Nomzamo poet aims to give township-generated verse a boost

2018-09-20 06:02
Khanyiso Thakholi, a young poet from Nomzamo, dreams of taking poetry in the townships to another level. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

Khanyiso Thakholi, a young poet from Nomzamo, dreams of taking poetry in the townships to another level. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

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Khanyiso Thakholi is bringing consciousness to poetry.

The 24-year-old passionate poet has styled himself “Hoyza DePoeficient”, a combination of his nickname and the place from which his creativeness was derived. “I am inspired by ancient things and I see poetry as a calling for me, not just merely a form of art,” he says.

The Nomzamo resident’s love for poetry was born early, while he was still at school and he started penning his own works. In 2009, a high school teacher got a glimpse of his collection and encouraged him to explore the art form even more.

“I was all about writing poetry and performed for family and close friends all the time,” Thakholi recalled. “When my teacher encouraged me to continue with poetry, I gained more confidence and started performing in front of other people as well.”

Since then, the avid wordsmith has performed on bigger stages, such as the Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch, Cape Town, and has become a regular feature at poetry and other events hosted by the Lwandle Migrant Museum.

Thakholi dreams of one day owning his own poetry café, where young and experienced poets can gather and share their works with people who are not accustomed to the arts, and an annual poetry festival can be held to further drive this culture. “People are healed when listening to poetry, and we need more platforms to be able to continue doing this,” he explained.

“Currently, poets struggle to be booked for events because there is a misconception that we are not as entertaining as other performers, but that is not true.”

The poet is currently penning his debut anthology.

Bosom friend Sibonele Simanga believes Thakoli has what it takes to make a name for himself nationally and even internationally, but that he needs the support of the community to realise his dreams. “When he starts to speak he commands your attention and forces you to listen to the words flowing from his mouth,” Simanga says.

“He is very talented, but unfortunately people from the community do not support art, nor is it highlighted in mainstream media. Many poets give up due to a lack of support.”

Thakoli feels people should respect art, as it is a form of living for talented artists. “It is not just a hobby, and people need to understand that,” he said. “Poets also played a big role in the fight for democracy, so they also need to be respected.”

What is his advice for budding poets? “I want to encourage them never to give up on writing, because even though it doesn’t always seem that way there are some people who notice your work and effort.”

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