GroundUp (Cape Town)

South Africa: Amanda Maboza - Poet From Gugulethu

Amanda Maboza is a 19-year-old poet, from the dusty streets of Gugulethu. A team consisting of her and five other youths from Cape Town's townships came 20th in a poetry competition in California in July 2012.

She also came third in a poetry competition in Tattler newspaper in August 2012. She had a poetry show on Bush radio. She is asked to perform poetry at public events. She has also done a poetry reading at the opening of Parliament. She performed at Ekasi Experience that took place at Lookout Hill in Khayalitsha on Saturday.

She is the second of three children. Her parents sent her to Pinelands primary and high schools. Maboza said, "I realised my love for poetry in grade 9, 2008. I was 15 when I was exposed to the work of the lovely Lebo Mashile [a South Africa Poet]." Currently Maboza is studying education at the University of Western Cape, with majors in English and Psychology.

I asked her what it means to be creative. She responded "Being able to express yourself fully, without the fear of being scrutinized or judged by the masses of society. The type of poems I write are narrations and stories. I narrate and give voice to the untold stories of the silenced. I write non-fictional poems of my own experiences and fictional poems. I get that urge to write, when my pen meets paper I feel a sense of personal liberation. I feel revived as a person. Writing poetry fulfils me, and I believe that as humans we are all suffering from a common disease called life. We have different ways to cure this disease and Poetry is my cure."

She continued, "I am inspired by everything around me. From a crying baby on his mother's back in a mall, to reading about a 90-year-old woman who has fallen victim to a rape situation. Everything inspires me and causes me to pick my pen up, no matter how small or big it is. My message to other young poets is to encourage them to keep writing and to never stop. Poets are healers. Our words can heal nations. They say "the pen is mightier than the sword."

Maboza has her own blog where she shares her poetry.

Here is one of her poems:

I Am A Ghetto Flower

I am a Ghetto Flower

Rooted in Soil which is dark and heavily laden with the stench of Complacency and Helplessness

My stem is rooted here, but my leaves dance with the dangling rays of the Sun

A dance of Hope

A dance of Determination and a dance of Hope, hoping to outgrow the negativity of my environment.

The sky above me is a beautiful picture. Painted with clouds, painting by Fate.

These clouds overshadow my Beauty,these clouds are pregnant with Rain.

A Rain of Hope

A Rain of Purity, which will cleanse me

Cleanse me off my Past, but not remove me,because the Ghetto made me.

I am a Ghetto Flower

My Petals ambitiously wait to sing along to the Song of the Wind.

The Song of Opportunity.

The Song of Change.

Praying for the Wind to disperse and carry me to a better place.

A place where I will be able to fully germinate.

Fully blossom.

A place where I will be able to fully be Me.

But the Soil anchors me.

It holds me and it painfully reminds me that my Seed will forever remain in the Ghetto.

I am a Ghetto Flower.

Deprived and mal-treated, but my Fragrance reeks of Beauty and Hope

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