Wednesday, 25 January 2017

"I wanted to do something that ignited the inner fire..."Bandile Matsenjewa

Bandile Matsenjewa is one African writer to look out for. At a young age the Swaziland origin writer is already taking territories. He regardless of being raised in a rural area has become an internationally published author. He also delights in helping other young authors reach their dreams of being published. Nigerian author, Chukwu John David is a testimony to this. Read all Matsenjewa has to say about growing up in a rural area, how his writing was inspired by her 8th grade English teacher, Pen That Cold Addition - a writers group and a whole lot more. 

At what point in your life, did you know that writing is something you would want to do? : I was in 8th grade when my English teacher mentioned my being good in most of my compositions and I was the top English Language & English Literature student from 8th grade until 12th grade. So I knew I could write after that inspirational conversation with my teacher.   

Before then, what were you thinking of doing with your life? : All my life, even after discovering the author in myself, I always wanted to be a pioneer, set records and break them myself, be a teacher, since teachers played a huge role in my life. So being a teacher is what I always wanted as much as I wanted to stand on my own.   

Are you considering going to the classroom anytime, at least you can combine teaching and writing? : Yes I am actually in class. And I schedule my time perfectly so that I can have time to write and study too.   

The single story of a rural child is a child who would grow to be a carpentar, farmer, fisher man or learn a trade. How did you manage to lead us to a different story? : Let's just say, my ambitions were or are beyond what people envision. Certain stereotypical perceptions shouldn't limit us, so personally, I hate being boxed in. What I'm trying to say is, I always had the urge to be different, stand out. To be exact, I wanted to do something that ignited the inner fire as much as it made me unique and be a pioneer. 

Let's talk about your works, what inspired your writing Better Man? : Ummm... I am growing up from a young king to a man. Better Man is about owning yourself, being the king of your own jungle. So, Better Man is about growing up, bettering yourself, those around you, being a good, decent man and acting like a man. 

Then, Ngi'Mel'Okuhler, what's it about? : It's a personal book bro. It's about my ambitions, about what I foresee in me cause. "Ngi'Mel'Okuhler means 'awaiting greatness' in the english language. So it's about my vision to say, and I put it all in a book of poems.

Talking about poems, in a world where a lot of interests are no longer in poetry, what propels you to still write poems? : It depends on the message to be fleed, if it needs a poem, I put it on metaphors and similes, give the message some taste and flow.   

Don't you consider the readership the poem gets? : I do, the more the readership the more surety I get that one has heard or read the poem.   

But then, there's a lot of speculations that there's a decline in the readership of poetry which is 'supposedly' replaced by rap, what would you say about that? : Well, before rap came to life, poetry was as it is to this day. People explore different types of poetry, from slam to free verse and limericks. I think people shifted their focus to rap turning a blind eye on the fact that rap is poetry in a tune, hence, most rappers are good with poetry. 

In essence, rap will never replace poetry? : Yes, it will never take over poetry, since poetry is intergrated in rap.   

Pen That Cold Addiction is a group you started, what is the group about and what inspired the group? : It's a group for aspiring writers and writers who are willing to help out young writers. The group was inspired by the number of young writers who wanna  get published out there. 

So, what exactly does the group do for the young writers and how do you do that? : The group finds writers in societies, bring them together, do shows for the poets and writers, get them published and their books are sold. 

Does the group fund the publications? : Yes it does, currently we've been struggling with funding so we use other ways to make money like handcrafts and mentoring students. 

Chukwu John David and a few other young writers have attributed their success so far to you. What exactly did you do for them and how does that make you feel? : *laughs* Chukwu John David has become more of a brother than a friend. Well, he approached me before he published his debut book, African Dark Light. I helped him in finding publishers and we were just friends who were on Facebook and we went as far as going to Georgia, Tblisi together for his book launch. It was beautiful.  Then is Mlungisi Nxumalo, S'bahle Dlamini, those are my bloods, they have made me push certain limits. Now they both own two books engraved with their names and I foresee them winning awards as I'm hoping we'll slowly find a way into being a publishing house. Then a number of Nigerian authors have really inspired me and in turn, I have inspired them and that's a blessing. 

Which writers do you look up to and why? : Nicholas Gordon, Mike Wells, Paulo Coelho & Chinua Achebe. They wrote and write what they feel and or felt and it leaves positive response on every reader. So, now I'm working on a book titled "The Recipe" inspired by the above mentioned authors. 

What do we expect from The Recipe and when is it coming? : I'm hoping to be done with it before my 21st birthday on 29 January. By 29 January it will be available on   
What do you do to improve in your writing? : I read new books from new writers. And best selling authors. 

What plans do you have for 2017? : I just wanna grow as a writer, grow my writers' group and create more networking around the world. 

What is your advice for other aspiring writers especially those from the rural areas? : They just need to write what they believe is to write, tell their own different stories, we don't write the same way, so factually, they'll be unique. And they should never allow exploition in their goals and careers.  

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