28 October 2015 Volume :3 Issue :49

Former UKZN Masters Student Runner-Up for Sol Plaatje Poetry Award

Former UKZN Masters Student Runner-Up for Sol Plaatje Poetry Award
Poet Ms Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese reads her prize-winning entry.

Ms Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese, who completed her Masters in Creative Writing degree at UKZN under the supervision of Dr Kobus Moolman, was runner-up for the prestigious Sol Plaatje European Union (EU) Poetry award.

This annual award, supported by the European Union, is open to poets writing in any of South Africa’s 11official languages.  Busuku-Mathese’s winning poem, A Portrait of a Mother and Indiscretion, was selected by veteran poet and activist, Dr Mongane Wally Serote.

She received her prize at the event’s grand finale, where she was asked to recite the winning poem. 

‘I really didn’t expect to finish second but I feel honoured to be recognised for my work. I am a newcomer to the poetry scene and I feel being afforded this exposure will enable me to make a name for myself and to jumpstart my career. The Sol Plaatje EU award is a great platform for newcomers and established poets to come together and I was honoured to be part of that.’

She says she owes a lot of her success to the encouragement, guidance and motivation of Moolman, who she believes was instrumental in getting her to enter such competitions. ‘I chose to do my Masters in Creative Writing to better craft my skills and what better way than being mentored by established South African poet, Moolman.’

Busuku-Mathese’s poem will be featured in the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry anthology published by Jacana Media. The anthology features 63 poems, chosen from the 472, entered for the award.

Her poetry plays with the blending of stylistic and structural concerns with archival materials. Her work focuses on the relationship between generational slippages and has featured in various local poetry journals such as New Coin, Prufrock, Aerodrome, Ons Klyntji and now The Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Anthology.

She also encouraged all newcomers to the poetry circuit to believe in themselves and to engage and support other poets and writers. ‘Success is to be found in creative writing and the Arts,’ she said.

Said Acting Dean and Head of the School of Arts Professor Donal McCracken : ‘Humanities is the soul of our University, Arts is the soul of the Humanities, and poetry is the soul of the Arts.’

Melissa Mungroo


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