursuing these key programs and projects, we would be placing WPM Nigeria in its rightful position as a powerful global advocacy organization that is capable of impacting the world. As already mentioned, there is a need for funding support to be able to effectively execute these noble ideas. We hope that the global WPM will take into account the invaluable need to devise a solid means of funding the organization’s activities around the world. Funding can be made available for those with the best ideas and it can be competitive as well. But above all, Funding is fundamental.
Paul Terkhimbi Liam, WPM National Coordinator, Nigeria.
WPM Guinea Ecuatorial
Movimiento Poetico Mundial- Guinea Ecuatorial Tentative Action Plan
The Plan of activities that I intend to harmonize in the coming months.
April 2023: Malabo Book Fair Centro Cultural Ecuatoguineano From Malabo
July 2023 Encuentro Con El Colectivo Poetico Of Malabo-Region Insular Sede Bocamandja August 2023 Encuentro Con El Colectivo Poético De Bata-Region Continental- Spanish Cultural Center Bata
October 2023 Recital Poetico Locos Por Cultura
December 2023 Recital Poetico Sede Bocamandja
February 2024 Recital Poetico Centro Cultrual Ecuatoguineano
Aprill 2024 Feria Del Libro De Malabo Plaza De Ela Nguema
May 2024 Encuentro Con El Colectivo Poetico Of Malabo-Region Insular Sede Bocamandja July 2024 Encuentro Con El Colectivo Poético De Bata-Region Continental- Centro Actos Fair Cultural Of Spain In Bata Coordinator: Recaredo Silebo Boturu
|Ismael Diadié Haidara|
Mali has been at war since January 2012. Many of its northern population has taken refuge in cities in the south or other countries outside its borders. The country has generated the most refugees since the Islamist invasion of that year.
The establishment of WPM in Mali is affected by this situation that divides the country and its people. Poets of one faction do not coexist with others despite putting poetic reason before politics.
While we are trying to find more peace and coexistence, we propose to work on these points:
1. Census of the poets of the country
2. Propose to promote traditional poetry.
3. To bring back to life the Facebook page that we have left inactive to avoid comments that politically divide poets.
Being an exile, Ismael Diadié Haidara as WPM Mali National Coordinator has started plans to
designate another person resident in Mali to support him. This person will take charge of WPM Mali’s responsibilities under his direction and will submit all the work reports of the Mali team to him.
The Lesotho Chapter of the World Poetry Movement is a community of poets, spoken word artists, and supporters who are dedicated to the promotion and celebration of poetry, spoken word, and the power of the written and spoken word to transform lives and communities. We recognize the challenges facing the world today, from the risk of war to the threat of climate catastrophe and growing global inequality. We believe that poetry and spoken word can play a crucial role in addressing these challenges and promoting social justice, and we are committed to using these art forms to inspire, educate, unify, and heal. With this in mind, Lesotho is honored to be a part of this momentous occasion and a historical feat that can only be described in its truest form- migration from death to life.
- Recruitment of steering committee
- 4 recruited
- Recruitment of core team
- 4 recruited
- Activity and timeline plan formation
- 2-day meeting (1 face to face and one virtually) convened with all 8 new members and a strategic plan was formulated. See below.
1. Host at least 12 monthly poetry sessions and open mic nights in 2023 to provide regular performance opportunities for local poets.
2. Collaborate with a minimum of 6 local schools (primary and high schools) in 2023 to bring educational workshops on spoken poetry to students, encouraging the use of poetry as a tool for self-expression and social change.
3. Produce an end-of-year book and audio recording collection anthology featuring the work of at least 20 local poets in 2023 and distribute it to a minimum of 10 schools as an educational resource.
4. Plan and host a successful end-of-year festival in 2023 featuring spoken poetry performances, workshops, and other activities that celebrates the work of local poets and the growth of the movement.
5. Increase the chapter’s social media following by at least 50% in 2023 through regular engagement and promotion of events and activities.
