“Poetry has been my quiet friend” – Vuyelwa Maluleke


When you first hear of the concept behind Chris Redmond’s Tongue Fu shows, you think it near impossible to get right. It takes a truly exceptional artist to perform seamlessly with a band who has never played together…or even met.

When the task of curating such a show was thrown our way, we knew former Purple Jupiter member, Vuyelwa Maluleka would be up for the challnge. But we were never ready for the show she put on for us.

Tell us about this performance? Was there anything special for you? Did you enjoy it?
I remember leading up to the performance feeling like I made a big mistake saying yes. I hate change, but change is the only way my work can move, it is how I work. I mean that I am an artist so I am supposed to be adaptable, to try things. But I was terrified, kept saying it and was so surprised that I loved every moment, how much fun it was.

What has been your highlight as a poet this year?
This has been the year for acting for me, moving into a new medium- television has been challenging and rewarding in the lessons it has given me about how I like to make work and what kind of work I’m interested in.

I was also shortlisted for the Brunel African poetry Prize and by this time next year I will have a chapbook to share. Poetry has been my quiet friend this year, i’ve read more than I’ve watched and I’ve been observing more than I’ve been doing. I believe in that ‘thinking, seeing, feeling’ break.

Which poet have you really enjoyed hearing/reading/watching this year? Who should we be looking out for?
Because I’ve focused my year on acting , I am so disconnected from the current climate of Joburg spoken word. When I say I’ve been reading, I have been reading, right now, Sonia Sanchez, Sandra Cisneros and Junot Diaz.

Who would you love to share a stage with and why?
I don’t know, I feel like collaborations in poetry is rare and lovely and time consuming and rare and rare.

Are you working on any interesting projects?
I am working on a show called ‘Ketekang that will be showing at the Market Theatre, i can’t wait!

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