Do you have specific themes that you focus on when writing poetry, or does your focus shift every time you write?
When I write I don’t focus on specific themes on purpose. I have two types of poetry: poetry for me and poetry for the public. Sometimes these two do overlap. When I write for the public I’ll choose [a] relevant theme for that specific event. For instance, if it’s Women’s Day a poem celebrating the magnificent creation that is a woman would be my theme, but for my personal poetry I generally write about whatever is happening in my life at that time and which has moved me enough emotionally.
Do you have a specific writing process?
I honestly wish I had a writing process. Then I would be able to write more and produce a brilliant poem whenever I please, but usually what happens is I get an idea, leave it to ripen in my mind for [a] while and when I think I’m ready I just write anything and everything down on my phone or on a random piece of paper. I then abandon the rough work and return to it later to edit, fix [and] add [elements], but again there is no specific process so it doesn’t always happen this way. The only thing that always happens when I write is that I pray … divine inspiration is the best kind.
What message do you wish to convey to those who hear or read your words?
The message in my poetry is always to unlock people’s potential and show them what they are actually capable of, but in order to do that I also try uncover the ugly things in society and in people with the aim of encouraging [other] people to be better.
Your works that have been recorded and placed on YouTube have been doing really well. How does it feel to have your work heard by such a large number of people?
Seeing myself on YouTube is the coolest thing ever. I’ve never been one to yearn for recognition but the fact that so many people have heard and have hopefully benefitted from my words excites me and make[s] me want to write more and more. I always say that my gift to the world is my words and it is always great when a present is well received.
Do you perform in or around Pretoria regularly?
This year I haven’t been performing at [poetry] slams that much. I have actually been doing quite [a] few corporate events in and around Pretoria. This is great because one gets to see art and business colliding, which is rare but works so well every time. However, I do help organise a slam event every month called Spoken Sessions. This has become my home in terms of poetry.
What advice do you have for those who are interested in writing poetry of their own?
To people who want to write poetry, literally just do it. There’s no wrong or right in this industry. Just write, keep writing and don’t [ever] stop. You will see yourself grow in your work and you are guaranteed to fall in love with words. If you still need a bit of a push, link up with someone who has been writing for a while and get them to give you writing challenges on a monthly basis. This will help you grow as a writer.
Photo: Kaylyn O’ Brien