Student continues spoken word tradition

By Munira Alimire

Staff Writer

Bisharo Dahir and Ikhlas Abdi perform at Cafe Steam in downtown Rochester in February for Black History Month. (Echo Photo by Munira Alimire)

Bisharo Dahir, an aspiring health sciences professional and RCTC freshman, has a talent in poetry — both written and spoken word. She’s been performing for four years and writing for six.

“I loved to write,” she said. “I used to keep journals when I was little. It’s a major part of who I am.”

Dahir is Somali American and says spoken word is like an oral tradition, which is in her blood and her culture. Her poetry has been published as well as performed at high-end events with Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede, Nobel Peace Prize winners and President Jimmy Carter in attendance.

But she hasn’t forgotten her roots. “I still perform at Stem events when I can,” she said.

She graduated from Rochester Stem Academy last spring and feels a connection to them, even adding, “They gave me the foundation to do these things. Without them, I wouldn’t have ever made it this far.”

And whenever she performs at Stem, it is to an audience that loves her.

Dahir wants to move people with her words. She is aware that people may forget what she says or does, but they can’t ever forget how she makes them feel.  Thus, she wants people to feel the poetry. She believes that it is a special way of reaching people’s hearts. She aspires to be more like her inspiration, Maya Angelou, a woman with strength, compassion, and a lot of talent.

“Sometimes it can tough for us to express ourselves verbally, but with writing, it’s easy,” Dahir said. “It’s easier for us to share our own personal feelings. When we write, we write with all our heart. It gives us the power to speak, and it makes us feel outstanding. Then, when we read out loud, we are not scared because our feelings are the world as we see it. It starts a lot easier when we first write it.”

She considers the Rochester spoken word community to be very strong, despite it being very small. Other poets in Rochester, such as Ikhlas Abdi and Sagal Mizuno, have given her a lot of insight on her performances.

When asked about RCTC’s community, she confessed there weren’t many resources or groups, but she would be interested in starting one on campus.

“It would be interesting and wonderful to see people from different backgrounds bond together over spoken word,” she said. “Having all the voices of Rochester represented would be a great reminder to everyone that they are worthy, and their existences will not be ignored.”

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