I thoroughly enjoy writing. I really do. Since my school days I’ve been told I’m able to tell stories with words pretty well and I’d like to agree. In 2013, while pregnant with my Gabi boo boo, I was asked by a friend/business associate/client and brilliant poet Nthabiseng “JahRose” Jafta to edit a project she was working on. This project was called “Peo Press” and would serve as an extension of a poetry event (Macufe Poetree) including biographies of the night’s performers, a q&a section as well as one piece from each performer.
JahRose was the organizer of Macufe Poetree and if I was to get involved in this project I needed to fully grasp just what I was getting into so attending the actual event was not an option, it was a must. A hip hop artist I previously worked with, 2Nyce aka MoneyNyce, was also billed to perform that night and was in fact the only musician on the line-up. He is also the only musician featured in the “Peo Press”.
Let’s be honest, when people think of poetry for most Shakespeare springs to mind. We forget about performance poetry and just how captivating and attention grabbing it really can be. As a poet, JahRose, is known for her eclectic performances and productions. She changed the way I view poetry. After watching her take to the stage during Macufe Poetree dressed in the most angelic white, I was hooked. And then she began…her voice strategically intensifying in places before dropping to a whisper, ensuring that we were drawn. Let me tell you, that poet was in the deepest kind of Sesotho, I didn’t understand half of what she was saying but boy did I feel it. She sang, she danced, hips swaying to the rhythm of the instruments being played. We were hypnotized!
After seeing her perform, I knew I had to do this. I had to be involved. I would be involved. I’ll be honest and say that I doubted myself as this was the first major book I’d ever actually worked on but I’m always up for a challenge. Funny enough we were both pregnant during that time and with raging hormones, overactive babies kicking in our wombs and ballooning bodies at some point we didn’t like each other very much but we pushed through and put out a great product. I’m proud of myself for seeing it through. It was one hell of an experience.
I was also asked to speak the launch on the book and this is what I had to say…