Awards: Apiwe Mjambane


“My poems tell everyday stories in the most childhood reminding manner. I love simplicity.” – Apiwe

Apiwe has been nominated for a Newcomer of the Year Award.

What has been your biggest learning curve in the competition with regards to your  writing or performances?
Before anything, my greatest obstacle was having to put a perfectly imagined and well illustrated concept into written form. And not just your typical story telling, it needed to be in the form of spoken word poetry. I consider myself as the queen of wordblock… nothing ever comes to mind when I need it most. However, with regards to all my previous performances on stage, I have mostly worked with luck, strusbob! A whole lot of luck. I am an easily distracted person. None of my poems have ever been ready to be executed no matter how hard I have practiced. Generally, I think poems have inconsistent personalities of their own. One can never be too sure as to whether a particular piece is ready to be publicly exposed, because poems are delicate and they cannot be forced into practice. I have grown though, Word N Sound is a great disciplinarian… all I need to do now is to be more confident in my delivery. I want the audience to believe in my story telling.

If you could change anything about the slam what would it be?
With a magic wand? I would most likely add to the audience a people who will show more appreciation towards poetry that is not political and aggressive. We should also recognise artists who have a thing for flowers.

What about your poetry do you think sets you apart from the next poet?
Generally, I have a squeaky voice that annoys people…that should set me apart lol. On the real though, I am on a journey to myself… I will probably stop writing when I have arrived. I am yet to write poems that will remind you of another artist and you will be so bored with me. But I believe it is all part of developing as an artist. Though I must say, my poems tell everyday stories in the most childhood reminding manner. I love simplicity.

What does the Best Newcomer Nomination mean to you?
I am honoured really. I do not have enough words to express my gratitude. It was not an easy year for me in terms of writing. The way I had to undergo plastic surgery a couple of times just to write the perfect poem, you have no idea. Thank you for recognising my work.

Should you win the Best Newcomer Title, do you think it will place more or lesser pressure on you to do well in this year’s Open Mic Poetry League?
Whether I win or not, I think I still have the responsibility to
keep up with the standard that I have set up for myself.  Of course it would be great to receive this award but regardless of the outcome I know ukuthi ngizobane swekile manje because I am no longer writing for myself anymore. I have an appreciating audience to appease.

Who were your three favourite poets of 2013 and why?
Kahle kahke Bonga is my favourite poet… but ke we didn’t see much of him  last year. So I’m going for Xongi, she invested a lot  in her craft during the cause of the year.  Mandi, because she is consistent and also because I want to be like her when I grow up.  Lastly it would be rude to not mention Elysuim Garcia…lets just say “you don’t know what it takes for a broken poet to pick up a pen again”

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