YOUNG poet from Mpophomeni has been honoured with a recognition award in poetry by Umngeni Municipality during its Mayoral Awards, held last Friday at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick. Siyabonga Mpungose, who is known for his motivating and encouraging poems, said he had no idea that he will be receiving an award from the municipality. UMngeni Municipality falls under Umgungundlovu District and it was the first time they hosted Mayoral Awards. Mpungose said : “I was invited to an event not knowing that I will receive an award. When I got there, there were other artists and well-known people. When I was called up on stage to get my award I was shocked because I did not expect it. It came as a surprise to me. I am so excited and I feel so honoured that people are recognising my talent. I was just doing what I love [poetry] not knowing that I will receive an award from my own municipality. “I am very grateful to Umngeni Municipality. This award means a lot to me and it will motivate me to push even harder in bringing a positive change in our community,” he said. Apart from receiving an award, Mpungose will also be jetting off to Ukraine where he has been invited to attend the Lviv International Book Fair and Literature Festival that will take place from September 19-23. He told Echo that he will represent Africa in this festival since he is the only one who has been selected. He said the opportunity came when he took part in the Poetry Africa International Festival that was held in the University of KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year. “My talent was recognised by Ukraine poet Oksona Rozuma who was very impressed. Actually, he is not the only one who was impressed because there are other poets who asked me to translate my poems for them because I was reciting them in Zulu.“Rozuma then sent me an invite to be part of their festival this year which is happening for the 25th time this year. I didn’t believe it when I received the invite.“I was so excited and I can not wait to be part of this big festival and represent my country,” he said. Mpungose said he plans on representing South Africa by reciting his poems in Zulu and wearing a traditional outfit so that he can be different and stand out.