A Neo Zulu, slam poetry and talking louder than the haters

After attending numerous live shows, taking cold showers and eating camel meat in Chad, the South African National Slam Champion Thuthukani Myeza has come home from Coupe d’Afrique de Slam 2018.

The Neo Zulu, as Thuthukani is popularly known within the South African poetry scene was first inspired through love to compose poetry and is the theme in most of his poems. When he isn’t writing about love, The Neo Zulu uses his work to bleed his feelings with ink onto paper.

The irony of this is how he reflects on how, despite placing second overall, the final of Coupe d’Afrique de Slam crippled him. He speaks with emotion of how the audience at the prestigious event didn’t care for him and how he was hackled by the crowd from as early as the second line of his performance. He further tells of how he had trouble controlling the negative energy during his performance.

This mirrors how Thuthukani references Murphy’s Law to describe his feelings about travelling the continent solo. He speaks of how he slipped into a depression prior to his trip as he felt he was carrying weight that wasn’t his. “I was carrying other people’s hopes on my shoulders.” He goes on to describe returning as “invigorating” because what he missed most was being understood.

Upon his return, the first three things he did was purchase mobile data, take a long warm bath and go to Umuzi. He tells of how Umuzi is a priority to him as it assists him in getting better at his craft and being a step closer to his vision of masterminding the “revolution of African animation and comics.” He wants the world to understand that he is not perfect. His advice to his younger self is: “You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.  Just keep trying,” and we say ok ok, alright alright!

Clayton Bond