Ep 1 – Top 5: Bafentse Ntlokoa

S4E1_Bafentse“Nothing quite beautifies the ugly and unbearable in the way that art does.” – Bafentse Ntlokoa

1. What inspired the poem you performed at the last Word N Sound Series and what message were you trying to convey through it?
A few things. Firstly, ‘beautiful like a gaping wound’ is one of my favourite complements to give (and receive though I haven’t ever). It’s not pretty but it’s undressed, it’s vulnerable, it’s messy, it’s inside out and so honest that it can’t help (well to me anyway) but be beautiful. And then it’s my love-hate (mostly love) relationship with romanticism because of how it exaggerates beauty and humans can be so literal in our interpretation that the peeling away of the romance can be very achy but in the same breath it’s also necessary to help us survive ourselves, it’s the orange with the castor oil to clean our insides. And nothing quite beautifies the ugly and unbearable in the way that art does so it’s my ode to that particular art form. It’s also having observed poets transform their deepest pain into the most beautiful art works that inspire life to hold on to itself just a little longer.

2. Take us through your creating process; how the lines come together, the memorizing and performance?
I guess I  listen for the memory of the feeling of what I’m trying to portray and search my mind for the story and the metaphors of how most exciting (for me) I could tell it.

3. Name 3 of your favourite poets currently?
Mutle Mothibe (no bias I swear) he astounds me and keeps getting better all the time. Kagiso Tshepe the imagery that live in dude’s head though and Mandi Poeficient Vundla is an Epic tale for me.

4. Can you take us back to the first time you fell in love with poetry? Can you remember the poem or where this took place?
I was 10 years old, watching the movie Poetic Justice and hearing Janet Jackson reciting Maya Angelo’s phenomenal woman and even more than the phenomenal woman described I felt a deeper desire to have been the author who designed her with words.

5. Name 3 of your favourite books?

  • A Thousand Names For Joy by Byron Katie,
  • Star Book by Ben Okri
  • Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
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