Last year Lebohang Nova Masango made her mark on the Word N Sound stage with her epic poem ‘To Do List For Africa’. Taking home the Queen of the Mic title several times made her a favorite with the Word N Sound audience and earned her much respect from her peers.
Word N Sound: My poetry is …
Nova: …prayer. It’s a divine way of negotiating the awe and ugly of this living. I write to show my appreciation, to remind myself and to heal. My heart
Who first inspired you to put pen to paper?
It happened at different moments. Somewhere between watching Love Jones (Regie Gibson), reading Lebo Mashile’s I Smoked A Spliff and hearing Jill Scott’s Love Rain. I loved that words could do THAT; could invoke such deep duende. I’ve always loved that something as simple as a word or a line could move and change people.
You are passionate about your studies, how do they influence or feed into your writing?
Anthropology is easily one of my favourite things. I feel so fortunate to have been able to acquire this academically, critical approach that I now have towards this world. The ability to understand and tolerate the plurality of human culture and identities has honestly made a better human being out of me. It has also made a better writer out of me. I can’t pinpoint exactly where the influence of my studies enters the picture because it’s always been such an inherent part of me.
You have won the queen of the mic title before, so what do you make of the notion that women are too scared to slam?
I think it’s ridiculous. As women, we are not a monolith so I can hardly speak for everyone. I just know that I don’t like my art to exist in competitive spaces so perhaps that’s a shared sentiment? If anything, women should see the slam space being male-dominated as an opportunity to introduce new narratives regarding the vast experiences of womanhood. Sharing our stories is so important.
Which of your poems is closest to your heart and why?
Damn. It’s probably A Love Supreme: A Lesson in Poetry Women and Jazz Men. This is why I see my work as prayers. I was in between a break up with a great love and the resulting ugly space and that poem came to me just in time. The ability to turn ugly into awe; it came to me as a saving grace.
What can the WNS fam expect from you on Saturday June 2?
Sincerity and love at work.