Turning pain into poetry

By Izibele Mhlomi

The 25-year-old award winning Poet, Seluleko Chiya aka Seluna Imbongi Yabantu was born and bred in Ndwebu a small township in KwaZulu-Natal. It was very unfortunate that he lost his parents at a very young and tender age and was then raised by his grandmother. Because he knew what it was to be consumed by hunger, he made sure that he would do everything in his power to fulfil his dreams and aspirations.

He studied Arts and Design at Lovedale College and is currently doing an internship in the field. He has always been a writer as heart; he started writing as early as 15 years and describes it as an escape from reality and a way of expressing his emotions.

His drive and ambition enabled him to take his talent seriously and put himself out there and because of that, he managed to get recognition and was offered an interview by Fort Hare FM. That interview was his breakthrough because bookings started coming in. His first performance was at an event at the University of Fort Hare.

He also started working with various radio stations, to mention a few: Inanda FM, Ntokozo FM, Isambulo FM and Siyathuthuka FM. He did not stop there, he also entered for competitions. There was this one competition in Pietermaritzburg where he won first place and received his first award. He was also nominated for the South African Poetry Awards and received an award for uNgoti Male Performer.

He said, “The pain of growing up without my parents is what kept me pushing through life’s difficulties and I’m sure that if they were alive they would be proud of what I have accomplished so far”.

“I’m sure that I still have a long way to go but I’m definitely headed towards the right direction. Through my work I wish that I can be an inspiration to others and show them that you can still succeed regardless of your background. All you need is to work hard and grab every opportunity presented to you”, he adds.

He is currently working on an album that will be coming out sometime this month and on the album he works with the likes of Khanya Mzwelisha, Sobs Melane, Nkosinathi Tshinga, Lisa Bizani and Attitude P.

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