Award winning Busisiwe Mahlangu is a poet, a published author, TEDx speaker and an all-round creative. She was born and breed in Mamelodi Township-Pretoria. Busisiwe is the founder of Lwazilubanzi Project, An NPO that uses literature as a tool for learning. She is the author of Surviving Loss. Busisiwe teaches poetry and designs hand-made jewellery.
Her love for poetry and writing emerged at a very tender age during her high school years. She would write poems and perform them here and there. She drew her inspiration from one of the best poets, ‘Napo Mashiyane’. She Says Napo inspired her to do more in the field of performing arts and speak from the heart. Busisiwe’s poetry is mostly described as hard hitting and raw. Most of the time, Busisiwe writes poetry that accommodates and relate to her and everyone who is going through the same issues as her.
Most of her poems revolve around fatherhood. Busisiwe says she write mostly about fathers because she is at a point in her life where she questions her relationship with her father. Her poems are like medicine to an open wound.
Busisiwe has performed her poetry across South Africa. She has performed internationally on a ten-day tour in Sweden. She participated in one of the biggest poetry slams, ‘Tshwane Speak Out Allowed’ and managed to reach the finals. She was the winner of the Mzansi Poetry Academy, National Library of South Africa Poetry week 2017. Busisiwe was long-listed for the Sol-Plaatjie European Union Poetry award in 2017/18. Busisiwe is further part of the cast for When Poetry hit a Fan, directed by Bobby Gordon.
Busisiwe, in partnership with South African State Theatre has recently done a stage production adapted from her book, “Surviving Loss”’. She describes Surviving Loss as a poetry production that challenges the stigma around mental health. She says she chose the title for herself because it is a reminder that anything that she has lost, she has already survived it. Busisiwe uses words and art to battle her psychological issues, to confront her haunting past in search of healing.
Busisiwe told Tsa Pitori that adapting her book to stage was one of the biggest opportunities she has ever received. “When State Theatre called me in and initiated this idea as an incubator program, I knew what I wanted to do”, Busisiwe told Tsa Pitori. She says she always wanted to bring her book, ‘Surviving Loss’ to live. “I already had the script for the play. When the opportunity came, I just did final touches and I was ready”, Busisiwe told Tsa Pitori. She says she always had a wish of seeing her stories/poems come to live.
Busisiwe’s first work in theatre ran at the Joburg theatre in 2016. Surviving Loss is her second theater work. She says there will be more stage plays as soon as she receives funding. She is currently working on promoting her recently published poetry book, both nationally and internationally. Busisiwe is heading to America to perform her poetry. GOOD LUCK BUSISIWE!.
By: ZANELE MAGAGULA.