Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Reporter
Sierra Leone-based poet, S’phongo (real name Tennson Ncube) who recently published an anthology titled Trials is a man out to make a difference through his works.
The anthology is a volume of 21 poems published by the Ubuntu Afro Publishers.
Chronicle Showbiz recently caught up with the artist who hails from Matobo’s eBhada Village. Other than poetry, he is also a spoken word artist and author.
Sharing the inspiration behind the anthology, S’phongo said: “Trials is an acronym for Try It All S’phongo. It was published on the 30th of March this year. Like the title says, I compiled the poems as an attempt at being an author.
The message behind the anthology is that thought can become a tangible object only if you make the choices, take the action, and exercise patience.”
The artist said he developed a passion for writing just after completing his secondary education.
“I started writing in 2013 after I finished high school. My poetry explores different aspects, most being perspectives I have of existence. I also write about issues that affect society like gender-based violence and gender equality,” said S’phongo.
He said he fine-tuned his poetic skills in Harare some years back where he joined hands with others in setting up a poetic cult called The Infinite Council.
“The cult which had members, Valentine Makoni, Eppnogia Mthethwa aka Mystique and Dalitso Ndlovu aka Illuminatus focused more on the spoken word so we never published anything, although we might do so one day. I also collaborated with Albert Nyathi and Khulekani Ndlovu on a poetic performance for the 2020 National Aids Council World Aids Day commemorations.”
S’phongo said while in Harare, he also organized poetry shows and open mics dubbed Speak up Poetry Sessions that gave a lot of up-and-coming artists a platform to be heard.
“These opened the art scene to a lot of young artists who didn’t have access to stages before. Seeing many similar events popup now organized by some artists who attended these sessions shows that we inspired a generation.”
He said he has begun hosting similar shows in Sierra Leone with the hope of telling the African story.
“I’ve also started doing the same here in Freetown and the goal is to get as many young people involved in literary arts. I believe we need more African stories told by Africans and I’m playing my role to ensure we achieve this,” said S’phongo.
He said in five years, he probably will be one of the well-known and respected poets/spoken word artist from Zimbabwe if not Africa.
“In five years, I’ve faith that my poetry will be featured in mainstream media and various platforms. Speak Up will be a well-known poetry brand in the world.
To all the young people out there, I’d like to say nothing is impossible and everything is possible. Your dreams are a choice away – make the choice today, take action, exercise patience and repeat this process,” said S’phongo. _mthire