KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka
REACHING out to people with the gospel through poetry is Presley Chibale’s passion and it seems to be working out well for him and poetry lovers.To date Chicco, 28, has produced a compact disc of what he calls Christian poetry and has earned over 600 downloads of his works on the Yari Arts gospel website.
Despite the art not being very popular in Zambia, this has not stopped Chicco from pursuing his new found career in dramatic art.
He has continued to reach out to many with live performances at different venues, whereas his poems have been enjoying favourable airplay on radio stations.
His recent performances were at Mulungushi International Conference Centre and Alliance Française in Lusaka.
“My poems have received overwhelming response because people can relate to them. Especially a poem that I have done called ‘Who you are?’ A lot of young men and women have come up to me to tell me how much the poem reminds them of how much value they have,” he says.
From Kitwe’s Kwacha township where he stays with his family, Chicco has been travelling to Lusaka quite often to showcase his talent.
Born on July 4, 1990 at Kitwe Central Hospital (now Kitwe Teaching Hospital), Chicco is the first born in a family of four.
He completed high school in 2008 but did not perform well. However, the determined poet gave it another try by sitting for General Certificate of Education (GCE) examinations in 2014 and thereafter earned a place to study heavy equipment repair at Northern Technical College (NORTEC) between 2014 and 2016.
Poetry is going to be a part-time vocation when a door opens up for him in the world of work.
“When I get a job, poetry is going to be part-time trade. At the moment poetry does not earn me enough to make a living,” he says.
A devout Christian, Chicco is the leader and founder of a Kitwe-based Christian group called Jesus Christ Movement.
When it comes to his poetry dream, he is inspired by Propaganda, a United States-based poet and rapper and some local poets too.
“The best poets in Zambia for me are people like Kapembwa, the founder of Bitter Sweet Poetry. In Kitwe we have Black Beef Poetry, in Ndola we have a young lady by the name of Zena who mentored me at some point,” he says.
When it comes to word play, Chicco displays extraordinary poetry skills in a unique evangelism of the gospel.
In his poem entitled ‘Almighty’ he says Christians do not get God’s instructions to them despite the Creator making his instructions clear.
“Holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, he is holy. If there are words that can describe him, then I do not have them because my mind is too small to fully comprehend him,” one of his poems says.
In the last stanza of the poem, he stresses how God is incomparable in a very mind blowing word play.
“He is no Roman but God reigns. Undertaker is a liar and fake because only Jesus came back from death. Forget the shield because he is our protector. This is not WWE so you can try this at home,” he says.
Currently, Chicco is working under an upcoming Christian media promoting company called Truth Entertainment.
“We’re coming up with an album. And if you ask me how far I want to take this, my answer is simply as far as God wants me to take it,” he says.
His poems are mostly biblically inspired and he says it’s his strategy of spreading the gospel.
“My outreach is also targeting those that are lost. And as for those that are already born again, my aim is to continue strengthening them in their Christian life,” he says.
Chicco’s passion for poetry can be traced to his primary school days.
“I have always loved writing even before I got saved, but officially I recorded my first poem last year and I called it ‘Beauty’. I first performed poetry when I was at school at NORTEC and that’s when I started doing poetry in front of crowds,” he shares.
He says people around him encouraged him to take up poetry.
“For a very long time, people used to tell me that they saw a poet in me. I knew that I was good at writing poems but I was not sure of the delivery part because I could see a lot of poets on television and they seemed to be very organised and educated,” Chicco recalls.
Poetry is not one of the popular arts in Zambia, but so far so good for Chicco, who says his acting career is successful beyond what he expected.
“Poetry is not well recognised in Zambia and if you can have more than 200 people downloading your works, then it means you are doing very well. Music has overshadowed poetry and hence it is not well recognised in Zambia,” he says.
Because videos seem to be more appealing, Chicco wants to start video production of his poems.
For those that like thought provoking sentiments, Chicco’s poems are definitely something worth listening to.
KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka