“I have never allowed abuse to be part of my life but allowed poetry to heal my soul,” said Makhosazana Ndebele aka ‘M@cK@Y dE Poet ‘sharing her story. Makhosazana described herself as a top student since her childhood, a 21-year-old girl from Kwazulu-Natal who faced many life challenges as she was raised by her aunt and uncle, who turned her life around into depression after her biological mother abandoned and neglected her at an early age. She had initially cut ties with her biological mother but has recently started to build a relationship with her.
She is currently a Vaal University of Technology (VUT) 2nd-year Electrical Engineering student, a poet by heart, painter, an art lover, introvert, and loves reading. Makhosazana fell in-love with art during her life dilemma by using poetry as a therapy to express her emotions. “when I would be on stage I would release how I feel, art saved my life, my first writing wasn’t for others but to help me during my depression” said Makhosazana.
During her session, Makhosazana mentioned that she stayed with her uncle and wife when she completed her primary school education. The aunt abused her physically and emotionally until high school, but she never allowed the situation to intervene with her schoolwork. “I have always believed that the only way to escape from my situation is through education. I have always put an effort to study hard and excel as it was my only hope to become a better person. Here I am today, I managed to work my way out of depression through education and I am happy with my life choice”, said Makhosazana with teary eyes.
Her choices ended up putting her to Vaal as she said that she never chooses Vaal, but Vaal chose her and being here, has brought many developments in her life which led her into loving art more. Her inspiration comes from the VUT K-Block students (art gallery), who have helped her to perform in many places such as weddings, parties, theatre groups, Vanderbijlpark Words of Wonder Poetry and Sharpeville competition.
In closing, she said that people should go for what makes their heart sing and that helps a lot to learn the environment that we find ourselves in, learn from the same people that you interact with. Her words of encouragement to her peers were to believe in your power, believe that you can, even on days that you feel like you can’t, and never do something with the expectation of getting something in return. She recited one of her poems below as a parting shot:
Carefully drawn onto my poetry stained skin
I mean, Scars
A visible memory of every death I refused to die
A reminder of all those moments I held on even if it was really difficult to even try
I cry, myself to sleep every night
The countless moments when I was too weak to fight
Sounds silly right?
this house I carry to sleep every night was the one main thing I hated about myself
I would pinpoint all the bumps and Marks mapped on my body
I’d curse this black, brown; Uneven skin tone
Tried all the products you could think of
Ponds, Clere and Celtone
See every time I looked at the mirror it just wasn’t clear
I would be disgusted at my reflection
I was just not enough
I Felt like it was me against the world
I needed some assurance
Needed someone to tell me that nobody is perfect
Help me with these feelings that just don’t have a surface
And lift my spirit every time I felt worthless
Because I, I never believed I was a goddess
I recall a night where
I was numb
too weak to fight
September 25th to be exact
Infact, I was tired
Too tired but that night I knew I had to act
Deep down I knew it was time
Time to stand up and take one step to the mirror
And look at once more
Can you believe what I saw?
I saw a God
I tell you
That night I met God and she was amazing
I tell you she was the next big thing
The kind that was capable of making birds sing
I tell you she was every men’s dream.
That night was the most magical night ever because
I truly met a God and she was Amazing –M@cK@Y dE Poet
Article by: Puleng Maphisa