Five Zambian poets crossed the border to enter Zimbabwe to show their worth. MessenJah, Mwelwa OnCos, Gerry Sikazwe, Names James and Vanessa Chisakula travelled under Word Smash Poetry, a well-rising poetry platform that operates from Global Platform in Lusaka.

Competing in the Intwasa Poetry Slam in Bulawayo, the five poets took the stage with all guns blazing against nineteen other Zimbabwean poets. Attaining high scores from the onset of the slam, four Zambian poets made it into the third round which consisted of eight poets.

MessenJah at the 2019 Intwasa Poetry Slam

After the third round, the total scores were added and MessenJah and Mwelwa OnCos were found to have the highest scores alongside two other Zimbabwean poets by the name of Thaluso Da Poet and Delah Dube. MessenJah competed against Thaluso Da Poet for first and second place while Mwelwa OnCos and Delah Dube competed for third and fourth place.

Delah Dube scooped third place in what was a tight battle between her and Mwelwa OnCos. The final results had MessenJah and Thaluso Da Poet tied so the audience was asked to vote for who they wanted to win. In a shocking turn of events, MessenJah was cheered for loudest despite not having the home ground advantage.   

MessenJah after winning the 2019 Intwasa Poetry Slam

MessenJah was crowned 2019 Intwasa Poetry Slam Champion, the first non-Zimbabwean to win the competition. This adds to his previous achievement of being 2017 Bittersweet Poetry Slam Champion.

Congratulations MessenJah, you made your country proud!


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