By Tsitsi Ndabambi
Moonchild District is a space which was created by Prince Rayanne Chidzvondo to promote poetry as entertainment. The creation of this new movement was his means of placing poetry in the city by supporting up and rising poets and helping them gain skill in presenting their penned thoughts into voices. “My team and I found the movement as an excellent way of catering for writers and performers because the spaces around us have always been less willing to engage poets,” said Ndi Rayanne as he is well known on stage. Rayanne describes himself as ‘He of the Moon the sworn in Minister of the Misunderstood, defender of all things beautiful in the moon’s darkness and a heavy lifter of souls. His true belief lies within the hand that holds his pen and sometimes the ink spills in rogue movements to work that will shock you.’ Born and raised in Harare, his first encounter with spoken word changed his life at the age of 16 and since then he had a passion and a dream to take along like-minded poets and stage shows instead of burying their natural talent. The former Zimpapers journalist and presenter of YouTube show (Campus Crush), Rayanne has just published his debut poetry collection “Under My Skin”. “The objective is for us to become one of the best African creatives, venture into all forms of arts, exploring and creating. To build something that will help us and the world at large to cope through this world we live in. I hope to perform and travel a lot, venture into cultural exploration in the creative world and learn as well as teach,” he commented.
The NAMA nominee and award winning poet, with the little experience that he was not selfish with sharing his stage glory, instead it inspired him to invite other artists and authors to join him in his dream. With that they staged their first ever sold out performance at Ela the Garden in Newlands where they merged acoustic music and poetry which the restaurant owner Eleni Athitaki matched the romantic garden setup with a succulent traditional Greek cuisine accompanied by the signature wines. “We are planning many shows at different venues with the hope that we will tour the whole country taking along as many poets as we can help take to the top,” he said, “so far I have shared the stage with musician Thando, 19 year old Rubzi Ruvimbo Chipo Chikanda, Lisa G Shumba aka Call Me Refined and Tanaka Ects Tshuma. Each individual brings a variety of creativity that keeps the gig on hype touching on different topics”.
This team of young spoken word blood is coming with a force and their work promises to escalate to the international platforms given that they are granted much larger audiences nationally.