South African becomes first world slam poetry champion

South African becomes first world slam poetry champion
Credit: Courtesy/Xabiso Vili

South African Xabiso Vili became the very first World Poetry Slam champion at an event on Thursday in Brussels.

He received his prize, following the end of an event organised at a local Kinepolis, from Brussels minister, Sven Gatz.

Belgian slam poet Philip Meersman joined forces with co-initiators Creatief Schrijven, Willemsfonds Brussel and the creative agency Hura to create the tournament, a first of its kind.

A slam competition can be described as a kind of verbal and poetic boxing match, where blows are replaced by words.

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In total, 40 slammers from 37 countries competed for the world championship organised in Brussels. 20  artists qualified for the final on Thursday, including Belgium's Marie Darah, the reigning European champion.

In the final, participants had three minutes to convince the jury. Vili, who also describes himself as a writer, producer, new media artist and activist, made the best impression.

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