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September 27, 2023 6:00–8:00 pm
2101 Campus Drive, Duke Arts House
Creative Writing

Poetry in Music

Taught by Takudzwa Chikepe

Poetry in Music

In this workshop, students will be introduced to Leonard Dembo through his song, “Munovenga Mudzimai Wangu”, which translates to “You Don’t Like My Wife”. According to The Herald, documenting the growth of music in Zimbabwe without mentioning Leonard Dembo would be incomplete. Dembo, who passed away on April 9, 1996, at the age of 37, was one of the greatest musicians to emerge from the country. His music addressed societal issues, including love, unity, and peace. Dembo is arguably the best musician to grace the Zimbabwean music scene. Listening to the depth of the above-mentioned song, I asked myself a question, “Was Leonard Dembo a poet?” Students will have the opportunity to listen to Dembo’s song and extract abstract thoughts from it. They will also be provided with a translated version of the song and encouraged to create their own inspired written pieces. Students will then share their creations, and our guest poet will provide an interpretation of the song. This process aims to inspire students to discover poetry within music and all aspects of life, as a means to tap into the profound love that resides within us.

*This will be a community workshop open to all. Non-Duke users, please email to reserve a place in the class.

About the instructor

Takudzwa Chikepe (Taku), famously known as VaChikepe: The Poet, is one of the best writing poets from Zimbabwe. A two-time featured poet at the Bridgewater International Poetry Festival. In 2021, he won The International Reggae And World Music Award (IRAWMA): Best Poet in the Mutabaruka Category (the first African to win this Award) amongst other awards. VaChikepe is also the founder of VaChikepe And The Hundred Sailors (VHS), and the publisher of “The Sailors Review” newsletter/journal:

The VHS operates in the vision of grooming more than 500 artists in becoming world leaders, in the poetry, publishing, art and different spheres of life. VaChikepe is currently studying for his Master of Divinity at Duke University in North Carolina. VaChikepe: The Poet believes that poetry is a calling; he uses different states of mind, music, and spirituality to define and express poetry; and he also believes that “Art is not just a subject, but a financial therapy that can heal nations.”

VaChikepe is a recording artist with more than 50 songs and musical poems published underground and more than 15 songs officially published on all music platforms from 2021 to date. Attached are some of VaChikepe’s works of Art: Enjoy:


1. VaChikepe’s Music:

2. The Life of a Poet: Part 1:

3. The Life of a Poet: Part 2:

4. Other Publications:

About this location

This workshop will meet in the Duke Arts House.

Address: 2101 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27701

About Duke Arts Create

Duke Arts Create is a series of free, hands-on arts workshops designed to help all Duke students, including graduate and professional students (including Duke Health), as well as Duke faculty and staff develop a variety of creative skills in the visual arts, dance and movement, creative writing and more. Workshops are open to all skill levels and backgrounds. Most workshops are held in the Duke Arts Annex, the Rubenstein Arts Center or the Duke Arts Office 2101 and are typically held weeknights from 6-8 p.m.

Registration for the following week’s workshops go live on Friday mornings at 9 a.m. – sign up in advance to guarantee your spot. Didn’t get a spot? No problem! We always reserve space for walk-ins. Email if you have any questions. Sign up for the monthly newsletter here, which includes the full list of classes offered during the following month.

Duke Arts Create is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts (Duke Arts).