Preaching anti-xenophobia through words

2015-05-05 07:34
Sfiso and#039;Inkunzi Yomthakathiand#039; Makhanya is preaching anti-xenophobia through his poem titled ‘I see, you have forgotten’.PHOTO: supplied

Sfiso and#039;Inkunzi Yomthakathiand#039; Makhanya is preaching anti-xenophobia through his poem titled ‘I see, you have forgotten’.PHOTO: supplied

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PROMPTED by the recent xenophobic­ attacks across the country, a KwaDambuza poet has written a poem in a bid to conscientise people about the outbreak.

Sfiso ‘Inkunzi Yomthakathi’ Makhanya (28), originally from Bulwer but who now lives in KwaDambuza, told Echo that his poem titled “I see, you have forgotten” is aimed at reviving the spirit of humanity among South Africans.

Despite writing the poem in 2008 during the first xenophobic attacks in the country, he said living­ in KwaDambuza where these attacks were rife made him realise there is a lot that needs to be done in educating people about the stigma.

“Although I had written it before, the latest incidents have prompted me to retouch it in a way that it will appeal more to the targeted audience.

“In the poem I ask South Africans if they have forgotten that during the struggle­, many African countries also played a role in bringing about democracy.

“Some of us originate from African­ countries, but are now based here. You also cannot call another African citizen living in another African continent a foreigner­. In this poem I quote the former President Thabo Mbeki in his famous ‘I am an African’ speech.

“I also make relevance to the Freedom Charter which states that Africa will have the opportunity of contributing towards issues which affect the African continent.”

Makhanya said it is painful to see South African citizens destroying property that belongs to their fellow citizens, as foreign nationals are renting from local people.

“There is so much that people need to be educated about. The fact that they are using derogatory words is verbal abuse. As Africans­ we need to unite.”

Makhanya is no stranger to poetry, having performed at the opening of the Brazil, Russia­, India, China and South Africa (Brics) in 2013 where he preached about unity between countries.

“My poetry is about edu-tainment where I speak about societal issues, substantiating them with facts.”

He is currently going to city schools with local poets where they also teach pupils about xenophobia through the spoken word

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