Yeah! Tell 'Em Girl! This was the anthem for the women's poetry showcase which took place on May 24th. I had the chance and the pleasure to attend this event which had one goal, to empower women and give them a voice by creating a platform and a sisterhood where they could share their experiences through words.
The event was created by the beautiful Maya Basudde (@mayaspoken
), author of poetry book: ''Warriors in Broad Daylight
'', who was inspired by her own personal struggles as she faced years of physical and sexual abuse only to be shut down when seeking help or justice. That situation left her defeated and made her feel like she didn't have a voice, she then realized that there must be many more women feeling the same way she did and that there was lack of environments for women where they could speak their minds. With that came the idea of creating the Tell 'Em Girl Women's Poetry Showcase which saw the light this past August 2017.
Spoken word always has been an outlet for Maya and creating a safe environment where women can speak life into dead situations in their lives, have their story heard, and encourage others became her mission since the birth of Tell 'Em Girl.
The soirée featured 16 artists, writers and poets; some new, some veterans to the scene. Each tackled themes that were important to them from fragile masculinity, parenthood, womanhood, and identity to blackness. The writers presented original pieces and connected with the audience through their words and performances. This edition of the Tell 'Em Girl showcase featured 2 vocalists, @AyaLilMama
who both performed original pieces while the walls of the venue were graced with artworks of local female artists and the event was accompanied by vendors: Mawade Beauty
a new local cosmetic brand as well as Maya's first book: ''Warriors in Broad Daylight
I especially loved seeing @TimaaZarah, whose performance gave me shivers and went straight through my heart while similarly,@Spkn.Visions who wrote two pieces, one about being a woman and the other about being black as they resonated with since I am both of these things. The piece about parenthood, executed by @OfficialPrisca cut right through my heart and left tears in my eyes while@WoahDij performed an empowering piece about fragile masculinity which left me and the crowd inspired. Finally, I was left in awe by @Debbiexv who delivered an eye-opening poem called ''Silent tears'', which tackled the theme of sexual abuse and through her words, she spread awareness on the subject.
The soirée was closed off by a beautiful poem written by the creator of the event, titled MayaSpoken, her stage name. It was an empowering moment for her and her piece was filled with uplifting words; we got to see a beautiful moment of self-appreciation a front of our eyes.
Congratulations to every single one of the performers - they all did an amazing job coming out to share their experiences through their poetry. Shout out to Maya for offering them this platform and bringing the missing piece to the Ottawa entertainment scene; the event has grown tremendously since its' start. You can find each of the performances on the official Tell 'em girl YouTube channel
and keep up with the platform via Instagram