Poetry Slam "Word up!"

Icons and new talents open the Deutsche Wochen 2017

To express your own thoughts, inspire the audience with spoken word art and conquer the stage with visible energy -this is in a nutshell what the "Word up!” poetry slam, which was held on 15 September 2017 at the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) as the official opening event of "Deutsche Wochen 2017” in Namibia, was all about.

During the poetry slam work shop, 15 learners of the DHPS, Delta School (DOSW) and Waldorf School Windhoek had the unique opportunity to learn from the icons of word art, put their ideas to paper, bring them to stage and acquire the art of the spoken word. For this, two popular German poetry slammers, Michel Abdollahi - poetry slam-expert and moderator - and David Friedrich - one of the most successful slammers in the German poetry scene - specifically travelled from the Elbe(Hamburg) to the elephants. Their energetic and empathetic ways of working with the learners inspired the young slammers and the audience alike.

Not only the refreshing moderation of the evening by Abdollahi and Friedrich, but particularly the learners’ moving topics and slams from the learners enchanted the audience. Many of them transformed their serious thoughts into moving (mostly bi-lingual) word art and even impressed the pros: “The learners have achieved an incredible outcome - we are much more nervous than the teenagers themselves, even though we have heard their texts so often and have jointly developed their ideas further", Michel Abdollahi says. And the topics were really gripping - dream of life, racism, sexual abuse, the refugee-issue, friendships, rage and self-esteem.

The jury - entertainingly selected by David Friedrich and comprising a beautiful person, someone disagreeing with his own sight in the mornings, a Hamburg-fan, somebody, capable of cooking a Namibian national dish (Maize porridge and meat) and someone feeling like being a jury member, at the end decided for the following rating:
1. Place: Tamiah Sivertsen (DHPS)
2. Places: Vivienne Kaninas (DHPS) & Anna-Marie Ritter (DHPS)
3. Places: Jennifer Uchezuba (DHPS) & Nancy Nawa (DOSW)

Special awards by Michel Abdollahi and David Friedrich:

- Prize for the best stage performance: Kyla Bampton (DHPS)
- Prize for the best topic (refugee-issue): Nayera Eshewikhy (DHPS)
- Julia Engelmann-Memorial Award: Ndilimeke ("Meke") Haininga (Waldorf School)
- Prize for the best slogan of the evening: - “All die - but only a few live!”: Calida Nghatanga (DHPS)

Another highlight of the evening was the final performance by David Friedrich – with both poetry slammers travelling all the way to Namibia, this was an absolute must. With his slam “The soft laughter of linseed” Friedrich kept the audience laughing and captivated by his pleasant way and refreshing eloquence.

A heartily thanks herewith goes to the courageous participating learners for their gripping slams, to Michel Abdollahi and David Friedrich for their phenomenal visit and to the German Foreign Office, who facilitated this event.

Photos: © German Embassy Windhoek


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