(Boston, 1976) calls his stage his pulpit, his pen his temple, the paper his sanctuary and poems his confession. Omékongo Dibinga grew up in a warm intellectual family that came to the US after having fled Congo. Although he himself had a happy youth, in the US he recently witnessed cruelties against family members and members of the African community. This prompted him to speak out on behalf of 'all those voiceless people.' With his poems and performances the poet and rapper wants to promote dialogue, bring together the various population groups and make people think. His performances have taken him to every corner of the world. He also performed in various radio and tv programmes, e.g. CNN and the BBC. Meanwhile he has recorded six CDs with hiphop and poems of his own. His first album, A Young Black Man's Anthem, in 2003 won the Cambridge Poetry Award. His first collection of poetry, From the Limbs of my Poetree he published independently in 2004. It was followed by another anthology of poetry by students and a guide for young job seekers. In 2009 he launched the GROW Towards Your Greatness project, a CD and book to motivate young people to get the most out of life. He writes and performs in English, French and Swahili and recites some fragments in Wolof. His great examples are Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka and Abiodun Oyewole.(nov 2010)
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In the second hour of De Avonden poet and performer Hagar Peeters tells how she incorporates Utopian Thinking in her new book Wasdom. Writer and cabaret artist Martijn Knol writes a manual of how we can indeed build a new Utopia together for the 21st century. It is a passionate and concrete plea for a new world community. Motivational speaker and spoken word artist Omékongo Dibinga will convince the audience in a short performance that personal happiness is within reach. Tim Parks and David Mitchell talk to each other on the need of the imagination of a better world in their own work. Hosts: Jeroen van Kan and Catherine van Campen. Broadcast live on VPRO Radio. In Dutch and English.
Jeroen van Kan talks to Marja Pruis about her collected essays on literature. What is the happiness of writing about the minutest details? The Congolese/American spoken word artist Omékongo Dibinga enters into a poetic battle with Martijn Knol and Hagar Peeters on the feasibility of a better world. In Dutch and English.