Keamogetsi Molapong’s poetry reflects the concerns of a socially engaged writer, artist, and activist who has devoted his life to promoting the arts in Namibia despite the financially precarious nature of such a life. His background is in theater for development, and his literary activities stem partly from involvement in development projects at the grassroots level, including, for example, sanitation programs in northern Namibia, industrial theater work, and voter education campaigns. Many of the projects that he has undertaken have been sponsored by nongovernmental organizations and donor and government agencies. My purpose in this paper is, first, to discuss Molapong’s perception of the role of poetry in society and in terms of the benefits he has derived from writing and performing. Second, I analyze his major thematic concerns, particularly the interface between politics and poetry. Third, I shall critique the thought-provoking love poems he has written. The argument of this paper is that the subtle manner in which he plays with words and sounds, in many poems, brings to mind the oral roots of his poetry and makes the point that he retains the popular base of the Namibian struggle for independence that has been all but abandoned by the new political elite that were its leaders.


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pp. 62-74
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