Hello everyone. I’ve with me a friend and African brother who is passionate about poetry and his motherland.
Please let’s welcome Njabulo Nkambule, a poet from eSwatini. I admire his work so much and if you follow my blog you might have seen a couple of his poems. So on this post I’ll be asking him some questions on his private life and of course his work.
OI: Welcome Njabulo. Can we get to know you better?
NN: Well, I’m Njabulo Nkambule from the Kingdom of Eswatini. Currently, I’m a student at the University of Eswatini studying Journalism and Mass Communication. I’m one person who admires and love art. I breathe it.
OI: Tell us more about your work.
NN: Talking about my work, there’s still a lot to be done and maybe discovered in the near future. But for now, I do both music and poetry. Like I had said, I breath art, I eat it, I live through art and without I don’t find my self belonging in this universe, I just lose the sense of belonging. I’ve done so much right now, I’ve a lot of poems that I wrote and never shared with anyone. I’ve a collection of poems focusing on daily basis challenges/ issues that are faced by the humankind. I don’t just write anything from the air, I write from the depth of my heart, with my mind focusing on everything, reason I do it’s because I want people to relate to my poems and feel the way I felt when writing that poem.
OI: Each time I read your poems it feels like that of black American freedom fighters. Do you think poetry can play a role in gender equality and freedom fighting?
NN: I believe poetry can play a major role in changing the society, changing people’s perception as how they look at things. Poetry can help achieve gender equality. Words are a powerful weapon. If used well can heal a soul. Poetry is powerful, with it’s words and everything around it, it can change the whole society.
OI: What’s your best work yet?
NN: Since I do both music and poetry, so far I feel like there’s still much that I’ve done. Early this month, I and my brother Mpendulo “Roman Dutch” Mdluli released a 6 tracks EP, a kind of music that we believe it can change someone’s way of thinking, the kind of music that heals a soul. So I’d say that for now, I feel like that project is still my best simply because people still relate to our tracks.
OI: Do you think poetry is over rated in Africa?
NN: For me I feel that poetry is underrated simply because they take us poets serious like they do with actors and musicians.
Poetry is not easy like some may think, it’s not fair to underestimate us, poets, because it’s more like they’re testing our intelligence. Africa still needs to do a lot about this issue.
OI: You know Africa is a musical continent, full of sounds and songs. It’s generally believed that poets can sing. Yet I barely sing and funny enough can only play an instrument called whistle. Can you play any musical instrument? Can you sing?
NN: Haha. For me, I’m only good with the words. I don’t know how to use any musical instrument. I’m one person who’s good with coming up with concepts. That’s my field.
OI: Who’s your favourite writer, poet, the actor?
NN: I love Emily Dickinson’s writings, her poems are simply out of this world, and also Maya Angelou, she’s right. I admire her work. I’m also a big fan of Prince E; hiss professions are out of this world. My favourite is Denzel Washington, simply because he’s just a total package; an actor, a motivator and inspirer. I love his work.
OI: Have you travelled to any African country? If no, where will you like to go first if you have the chance to?
NN: Only my neighbouring countries, South Africa and Mozambique. An African country that I wish to visit one day is either Ghana or Nigeria mainly because those countries feel closer to us now with their entertainment industry being known globally.
OI: What’s your take on grooming young talents on poetry?
NN: When it comes to poetry, we need to groom young people to do more, write poems that people can relate to, not just writing diaries or watching explicit content that can pollute their minds. It helps one to get over something. We need young energy when it comes to poetry.
OI: What do you do when you are not writing poetry?
NN: Nothing much, either writing lyrics or doing school work. It’s a challenging world out there.
OI: I have seen you include the #Wegoodbro slang in your work. Do you want to talk about it?
NN: Yeah, bro… The #WeGoodBro started way back; I think if I was not mistaken in 2015, the goal is to feel good in the eyes of everyone, don’t show your tears in public because you don’t know who is your companion or enemy.
OI: Any advice to fellow African youth?
NN: It’s good that we remain the Africans that we’re supposed to be. Using insults on your craft doesn’t make you better. It’s best always to use words that heal rather than words that kill.
Remember Words can either Kill or Heal…
OI: Can you share links to your work?
You are a fantastic poet. You have a great future ahead of you, and it’s great to have you on my Hangout. I hope to read more of your work. Thanks for your time.