Mafahleni magic

Noth­ing is go­ing to stop Eland­skop poet now

The Witness - - BOOKS & ENTERTAINMENT - VUYELWA MTOLO

BONGEKA­Zuma,­bet­ter­knownto­her­fans­as­Mafahleni­Wesizwe,­has­re­leased­her­first­po­et­ryal­bum,­An­gizikhethe­langa (whichroughly­ trans­lated­ means­ “Ididn’t­choose­it”). The­Eland­skop­res­i­dent­start­ed­cre­at­ing­ her­ spe­cial­ rhymes­ in2008,­but­it­wasn’t­un­til­2012­that­she­made­it­big. “I­used­to­rep­re­sent­schools­in­com­pe­ti­tions.­Then­in­2012­I­wascho­sen­to­rep­re­sent­South­Africa­in­France,”­she­said. Three­ years­ later,­ in­ 2015,she­rep­re­sented­SA­in­Italy. “I­ used­ to­ en­ter­ com­pe­ti­tion­sput­ up­ by­ the­ Depart­ment­of­Arts­and­Cul­ture,­and­would­al­ways­get­first­or­sec­ond­po­si­tion.­ I­ never­ aimed­ for­ any­thing­less,”­Zuma­said.

Now­ do­ing­ her­ sec­ond­ year­ in­of­fice­ ad­min­is­tra­tion,­ the­ TVETs­tu­dent­ said­ it­ was­ her­ pri­ma­ryschool­teacher­who­iden­ti­fied­her­tal­ent.

She­ has­ since­ gone­ on­ to­ win­ prizes­ at­ the­ KZN­ Cap­i­tal­ MaskandiAwards­ as­ she­ felt­ she­ wanted­ to­ do­more­with­her­po­etry.

“I­won­the­best­mes­sage­in­recit­ing­po­etry­in­2016,­and­in­2017­I­won­thebest­po­etry­award,”­Zuma­said.

She­was­ini­tially­re­luc­tant­to­re­leasea­CD­be­cause­of­piracy­is­sues­and­the­fact­that­peo­ple­don’t­tend­to­buy­mu­si­con­that­for­mat­any­more.

“The­All­Na­tion­Chris­tian­Church­in­Zion­do­nated­money­for­me­to­recor­dat­the­stu­dio,­and­they­also­spon­soredmy­trips­to­Swazi­land,”­Zuma­said.

“A­lot­of­peo­ple­wanted­to­buy­myal­bum,­but­due­to­piracy­and­hard­copies­not­sell­ing­as­much­as­they­used­to,I­only­re­lease­100­copies­ev­ery­time.

“My­CD­was­launched­on­March­26,and­Swazi­land­has­bought­more­copi­esthan­my­home­town­Pi­eter­mar­itzburghas.”Her­hope­now­is­to­sell­4­000­copies. “Noth­ing­ is­ go­ing­ to­ stop­ me­ be­cause­I­have­the­full­sup­port­of­my­fam­ily,”­she­said.­“I­live­in­a­sin­gle­par­en­t­house­hold,­but­my­mom­is­very­sup­port­ive­and­ she­ is­ very­ happy­ with­ my­achieve­ments.

“She­says­I’m­not­just­her­child­alone,­ but­a­child­of­the­na­tion­now.”

The­young­poet­is­also­keen­to­give­back­to­her­com­mu­nity.

She­ has­ al­ready­ given­ Christ­mas­clothes­and­gro­ceries­to­needy­chil­dren­fol­low­ing­an­event­in­the­Vulindlela­hallin­Eland­skop,­but­a­lack­of­funds­meantshe­could­only­help­two­chil­dren­witha­back-to-school­pack­age.

“As­it­[the­money]­came­out­of­mypocket­and­I­couldn’t­af­ford­to­spon­sor­more­chil­dren,”­she­said.

Her­dream­is­to­open­a­cen­tre­for­chil­dren­where­she­will­help­them­re­alisetheir­tal­ent­and­de­velop­it.

“I­teach­dance­at­schools­for­the­dis­abled,”­she­said,­adding­that­these­class­eswill­ re­sume­ in­ Au­gust­ when­ she­ is­not­busy­with­col­lege­work.

“I­would­love­to­open­a­cen­tre,­es­pe­cial­ly­for­ dis­abled­ chil­dren,­ where­ Iteach­them­dance­and­where­they­cando­more­with­their­tal­ent,”­she­said.

Zuma’s­al­bum­is­a­com­bi­na­tion­of­praise­and­cre­ative­po­etry,­and­it­fea­tures­maskandi­ mu­si­cian­ Is­ingqazuSen­sizwa.

To­pur­chase­her­CD,­con­tact­her­vi­a­her­Face­book­page:­Bongeka­Mbongi­kazi­Mafahleni.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Bongeka Zuma has re­leased her first po­etry al­bum. DRAKONDALE Girls Choir School will be tak­ing part in the World Choir Games in Tsh­wane in July. This pres­ti­gious com­pe­ti­tion sees thou­sands of singers from around the globe gather for two weeks of...

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