SFYL: “This will leave a permanent mark on my poetry journey” – Siyabonga Ngcai

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Slam For Your Life finalist, Siyabonga Ngcai, says being a part of South Africa’s first ever national Poetry Slam is a life-changing experience for him.

It’s official! Your province has chosen you to represent them at the first ever Slam For Your Life National Poetry Slam at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Now, how does that feel?
I feel honoured and quite euphoric. This means a lot and will leave a permanent mark on my poetry journey. I appreciate all the support from the people who voted for me, and I give much respect to them.

What was your strategy to get all the many votes that you did?
I just campaigned on Facebook, but again my people kept on sharing the #WordNSound link with their friends on social networks.

What are you most looking forward to and what are you not looking forward to at all?
I am looking forward to interacting, share ideas, experiences and thoughts with the poets from other provinces. I’d really hate to see anything divisive happen, as I feel we are all poets.

Given the chance to speak to sponsors like the British Council who make such projects possible, what would you say to them, as an artist?
I would give much appreciation to them, as poetry is one of the more marginalized art forms in South Africa. This is a big initiative in terms of South African poetry and literature, and is especially beneficial to young, upcoming poets and writers.

Word N Sound is looking to expand our national footprint. Do you have any ideas around how poets and poetry movements across the country can work together better?
Slam For Your Life is a big start, but I feel it should have included all the nine provinces of South Africa not just four.

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