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I was a quiet person mostly withdrawn never liked big crowds even though the school I went to, Eunice, was a big    school.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.


Favourite books?

  • 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


Favourite film?

Dairy of A Mad Black Woman by Tyler Perry


Favourite song?

  • Soldier by Erykah Badu
  • Everything is everything by Lauryn Hill


You can read all of her work  HERE

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Chat with Thibz



“Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.”

Tell us one thing about yourself
I didn’t grow up, I tumbled up.

What were you like at school?
I was naughty – an attention seeker. A primary school teacher called me a busy body because I had a lot of energy.

Since you write in English, were you good at it?
Yes, it was my strongest subject in high school.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to be great enough to maintain a following.

Does it matter to you that it comes now or later or like Kafka, posthumously?
Yes it does slightly. I’d prefer it if it happened while I was still alive to witness what my body of work means to people, what right I’ve done and so on, just to know what people like about it. If, however, I manage to publish something, then I feel I have managed to leave something on earth forever. Its how I see it.

Which writer’s inspire you? Why?
I’m inspired by lyricist like Nas and Lupe Fiasco. They are unapologetic about what they find to be worthy or “hip” to talk about at any given time. I like that.

Do you strive to be like that in your writing?

Yes I do. Being unique (or stubborn) in a world of people who are trying to be like each other is refreshing. I don’t want to write like anybody or rather, express myself about a common topic in the same way somebody else does. I want to be that different that I become unpredictable in how I write.

What are you working on at the moment?

Poems About Her : Short stories and Poetry by Thibz

About Her? A specific “her”?
The term “her” is used universally here. I’m writing about women in different types of instances. I’m talking about women that cheat, abused women, independent, beautiful women, high-achieving women and so on. All of these women make up the “her” in my title. I’m honouring women. There’s no life/living without them.

Why do you write? Like, what made you sit down and actually start writing?

A feeling made me sit down and try it out. Then someone said I was pretty good.

And what was this feeling?
I don’t really understand it but I recognize it when I feel it. It nags me to write something, anything, down. It may even develop into guilt if I don’t act on it, telling me I’m wasting an opportunity to jot something unique, honest or special down. The feeling may even be passion. I don’t fully know yet.

Do you write on typewriter, pc, dictate or by hand?
By hand

Why? Is there like a special thing that happens when you write by hand that doesn’t happen when you use the other methods?
I don’t trust technology, first of all! I feel like adding a pc or laptop between myself and my writing is like an extra hurdle to overcome on top of the difficulties I already face when I write something down. I’m trying to be as close to the writing process as possible, and any instrument that’s more fussy than a pen and paper is really an intrusion. Haha. I haven’t tried a type writer yet.

Where do your ideas come from?

Emotion mostly but images from the books I read, movies and the pictures painted by lyricists in music.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Explaining exactly what I feel.

How come?
I want the reader to feel what you felt when I was writing the poem or short story down. Its almost as if I want to put the reader within my heart and make them understand, with my descriptions, what it is I’m going through, beat by beat. If people comment on my imagery or the intensity of my words for example, then I feel like I’ve succeeded. I want you to feel what I feel. That’s the whole point, to take you with me through what I feel.

Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you get through it?

Yes I do. I just walk away from the piece completely. Come back to it some other time.

Do you read much and if so, who are your favourite authors?
Not enough. Lee Child. I like thrillers.

Which celebrated person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?

I would like to meet somebody menacing or notorious such as Hitler, Joseph Kony or Al Capone to try and understand their train of thought or to try and understand at what point did they decide that it was okay for them to do what they did. I would do my best to enter their psychosis to see what they see and hear the story from their side. The things we know and can explain are all well but to truly expand our knowledge of the world we need to go to uncomfortable places.

Favourite book?
Tale of Two Cities, still. *laughs*

A Tale of Two Cities? Why?

Honestly speaking, the first time I read A tale if two cities I was in awe of how Dickens brought the coincidences or consequences of the characters to a full circle much later in the book. He made it possible understand how the world can be a small place indeed. I found it genius. The character Sydney Carton was my favourite. He had flaws that dragged him down but was intelligent and selfless. His sacrifice out love for a woman was something I didn’t see coming, amongst other great surprises in the book.

Favourite film?
I can’t remember. Any movie that shifts me conceptually and emotionally gets my vote. Anything from “Be kind, rewind” to Seven Pounds.

Favourite song?

“…I’m thinking ’bout plotting a scheme Ma plotting a scheme!”


You can read all of his work HERE

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