Interview: Conelius Jones


1. When you changed your stage name to Conelius Jones, it was more than just the name that changed; you re-invented your styleand walked away with the King of the Mic titletwice. What inspired the change and what effect has it had on you as a poet?
I started off by trying to sound like all the poets that I admired, and so I felt that it was time for me to find my own voice. This has made me realise that it’s important to tell your own story in your own unique way.

2. How is Conelius Jones different from Sbu Simelane?
Conelius Jones is a more daring individual, he lives beyond all the fears that sometimes confine Sbu.

3. What challenges do you face as a full time artist and what keeps you motivated even in those times?
There’s obviously the challenge of trying to make a comfortable living from your craft. What keeps me motivated to write is remembering why I started writing and also just the passion and love I have for words.

4. Do you feel that poetry can be a sustainable industry?
Yes, it begins with us, we must start treating it like a business and not something that we just do because we are good at it, we must be willing to educate the public as well in order for certain perceptions around poetry to change.

5. What inspired your poem titled, “Never Meant To Stay”
I wanted this poem to be my last love poem, it then evolved into a story about a soldier whose only purpose is to serve his people, and now he had to explain to the woman that he fell in love with that he was never meant to stay.

6. What misconception do you find people have of you?
I like keeping to myself and I’m not really talkative, that has often lead people to believe that I’m an arrogant person.

7. Why do you hate being referred to as a ‘pretty boy’?
I’m mostly opposed to the stereotypes that come with being labelled as “pretty boy”, and such labels are also the reason for a lot of misconceptions about a person.

8. What do you think of competitive poetry?
Competitive poetry has helped me understand my self better as an artist, like how to use the pressure to my advantage. There’s no denying that we are inherently competetive as human beings, the thought of being the best intrigues us all but the art obviously becomes tainted when the love isn’t there anymore.

9. Who would you go up against in your ultimate slam and why would you win it?
Wow…I would go against Mak Manaka, I’m an absolute fan of his work. Why would I win? I really don’t know how to answer that without sounding disrespectful, all I can say is I wouldn’t allow myself to lose.

10. This is your first showcase on the Word N Sound stage, what can people expect from you?
A captivating performance, thought provoking poetry, and a full on Conelius Jones experience.

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