GROWING up in the Khokhwane area in Elandskop, Bongeka “Mbongikazi“Zuma (24) never knew that one day she would become a poet.An office administration second-year student, Zuma released her first CD containing poetry last Wednesday. The CD has 13 poems, which are all Zuma’s original work.Speaking to Echo, Zuma said it was her primary school teacher who identified her talent.“When I was in Grade 7 at Langside Primary School, we used to have a talent show at school every Friday. I chose to do what I thought was motivation but my teacher told me that it was poetry. She told me that I am very talented and that I should continue. Since then I have never looked back.“I started competing with other schools and as I wrote more poems, my love for it grew stronger. Now poetry is my life,”she said.She said that releasing a CD this year was not part of her plans but her fans encouraged her to do it.“Every time I finished a performance they would come running to me, asking for my CD, which I did not have. Because I didn’t want to disappoint them, I took a decision and went to a studio. It took me only two months to finish because I already had so many poems that I had written since last year.“I did not want to disappoint my fans any longer because I am here today because of them. They have been supporting me since I started this journey. I am very grateful for their support. I urge them to continue to support me and I will continue and give them the best.”Zuma said her CD is a combination of praise and creative poetry and it features maskandi musician Isingqazu Sensizwa. “I wanted it to be different that is why I featured a maskandi musician. I wanted it to have an African rhythm because I want to encourage people not to forget their roots. It talks about the things that are happening in our lives, especially the youth. It also praises all the people who helped me through my journey, including my fans.”She said her dream is to become a radio or television presenter of shows that talk about culture or poetry. To purchase Zuma’s CD contact her via her Facebook page: Bongeka Mongikazi Mafahleni.