6. Seek local and international collaborations/partnerships to further the chapter’s goals and increase its footprint within and around Lesotho.
7. Establish a monthly podcast featuring local spoken poets and discussions on the spoken poetry scene in Lesotho.
We are yet to establish timelines and timeframes for each goal due to work constraints and family commitments outside of the movement activities, however, the recruitment process is enabling us to tackle some of the points mentioned in the strategic plan concurrently. We have garnered pledges from one of the major network service providers in support of holding Lesotho’s first International Poetry Festival and plans are underway to mobilize more partnerships to realize this event by the summer of 2024 (Nov-Dec).
WPM 1st Congress: Theme- Migration from Death to Life
The World Poetry Movement Ghana is dedicated to the promotion of literacy, building community, and fostering emotional resilience through poetry.
The global state of affairs today is anything but peaceful from wars and violent conflicts, to the climate crisis, to the threat of nuclear war and killer robots and the growing global inequality, inequity, racial discrimination, and patriarchy.
WPM Ghana is using poetry to promote social justice, and a sense of community and to ultimately ensure that students in tertiary institutions and secondary schools find a platform to talk about the difficult and unexplainable things in life.
Life today is very tough; we need tough language powerful enough to show it as it is.
World Poetry Movement Ghana Report and Strategic Plan
The World Poetry Movement Ghana Chapter (WPM Ghana) under the coordination of Ayo Ayoola-Amale was initiated like the other WPM Chapters in the wake of a greater call to action by the International Coordinating Committee of the World Poetry Movement.
The World Poetry Movement Ghana hit the ground running by creating awareness about the movement’s aims, objectives, vision, and mission amongst the literary community and educational institutions.
Our Key Focus
- Promoting WPM Ghana in schools, literary institutions, and poetry events
- Organising face-to-face and virtual poetry events focused on WPM poetic action themes.
- WPM Ghana has created WPM Ghana Facebook Group and Page, also we have the WPM Ghana Twitter account.
- WPM Ghana Partnership and Collaboration: We are building partnerships and collaborations with the literary community and have been in a consistent collaboration
with Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation Ghana.
- Establishing WPM Ghana Poetry Clubs in Tertiary institutions and Secondary Schools in Ghana. We have so far established eight WPM Ghana Poetry Clubs. In this way, we will be able to make an impact in the minds of our audience. The activities (poetry reading, workshops, slams, etc) involved in WPM Poetry clubs will ensure that students have the platform to express their ideas. In this way, students will be able to improve their communication skills. Our purpose and mission are to seek to foster poetic expression in a safe, constructive environment by providing practical tools for students to improve their poetic skills and by encouraging the reading and writing of poetry.
- WPM Ghana Poetry Therapy initiative: The therapeutic qualities of poetry therapy, a form of therapeutic expression are huge, particularly in the use of poetry in the treatment of emotional disorders and of healing and soul-searching. Bringing poetry to the vulnerable, the marginalized and the oppressed is a vision of poetry as a therapeutic tool, as a map toward everyone’s inner truths, and as a creation and representation of everyone’s lives.
Lack of a Formal Constitution of National Coordination and structures that could provide funding opportunities thereby ensuring sustainable growth. Currently, all activities are fully funded by Splendors’ of Dawn Poetry Foundation, Ghana.
WPM Ghana Strategic Plan
Our strategic plan is designed to place WPM Ghana as a great force in poetry for constructive change in these key areas: education, social justice, peace, human rights, healing, and soul-searching.
In our hearts, these plans and projects represent hope.
In conclusion, WPM Africa embodies not only the WPM ideals, mission, and vision but was created to bring poets in Africa to poets globally and to open a platform for them to share common experiences. To open a platform for social change globally. To open a platform to migrate from death to life!
“When we are dreaming alone, it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality.” –Hélder Câmara
Dreaming with others is the spirit of our movement!
Thank you for your time and attention!