NINA UMUTESI, also known for her stage name Nina Salim, writes French poetry in a style she calls poesie de l’ame (poetry of the soul) which, in her opinion, is a magical path for the poet and also the people who listen to heal about it.
This style, she describes, has no rules other than writing poetic lines that come deep from the soul. The poem must later be recited in hypnotic or relaxed tones, mixed with an emotional instrumental that stimulates the imagination and emotions.
“I use instrumentals because they have their own poetry. When I combine its rhythm with my voice, my recitation comes out deeper. I also choose instrumentals that are unique and deep, ”she said.
Nina adds that this style is also used in films or theaters and varies depending on the type of film and the intonation of a poet’s voice.
She started writing poetry at the age of 17 and later in 2013, when she was writing poetic verses about her deep feelings and personal life, she discovered that she was a poet. At the time she was writing Poesie lyrique (lyric poetry).
“Reading books of French poetry and taking a class called Lettres moderne (loosely translated as modern letters) in high school motivated me to keep writing poetry,” she said.
She uses her spoken word style in cinema too, and believes it is one of the best channels to promote different types of art, especially poetry.
Nina shares that all of the films she has written and directed are poetic. These include “Hymn”, a short film that shows the feelings of a mother who has lost her unborn child, and “Poetria”, which is about a muse for poets in a Latin-Arab world – now in the post-production phase.
She said she improved her poetry writing skills through the lectures and network she gained at Writers Space Africa (WSA-Rwanda) when she started in 2020.
In 2016 she organized an event called “Muslim Woman Awareness” in Burundi, at which she was on stage for the first time. Her first play is called “Esralada”, which aims to empower Muslims.
In 2018, she performed at the Impact Hub at an event called “A woman was born to create,” where she and her team put on a poetic and musical theater called “Orpheline,” which also won an award for best performance. She has also performed at events such as A Pen, The Theater Day, and Spoken Word Rwanda.
Some of her notable poems are Ink, The Night of the Spirit, Orphans, Entrouvre, Smoke of the Soul.
The challenge for them is still that most of the people in Rwanda do not understand French poetry and it is sometimes difficult to break into the market to make enough money.
However, she tries to put her art on high stages so that people can feel it and be healed, thus changing their lives for the better.
For more information, you can visit her Instagram pages: Ninasalarts and Nina Salim.