Damn, I love this city.
Damn, I love this city.
Siza Nkosi is a published poet, writer, lyricist, guitarist and a mother who has shared pages of her life-stories on stages with renowned poets and artists. She currently works as an IT Networking Specialist. Her journey as a poet and writer started in 2006, when she was discovered by Abdul Milazi – Editor of Sunday World – at her sister’s funeral. She wrote a poem to pay tribute to her sister at the back of the funeral programme and since then, she has never looked back and her love for poetry was unearthed.
She is currently co-ordinating two book clubs in Dube, Soweto where young people are afforded a space and platform to learn how to read and write their own stories. Siza’s poetry has grown from strength to strength, and has motivated her to become one of the first women to fuse poetry with the acoustic sounds of a guitar and explore the connection between poetry and jazz. She is the founding member of House of Siza, an NPO that seeks to change people’s lives through literature, and empower them to tell their stories in their own languages. She’s a resident poet for the MoFaya Poetry Movement,in Randburg, where poets meet every quarter to share and connect with others. She is also a member of Divulge – a creative space for artists to share, connect and network on their projects. In 2007, she was one of the finalists in the international poet of the year competition in Michigan, USA. In 2013, she was part of the Spoken Word Project that was organised under the auspices of Goethe Institute – Johannesburg, where ten South African poets showcased their spoken word skills and engaged audiences in a torrent of words and stories. She also took part in the 2012 and 2014 Polokwane Literary Festival and 2014 Northern Cape Literary Festival as well as the Vhembe International Poetry Festival in 2015. Her work has been published in the Timbila Journal, the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology for 2014 and other online poetry journals; She’s written articles featured in magazines like Urban Tymes California and has recently shared her poetry on Poetry in the air on SAfm with Myesha Jenkins. Her work has also been recently featured in Poetry Potion’s 21 Poets project that used poetry to track the story of South Africa, 21 years after democracy.
The texture and quality of her work is informed by real life experiences and stories that narrate the realities of people around her. Since education is her passion, she has to enrolled with UNISA for a law degree (LLB). She is currently working on her debut collection of poems which will be published in the last quarter of 2015.
Her poem, “Try Not To Mourn”, is featured in The #Coinage Book One.
You can keep up-to-date with the House of Siza, here.
Wanda Verster is an architect, an academic and a writer (in training). She lives in Bloemfontein and is deeply connected to this strange central town that tries to be a city. She developed a love for stories through the influence of her Grandparents, who loved history, her mother who read to her from an early age and her father who stocked their house with great literary works.
Wanda is published as an academic writer but this is the first fiction that has been accepted for publication. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing short stories since her school days. Her training as a writer was strictly academic, through her studies in architecture and Art history. As with most lecturers, a bit of formality always sneaks in when she tries her hand at writing anything other than fact-driven arguments.
Her published work is limited to the academic world. She has written research articles for the South African Journal of Art history and has contributed to architectural publications.
She writes sporadically between grading assignments and submitting plans and aspires to have more creative writing published in future. She does have half a novel on a hard drive and a few loose ideas for other essays and short stories, but her current writing project is sadly not a creative work. It is the time-consuming painful slog of a Ph.D
. All Wanda’s creative writing is fuelled by vast amounts of coffee, procrastination and a desire for a creative outlet.
Footnote was inspired by the lecturers that shaped her career, a few imagined scenes and a love for the world of academics.
Mandisi is a drummer and composer, who moonlights as a writer. He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa, and spends most of his time beating drums and jump-starting his career as a songwriter. While he is more focused on his music career, he remains incurably addicted to writing and, due to this affliction, Mandisi skulks off, from time to time, and writes until he has had his fix.
King Charlatan, his poem featured in The #Coinage book One, is a highly-charged commentary on the morally ambiguous political parties in South Africa. The titled is derived from a notable and favourite novel of Mandisi’s by China Miéville, King Rat.
Mandisi’s fictional pieces haven previously been published in Sable LitMag and AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers and Unconventional Fantasy: Forty Years of World Fantasy.
