Sinazo Ngxabani (Zoe) shares her journey in the poetry world
My name is Sinazo Ngxabani ( Zoe) in the poetry world. I was born in South Africa to parents Nompumelelo Kupa (diseased) and Luyanda Ngxabani who is a writer. When I was younger, my father had a typewriter and I used to tap it, I dint really know what it was for yet it intrigued me.
My late uncle, Edwin who was quite a scholar, on Saturdays we’d board a train and he’d take me to the Cape Town city library, where I’d choose the books I wanted to read for the week ahead and we’d have hot dogs and ice cream afterwards, I lived for that.
My aunt Nolundi Kupa is a qualified artist and there were always clay pots and art that she had worked on around my grandparent’s home, one of her pieces is in New Zealand and one is in the Anne Bryant art museum in East London, South Africa and my grandmother, Gladys Kupa was a teacher, she always quizzed me and played crossword puzzles with me and made me read during the holidays.
When my mother and father separated I was eight years old and a few years later my mother died from cancer and that entire experience shattered my world in its entirety and I couldn’t cope so I began to write on my journal every day; this felt like a major release of an ejaculation of pent up emotions and suddenly I was bleeding them onto paper and my journal was asking me no questions, it was just simply listening to what I had to say and allowed me to tell it all without holding back and I was writing in poetry form all my grief.
When I got to Milnerton High school in the early 2000’s I met friends with similar interests as mine and we’d read books and rotate them amongst each other and I selected photography as a course and they were writers for the school news magazine called “The Pharaohs” I had my first poetry published in that magazine and later in the school end year books.
I’m inspired by poets like Pablo Neruda, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Maya Angelou and Emily Dickinson but Sylvia Plath stole my heart and soul, her undying love for the craft of poetry is impeccable and I draw great inspiration from her works and I find that I relate relatively well to her poetry as she was plagued by anxiety and depression which then later led to her unforgettable tragic suicide.
In late 2021 I was invited as one of the young and upcoming poets and writers in south Africa to be interviewed on a radio show called Uncwadi Nemibongo on Alfred Nzo Community radio station and I was asked why do I write? And I simply replied with a quote by – Maya Angelou ‘’Never bare an untold story inside of you”. The other quote I live by is the following; ‘’I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life” – Sylvia Plath
I have collaborated with Rafik Romdhani who is from North Africa (Tunisia) who is the author of The dance of the metaphors and newly released The crash of the verses, which is absolutely mind blowing and its available on Clan Witch. We are working on a project titled Poetic Visions which should be completed and published within this year.
I have worked with Bryan Lipkinz, Ryan Barquist and Matt white (The sacred_soulz) who co-authored the book A Shadow’s Inferno they are from the USA, they’re all superbly talented writers who have crafted some of the most outstanding poetry with impeccable storytelling and writing.
I am currently working on my personal project titled Tear the sun which will be my first solo book of poetry prose and I have put my heart and soul into it, it is literally my blood sweat and tears soaked in raw emotions and colourful sorrow, it is my poetic pill for those who are in need of it and I’m also working on five anthologies, I have received certificates of recognition from The United Poets at Heart and from The Temple of Impeccable Writers and the rest is still unwritten.
IF I WERE A GAMBLER
If I were a gambler, I’d gamble and dabble in poetry
I’d craft rhymes like it was poker night.
Dealing and wheeling sonnets like a top affiliate
I’d squash all the loser’s dreams with my metaphors.
I’d cash in all the alliterations like they were chips.
I’d launder stashes of haikus like they were cold hard cash,
From the Ace of spades, king of hearts to
Queen of diamonds.
Rolling prose like a dice
I’d focus on my rhythm like cards to my chest
Doing what I do best
Betting on my prose like it’s a test
While knitting verses like blackjack
I’d call at every imagery and fold at every personification.
Recite poetry pieces at every blackjack table
And have the gamblers eating at my humble table
Of decadent Limericks with silver golden letters as forks
Watching them falling for my every word choice
Like a humble audience
Watching my flow like a rolling dice.
Here’s my advice-
Play the game, don’t lose your rhyme, keep your rhythm.
Have some scotch!
It’s a gamble, just don’t forget the people,
Always be humble.
VERSES IN THE DEEP
The ocean listens to mother earth speak
of abyssal sources;
Thermal vents babble energetically-
salty sea convenes with fires beneath
to dream a dream of poetry
Magma warms the ocean’s bosom–
Mantle blowing off it’s steam steady;
not Volcano’s scene
I lost all my treasures that once brought me pleasure
Consumed by the pressure;
Yet I long to sear despite the measure,
To play hot and cold in the water’s abode
Drown ablaze – tantalized and crazed by fortunes of old
and answers to mysteries yet untold
I would swim further than deep;
I’d swim the Pacific,the Atlantic and the Indian
in it’s depth just to find my lost poetry.
Time has sunk with Poseidon’s face,
the Titanic’s tragedies have surfaced,
(yet I’m compelled to stay to see you have your day.)
Pirates have roamed and conquered the seas
I’ve searched far and wide beneath
the wrecks, reefs, trenches, and beyond
Could it be mother earth speaking (grow)
You went and hid within the walls of Ocean’s meanings;
I’ve searched far and wide for you in brooks.
Did the gale tear your flesh from the fish?
Or toss you against the rocks?
Did they make cocktails from the blood and salt scraped off?
Did crustaceans feast on secrets shattered,
then scattered through ancient currents’ means?
Or did the weight of the world doom you
to cast shadows for eternity on the sands that lie beneath?
Could you be hiding until the moon unveils itself in the evening,
And gravity’s dance weaves tides to slip rocks’ watery dress a little lower;
Where you both share silver secrets In the dark
Like two lovers on a rendezvous
Partaking in clandestine talks with eyes over shoulders, watching for sharks?
Could you be in the belly of a fish
To find you is my greatest wish
I thought I heard a rumble,
It sounded like verses in the deep.
Like waves that speak of the beauty
to bring whales to their knees;
Like ripples in the wind summoned
to calm the storm in my mind;
Memories of soft and steady held dear
While waiting for the turbulence to subside.