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Luna's launch of DANCE MAMA.

Luna Ramphaga recently launched her first collection of poems: DANCA MAMA, at the Warehouse Theatre in Windhoek. This turned out to be an evening of celebrating women's voices, with spoken word artists performing pieces from the book, supported by singers and musicians. Luna herself gave brilliant performances of a number of her poems, quickly changing costumes in between to add to the authenticity of her voice.

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Luna is no stranger to Sister Namibia: we have published a number of her poems in the past, and we travelled together to the Zimbabwe International Book Fair in 1999 when the focus was on African women writers, returning with big plans for a Namibian Women Writers Association. Perhaps the time is ripe for this now?

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In her collection, Luna pays tribute to the women in her life; explores violence against women and between men; examines prejudice; celebrates her Namibian identity; pokes fun at growing old; becomes transformed by a stranger; contrasts people's high hopes at independence with today's reality of HIV and Aids, and much more. Her speech is honest and revealing, engaging the reader with an often humourous, even self-mocking tone.

Luna published this collection with the support of Township Productions, a Katutura-based company that aims to promote young Namibian poets. Let there be more soon!

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Letter to a stranger

In the strangely crowded street
I saw you, stranger
Dressed and walking strangely
Your face surely unknown to me
Our eyes met eccentrically
You smiled strangely at me
The nonsensical thought in me confirmed
Your strangeness surrounded me
My heart started beating bizarrely
As you passed me by, stranger
Your unfamiliar scent embraced me
I outlandishly clung to it
My eyes strangely followed you
Disappearing into the strange crowded street
You left me feeling peculiar
Questioning the strangeness you brought me
I am now out of the ordinary ...

Luna Ramphaga

Story and photos by Liz Frank

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Title Annotation:CELEBRATING WOMEN WRITERS; Luna Ramphaga's "Dance Mama"
Author:Frank, Liz
Publication:Sister Namibia
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2009
Words:322
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