While many people are focusing on the negative aspects of township life, Misani Kondlo has penned a poem which pays homage to Langa and the great artists, musicians, actresses, and political activists from the area who have left an indelible mark on the liberation struggle.
But, he said, it was sad that this was not always acknowledged or celebrated.
In the poem he mentions street names, schools and legends who were born and bred in the area. Through the poem, he said, he wanted to inspire love and appreciation for Langa in anyone who heard it. “We need to honour our own areas because if we don’t, no one would do that for us. We must glorify our own areas because if we don’t other people are going to write what they perceive about it.
“Every child should know this poem because it carries motivation. If this township was able to produce such iconic people that means it can still produce other legends. We must be proud of our areas,” he said.
Asked about how he went about doing his research and writing the poem, he said he first documented the streets names and researched well-known people from the area, and the impact they had on the area.
Reflecting on his background, he told Vukani he was part of a cultural youth group and his mentor at the time discovered that he had a talent for writing poetry.
Since then, he said, he had been working to hone his skills and also discovered that his late grandfather had been a poet. In his teen years, he said, he had written opening poems for boxing legends such as Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula and Vuyani “The Beast” Bhungu. But he has also performed at funerals and community shows in Langa. He has also performed for SABC 1 isiXhosa news anchor Lisakhanya Pepe and other well-known people.
However, he said, getting bookings, as an up-and-coming artist, was a mammoth task.
“I hope I could be one of the best poets that Langa has ever produced. I hope I could share my poetic gift and skills with other youngsters. I hope I could make a difference through pen and paper,” he said.