Chat with Thabie
Short background about yourself.
I was born on the 15th of January 1994 in Mafikeng (North West), spent my first two years of life in Pretoria. In 1997, we moved to the City of Roses, Bloemfontein, and I have been living there ever since. I went to Eunice Primary and High School then successfully matriculated at St. Michael’s School for Girls.
What were you like at school?
I was a quiet person mostly withdrawn never liked big crowds even though the school I went to, Eunice, was a big school. I would feel uncomfortable due to the size of the classes. Luckily, in grade 10 I went to a very small Anglican school St. Michael’s. I was the type to spoke when spoken too and stood firm in what I believed in.
Were you a loner, so to speak?
Yes, I was actually a loner most of the time I preferred being alone. My best friend – since grade two – says that I was reserved and quiet, that I had strong values and views I stood by. She said I could be very silly at times and loved to laugh even when things weren’t so great, a very guarded person, a fighter that was hopeful about the future.
Since you write in English, were you good at it?
At first no, I wasn’t good in English, my Afrikaans was more fluent. Attending English medium schools for 12 years helped me to be more fluent in English, now the tables have turned I am more fluent in English than I am in Afrikaans. I even write better in English than in Afrikaans.
Have you written anything in Afrikaans?
No, not really I haven’t written an entire poem or a short story in Afrikaans however, I would add an Afrikaans sentence in a poem or even a stanza but I have never written an entire piece in Afrikaans.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to use my writing skills and pursue a career in print media.
At the moment I am working towards a diploma in Journalism and hopefully in the near future I will be a journalist specialising in investigative reporting on print media. I would also like to publish an anthology of poems and a novel.
So, you write both fiction and non-fiction? Which do you prefer? Why?
I enjoy writing both I have no preference over the other.
Which writers inspire you? Why?
My favourite South African authors are:
- Lebogang Mashile
- Zakes Mda
- Professor Pitika Ntuli
- Malika Ndlovu
- Phillippa Yaa De Villiers
Overseas authors I like are:
- Robin Sharma
- Erica James
- Jodi Picoult
The reason I look up to these authors is their excellency in writing and how humble they are especially when they are greatly renounced and well known. At times they inspire the work I do as well.
Would you say your writing is similar to theirs?
No, I wouldn’t say that my work is similar to theirs, they just serve as an inspiration to me.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am trying to publish my anthology of poems.
I am also trying to complete my qualification in journalism.
How much longer ’till you complete your studies?
I have a year left in completing my studies.
Why do you write? As in what made you sit down and actually start writing?
The experiences one went through in life. Attending an all girls school for 12 years was never easy, the writing started by jotting down my thoughts and experiences.
What was not easy about attending an all girl’s school?
The difficult part of being in an all girls school are the cliques that are formed over the years which may result to bullying if a certain individual or individuals that don’t “fit in” a specific clique.
Girls in general tend to be offish with each other due to the competitive spirit girls posses that may also lead to bullying.
Do you write on typewriter, dictate or by hand?
I prefer old school I depict on hand.
Where do your ideas come from?
I get my ideas from life experiences, other peoples experiences and life itself.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest most challenging thing about writing especially as an upcoming is getting recognition for your work; as well as getting people to understand your perspective and not misinterpret the work that one has written.
Does that happen a lot, the part where people misinterpret or misunderstand your work? Why do you think that happens?
It does happen that people misinterpret my work especially when it comes to poetry. Poetry consists of metaphors and similies due to that, some consider poetry as vague because it isn’t written in straight forward language; a lot of imagery is used, therefore it is bound that a reader will misinterpret a poem. A primary example can be of Shakespeare’s poetry,for many decades his work has been circulating within schools and tertiary institutions. Students, lecturers and teachers try to interpret Shakespeare’s work as close as possible to its original meaning because it is only Shakespeare that knows what was going on in his head and what exactly inspired him when he was writing those poems and he is the only one who knows the exact meaning behind his poetry.
Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you get through it?
I believe that every writer experiences a writers block, the way I overcome a writers block is I just leave my work there incomplete until inspiration hits me again.
Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
I read but I would love to read more and more. Apart from poetry I love reading Novels written by Jodi Picoult, Erica James and Robin Sharma.
- Tumble Turn by Natalie du Toit
- Capitalist Nigger by Chika Onyeani
- The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
- My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Dairy of A Mad Black Woman by Tyler Perry
- Soldier by Erykah Badu
- Everything is everything by Lauryn Hill
You can read all of her work HERE