Poet wins at local awards

2016-11-30 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Avela Khawula with his award.

PHOTO: supplied Avela Khawula with his award.

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SWEETWATERS poet Avela Khawula (23), walked away with the Best Male Poet award at the Umngeni Music Awards at Howick West last weekend.

Khawula won the award after battling more than 16 poets in the category that was voted for by the public.

“This is my first award and I’m really happy to finally get recognition for my craft. The award is a step in the right direction and it means people appreciate my poetry and are encouraging me to continue working hard.”

Khawula’s involvement with the power of the spoken word started in 2009 when he was a pupil at Msimude High School. He believes his work is unique as he sees responsibility as one that goes as far as uncovering truths behind closed doors, and tackles many issues through his craft.

“I started focusing more on poetry in high school when I was doing Grade 10. The school had a year-end function and we were asked to be creative and I decided to write a poem dedicated to teachers and it was a hit.

“A few years later, I was part of a local Kwaito group, Gidora, who were also dancers for Afro-pop sensation Naima Kay. I decided to leave the group to focus my energy on poetry and see where it would take me.”

Khawula has performed on many stages including at the Durban Tourism Indaba, Ukhozi FM’s birthday celebrations and at the Motsepe Foundation Beach Festival.

He said he is inspired by local poets Golide, Syabonga Mpungose and Bongeka Zuma.

“I’m very happy. I just want to thank everyone who voted for me, they are the reason I got the award.”

Khawula is known for his stance against drug abuse and domestic violence on women and children through his poem Qaphela.

He has also been invited by the Southern African Development Community youth body to perform at their annual youth conference on 29 November in Botswana.

Besides his passion for the spoken word, he is also involved in the development of youth in the arts industry.

He is one of the young people in the city spearheading the Academy of the Arts and Heritage.

The academy encourages youth to look at career opportunities in the arts and heritage sector.

Khawula will be performing alongside international acts at the annual Impi event at Intulo Lounge on Saturday.

This is my first award and I’m really
happy to finally get recognition for my craft. The award is a step in the right
direction and it means people appreciate my poetry and are encouraging me to continue working hard

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