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TJ Dema's Challenge : Expressing Women's Challenges with Poetry

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Uploaded on Apr 5, 2011

Her challenge: Using performing art to talk about challenges of women in Botswana. This poem was performed during the International Women's Day, March 8th 2011.

My challenge: I'm Nadia Berger, volunteer with the Uniterra program. I wanted to write something about Botswana women. I wanted to talk about the challenges they are facing every day, to earn a living, to feed their kids, to take care of the family, to face HIV and AIDS epidemic. I wanted to tell you that for most women who are not educated, the only way to make a living is to spend long hours sitting in the sun selling sweets and airtime on the side of the road. But my words would be those of a Canadian volunteer who is just in Botswana as a spectator. Instead I choose the poetry of an extremely talented young Motswana woman. Her name is Tjawangwa TJ Dema. Her words are compelling.

TJ Dema is a Botswana-based international poet who runs a boutique size arts and performance management organization. Over the last decade TJ has been actively involved in the field of poetry, nurturing and promoting the spoken word movement in Botswana by seeking out opportunities for regional cross pollination of poetry by hosting artists from the region and beyond. She has carved her own niche by often articulating on gender based issues within her work.

Take the Challenge! Visit www.herchallengeyourchallenge.ca

Music Credit: Punah, Botswana

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