Twitter, or Instagram, is the best way to keep up with Mandisi, however, one is likely to be bombarded with links to his music, band performances, esoteric music as well as random politically incorrect banter and strong anti-establishment sentiments *I like – Try*. Follow at own risk as Mandisi is not to be held liable for any brain damage incurred. He also takes zero responsibility if offended.
Robyn-Jade Hosking was born in 1991 in Fish Hoek, a sleepy seaside suburb nestled in the Cape Peninsula, but spent most of her childhood and teenage years surrounded by the lush forests of Knysna after relocating to the Garden Route. She has since moved back to Cape Town and currently manages an art gallery in Muizenberg. She is studying Theory of Literature and Art History through Unisa.
Robyn-Jade has been writing poetry and songs since before she can remember, and has maintained a lifelong love affair with the English language. She has recently only started submitting her work to poetry competitions and publications. Her poetry explores a variety of themes including human relationships, questions of identity and the mind’s capacity for escapism. Most of her more recent works focus on the relationship between self and surroundings. There is no revelation is a meditation on the relationship between sexuality and spirituality, reflecting that instances of enlightenment are not always explosive revelations, but can blossom gradually in the subtle moments of intimacy between lovers.
Poets that have inspired Robyn-Jade and influenced her work include T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, Sylvia Plath and Peter Clarke. She is also greatly influenced by visual art and music and believes that all artistic disciplines go hand in hand. She is a compulsive lyricist and has collaborated with her sister singer-songwriter Maya-Rose Torrão on several songs, with more to come. She writes prose as well as poetry, and tries to find time to work on short stories between balancing work and studies. She also makes and sells collage earrings, paints and writes online book reviews to supplement her income.
Robyn-Jade’s poem “There is No Revelation” appears in The #Coinage Book One
I know you’re going to want to see this letter
Wishing for comfort
Feeling confused because they said they love you
Feeling like you have everything to say
but no one has asked you,
Or you’ve run out of people to tell,
Or people to call,
Or people to take calls from…
I know you’re going to come out of this
And go into it again
And ask yourself
If you are,
And who you are,
And how you came to be
And what it all means…
I know it feels like
They all eventually leave
(Keep a door open)
I know you have to get up
And sit down without
Witnesses and enquiry
I know you look for affection
I know it feels unfair
I know you’re looking for this letter
Well then write to yourself
Write for yourself
And find out you’re enough just the way you are
To your pain,
They’ll come back,
And you’ll wonder why they do this all the time
Let them be as they may.
I know what you want to hear
You go too long a time without the words
You go too long a time not saying them
(Who would you say them to? Would they be worth the yolk?)
I know you wish the one phone call
Would come and never cease coming
And while its not, and the hours go by
And so does your life
And you ask yourself your value and your position
And your relevance and your worth
And a new haircut and polished shoes
And a new week by the sound of the alarm
But the words or the phone call
Or the misery or the doubt
Or the consequent self-loathing that go along with it
There are no answers but to answer yourself
I would rather you run without looking back
To a place of fresh start but you’ll always be running
I’d rather you beg but you’ll always be begging
I’d rather you end it all but it will always be over
I know you’re stuck in-between,
encrusted and enveloped,
Wrapped tight and chained
And when you say “help” they ask “come again?”
But I know if you overcome and survive
You’ll not only live but you’ll know what its like to be alive.
– Thibedi Mokgokong | 2015
Khalida is a stay-at-home mom who has little inclination for cooking, sewing or baking. She is a wordsmith and loves the musicality and rhythm of the written word. She is also an avid reader and enjoys sharing good reads. Khalida currently hosts a community book club in the South of Johannesburg.
Her poem was inspired by a need to give voice to the words which have remained silent for too long.
Khalida is interested in narratives which defy social norms. She is attracted to writers who break boundaries around issues which address gender inequality, sex and cultural stereotypes.
She has an obsession with collecting beautiful notebooks which remain ink unstained and instead accumulates bits of paper stringing thoughts into sentences.
When not reading, writing or gardening, Khalida enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids and much adored Scottish terrier.
You can connect with her on Twitter @rosybic
Khalida’s poem “Words Swallowed” appears in The #Coinage Book One