Maseru – “Some are born great, others achieve greatness while other have greatness thrust upon them.” So goes William Shakespeare’s famous quote from the play Twelfth Night.
For young poet Takudzwa Chikepe, better known as VaChikepe, it could be a case of all three.
VaChikepe feels he was born a poet. It is a passion he has pursued. And now he has been nominated for the Mutabaruka Award for Best Poet/Spoken Word Entertainer at the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).
The poet is up against the likes of Antonia Valaire aka Christina Williams, Malachi Smith, Richie Innocent and Wise Wurdz, all from Jamaica.
Online voting ends on April 20, 2021 and the awards ceremony will be held virtually due to COVID-19 health protocols.
There are some big names from across Africa up for various awards. These include Nomcebo Zikode, Master KG, Winky D, Buffalo Souljah, Dynamq, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Diamond Platnumz, Davido Wizkid, Burna Boy and Patoranking.
VaChikepe told The Southern Times Arts this week that he was overwhelmed by the nomination.
“I am so happy and grateful that God is watching over me through this my artistic journey. Blessed be Jamaica and its arts industry for showing amazing interest and appreciation in my work,” said Chikepe. “My love also goes to Zimbabwe for grooming me. I believe there is more to come.”
The Zimbabwean went on: “My art has grown so much as evidenced by the nomination among some of the world’s greatest artists. It is a humbling experience.”
VaChikepe said one of his biggest strengths was his keenness to learn.
“I research a lot. I am a keen learner of the meaning of life. I believe in divinity and I am interested in human behavior. My poetry writing experience has taught me a lot about life and I still believe there are many solutions to our problems other than those we already know.”
The IRAWMAs were founded in 1982 by entrepreneur, publisher and television personality Ephraim Martin, who is also the founder of the Chicago Music Awards (CMA) and the International Festival of Life (IFOL).
According to its website, the IRAWMAs are meant to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments and contributions of reggae and world music artists, including: songwriters, performers, promoters and musicians. The awards have been held in major cities among them Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New Orleans, New York as well as Port of Spain, Trinidad and both Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in Jamaica.