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Kabbokola: An enchanting evening of poetry recitation by children

  • Published at 09:41 pm October 12th, 2019
Kabbokola poetry meet and greet at October 2019
Standing from left, founder of Kabbokola Moona Chowdhury, former MP Quazi Rosy and moderator Shiffat Shahriar, address the children following their recitation at the event held in Pathak Shamabesh Center on Thursday | Kishore

Most entertaining was Aslam Sani's speech, which consisted of some fun rhymes, and comic stories

Author and elocutionist trainer Moona Chowdhury organized a gathering of poets in Pathak Shamabesh Center, located in Shahbagh, under the banner of her recitation school, Kabbokola, on Thursday. The event featured enchanting recitations of rhymes by her students, and inspirational speeches by the elder poets.

The chief guest of the event was celebrated theatre and TV actor Dr Enamul Haque, and the special guest was Bangladesh Betar's Director General Narayan Chandra Sheel. The convenor of the event was prominent elocutionist Parvez Chowdhury, and the honourable guest of the evening was former Member of Parliament Quazi Rosy. The event was presided by Justice SM Mozibur Rahman of the High Court Division, who is also a poetry, and book aficionado. Popular poet Aslam Sani was also present on the occasion. The event was moderated by Shiffat Shahriar, university lecturer and elocutionist.

The event began with the singing of the national anthem by both the children, and the audience in attendance. Then the children performed several group and individual performances of poetry recitation. The audience raucously cheered following each and every performance. After the children’s recitation segment, each of the important guests in attendance gave a speech, appreciating the effort by the children, and encouraged them to continue learning. 

Most entertaining was Aslam Sani's speech, which consisted of some fun rhymes, and comic stories.

Dr Enamul Haque said in his speech: "The reason Moona took this initiative of teaching poetry recitation to both children and adults is manifold. But one factor is her being a political activist. We realized well before the Liberation War that political activism goes hand in hand with arts and culture. During the war we produced many plays which inspired people to take up arms, and continue the fight."

Addressing the children, Dr Enamul said: "You all have a lot to learn, but do not hurry in that learning. Learn about the country, and learn about the father of the nation."

The parents of the young thespians pose with High Court Justice SM Mozibur Rahman during his speech | Kishore

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune Showtime, Moona said: "The story behind Kabbokola is such that I first thought of the name. I made a page on Facebook with that name, and the idea was to write poetry and post them. This was in 2006. 

"When I noticed in 2015, that the list of page followers have exceeded well over 10,000, I wondered what I could do next to make it all really count. Afterwards, in August 11, 2018, I began this school, which is not a formal institution at all. It is merely an effort to develop interest in poetry among the children, and improve their recitation skills. At the time there were only four students. Now, after an entire year, the total number of students stand at 17. I teach them poetry recitation, and accurate pronunciations in Bangla. Sometimes I organize events like this one to help them get over their fear of reciting in front of an audience. Getting over stage fright is very essential, because the older they get the more instances they will face where they will have to speak on the mike," Moona added.

Regarding the future of Kabbokola, Moona said: "I would like to see this effort become a proper organization, which regularly holds recitation events for children."

Moona Chowdhury is primarily an author, and a recitation artiste. She already published a novel  and a couple of poetry anthologies. As a model and an actor, she is frequently seen on the cover of magazines, and has a tele-film credit for "Taakpo". She is also an enlisted senior news reader of Bangladesh Betar. Previously, she worked as a program team member for Channel i.

Nowadays Moona devotes more time towards community service, and political activism. She is the Vice President of Bangladesh Sangskritik Oikko Jote. Currently she serves in the research and development wing of Bangladesh Awami League's central subcommittee.