PAM president Felix Njonjonjo Katsoka made the remarks Friday at Robin’s Park in Blantyre after he and other poets were given medals for significantly contributing to the growth of the art which is fast gaining popularity.
Other poets recognized at the event include MBCs Nyamalikiti Mthiwatiwa, Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga, Michael Benjala, man of the moment Sylvester Kalidzang`oma of the Unkalindanji Moyo fame, Hudson `Abengo` Chamasowa and the late O`brien Nazombe.
“The awards will help us safeguard the bar by making sure our ever growing audience is impressed at all times. It will also help us stay in the limelight,” said Katsoka, who is well known for his album titled Kudikilira Mzungu.
According to organizers, late Nazombe was honoured for starting the very first radio poetry program dubbed `Patsinde` currently being anchored by Evelyn Pangani on Joy Radio.
Katsonga said the program is the genesis of many poetry shows on radio and TV as well as the inspiration behind the start of many poetry careers.
Late Nazombe was popularly known as Namanyonyolo and is widely regarded as someone who helped raise the poetry bar.
Matindi FM managing director Elvis Nserebo said the awards were organized as a way of recognizing achievements plus steps artists have made towards the growth of poetry in Malawi.
`There used to be a time when people could downplay poetry calling it `ya anthu osazindikira` but now it’s a darling to many courtesy of these people we are honouring today,” said Nserebo.
The show was spiced by performances by The Mimickers comprising Frank Naligonje who plays Atcheya, Aunt Getu real name Kenwood Sambalikagwa and the GYV dancing crew.
Apart from medals, other prizes included wall clocks and various items given by Oasis Conference Centre.