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Slamming in 10 days!

By: Aida Toye, Linking and Learning Assistant, Voice Niger

For members of the NGO GONI team, slam (poetry) comes naturally. They just have to think about it and the words come from themselves! One might say this is because of the many years of experience they have.

But imagine our slammers budding, who rub shoulders for the first time…

NGO GONI, through their project “A toi la parole”, trains people with disabilities in Slam techniques and public speaking in 15 neighbourhoods over a period of 15 months. Notice the reiteration?

The team organised training workshops that lasted 10 days during which 10 people with disabilities, women and men, were introduced to the creation of slam in which they tell their stories and talk about their biggest sentences.

During the first session of restitution of the 10 days of training organized in the yard of the public school of the district 1 (Lazaret), it was difficult to believe that some slammers had only 10 days experience in the matter, both their texts and their technique were good. During the 2 or 3 minutes allotted to them, each one of them held the assistance in a breath. Each slammer spoke in his mother tongue. We present 5 of these people who became “slammers in 10 days”

Here are their texts (in English)

Text by Mariama (Djerma): A handicapped person (physical), is not exempt from faculties.

A disabled person (physical),
Is not free of faculties.
Respect you,
And the others will respect you.
An infirmity,
Is not the end of everything.
Do not let yourself go to despair,
Under the pretext that you are handicapped.
Respect you,
And the others will respect you.
Even infirm,
You have a lot of potential,
Which will benefit others.
Your handicap must not prevent you from working,
For you.
Do it for you.
Fight for yourself
Do not reach out.
You the handicapped,
Respect you.
Pulled yourself together.
Fight against the dirt.
A disabled person (physical),
Is not free of faculties.
Respect you,
And the others will respect you.

Text by Ali Seyni (Djerma): What we miss attracts us!

What we miss attracts us!
If I had feet,
I will buy shoes.
If I had feet,
I would be a soldier to serve my country.
If I had feet,
I would be a wrestler who would fight for the sword.
What we miss attracts us!
If I had feet,
I will run in all directions.
But alas I do not have …
Even if I run,
I would not go far.
What we miss attracts us!

Text of Issa (Djerma): My work, My pride

My job, My pride.
Thanks to him, to my work, begging has moved away.
I’m not reaching out
I do not depend on anyone.
My work, My freedom.
My problems are solved.
My job, My perch.
My job, My pride.
It allowed me to help others with disabilities,
To work.
My job, My pride
For my parents,
For my family.
My job, My pride!

Text of Issoufou Abdoulaye (Djerma): On my bike I feel at ease

When I’m on my bike,
I’m feeling good,
Because I can go where I want,
To do what I want.
In my situation I saw love and contempt.
Through this love, I dropped something and handed it to me.
Through this love, I stumbled, they reached out to me, they put me on a bike.
And by this love mine helped me.
This comforting love.
While I was comfortable on my bike,
My dream broke when my bike broke down.
This day I knew scorn,
Because without knowing it, people pointed at me.
And they say “look at this guy who was carried on his back”.
And this act broke my heart because I had never been treated that way.
This contempt I would never forget.
In my situation I saw love and contempt.

Text of Seydou (Djerma): All men are equal

All men are equal,
Except the one who does not like you.
My friends, my relatives, did not scorn me.
They gave me confidence.
They made me forget my handicap.
Their behavior and humanity,
Have made my life easier every day,
Have made my world better.
They gave me the pride to bend the chest,
They gave me the courage to fight.
All beings, men and women, are equal,
Except the one you’re questioning,
The one you reject,
Even if it’s your neighbor, you’ll fight him.
The one you like,
Even if he dislikes you,
You will not despise him.
Whoever does not depreciate you,
Will not find any halo.
Whoever loves you
You’ll love even crazy.

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