“Time” writing competition: Interview with Rethabile Sindi

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Rethabile Sindi is one of the three winners of  LitNet's “Time” writing competition.

Skryfkompetisie – Tyd: Hier is die wenners!

A new beginning

Time to stop xenophobia.
Time to let me wear my black skin with pride.
Time to have pride in my dreadlocks,
because that’s the only crown I will ever wear.
Time to hear the rhythm in the click of my Xhosa.
Time to stop measuring the voice of my soul,
because I was born black, curvy and proud.

In a world like this there is no time to waste on pride
because I am
Black Magic ...


Who is Rethabile Sindi?

I am a 16-year-old grade 11 learner at Northern Cape High School in Kimberley. I am the eldest of three children. We live with my grandparents who act in the place of my parents.

You are one of the winners of a poetry competition on LitNet. What inspired you to write your poem "A new beginning"?

I take Afrikaans as home language. Being the only black student in my class I wanted to highlight what makes me stand out in a crowd.

How did your writing process work in the writing of this specific poem? Did you think about it for a long time before writing it down, or did you write it over a period of time?

I heard about the competition on time, but because I work better under pressure I kept on procrastinating. My teacher reminded us about the closing date, but I wrote the poem the night before the due date.

Since when have you been writing poetry? Can you remember your first poem or the inspiration behind the poem?

I have performed poetry since grade 3, but I had never written a poem of my own. I wrote my first poem when I was in grade 7 and it was published in my school’s newspaper. The poem was about my dream that one day my maths teacher would either forget how to do maths or not come to school. I really hated maths.

Do you read other poetry, and does it help you with your own poetry? Do you have a favourite poet?

I love reading poetry. My favourite poet is Ingrid Jonker. 

Also read

“Tyd”-skryfkompetisie: Onderhoud met Eunice Basson

“Tyd”-skryfkompetisie: Onderhoud met Johan Kotze

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