GROWING up as an observant and shy girl, Ntokozo Ngcobo was nervous to speak out but poetry created a burning desire which prompted her to use her creative talent as a way to express herself. Today, Ngcobo is a multi-skilled South African actress, writer, musician, poet, public speaker and author.“I always found pleasure in playing around with words and, at the age of 12, I had developed my love for writing, reading novels and nursery rhymes,” she said.By the age of 15, she said that she started taking her passion for writing seriously by composing and performing poems from established authors at school. “I’ve always had that creative desire to conceptualise the world before communicating to others,” said Ngcobo.She said that she’s grateful to be a result of a little girl that was raised by a single parent at a place where her roots are buried. “I appreciate the experiences and challenges I have encountered throughout because they are what have shaped me to being the well-grounded and motivated young woman I am today,” she explained.Ngcobo launched Amaloba, The Traces in May saying that, after over five years endlessly working on the book, she now felt that her work has matured and is ready for a much greater audience. “That is why I felt the urge to launch Amaloba, The Traces, but all this would not have been possible without the support of my mentors such as Edmund Qhawelenkosi Mhlongo, Mzwakhe Mbuli, Dr Gcina Mhlophe and Ps Makhathini who have put in much of their efforts in ensuring that this book becomes a success,”she said.Ngcobo described her book as an intriguing collection of poems written since 2006, saying; “It takes you on a compelling journey, introducing you to characters that will make you laugh, cry and be inspired.”Her message to aspiring authors is that they should get down all their ideas onto paper, no matter how disorganised or crappy they may seem. “You’re only half done the moment you take initiative; believe in the power of dreams no matter how impossible it may seem. You may not see the whole staircase but a journey of a thousand miles does begin with one step at a time,” said Ngcobo.