"Zohab Khan Just Slammed Us"
Poet, hip-hop artist, didgeridoo player, Australian Poetry Slam champion 2014 and co-founder of the Pakistan Poetry Slam: Zohab Khan graced FIS with his presence on Thursday 9th November thanks to the Hong Kong Literary Festival… and what presence that was!
As a 4th generation Australian of Pakistani heritage and having grown up in rural Australia, Mr Khan has channelled his distinct life experiences into stories with the intent to educate. He confronts a range of social justice issues from racism to gender inequality and socio-economic disparities in his slam poetry.
Students were expecting another lesson about poetic devices, techniques, and how to enrich our poetry. To our surprise, Zohab Khan performed a selection of his spoken word, occasionally banging his chest and stomping his feet for rhythm. This sounded a lot like rap and hip hop music, which he is actively involved in.
The entire talk was spoken in the form of spoken word - he repeated his words for emphasis, moved around the room with intention and looked at each of us in the eye whilst delivering his poetry. Truly chilling.
His focus was determination and perseverance. In the least cheesy way possible, he explained to us exactly how he arrived to this stage in his life, challenging racism and prejudices along the way. Personally, what I’ll take away from his visit is that every opportunity is a gift to be cherished and squeezed until its very last drops are tasted. Mr Khan’s own story demonstrates that beautifully.
Not only was his charisma a breath of fresh air but his unusual journey also an inspiration. We hope to see him again soon.