at 6: I couldn’t see the footprints of chalk on a
unless I stayed foot to foot on the front desk.
at 9: I got bullied day in and day out,
for my blurred eye condition.
at 11: the same year I took the number one spot in class. I was named lešoboro, a name given to boys who never went to the mountain
for initiation school.
at 13: I survived a hot slap on the neck from my principal
for replacing roman figures with abc,
because I couldn’t find the difference.
at 15: I was in grade 9, had my seat in the back
even though my eyes couldn’t reach the front,
I was the morabaraba crew, caught many times by teachers
with pieces of dry orange flavidos in my hands,
drowning in the heart of obsolescence.
at 17: I had my trousers sagging around, from school uniforms to church wears.
had my first everything;
like heaven had just fell on my palms.
at 18: had my first rap lines on the mic, the sky diluted with stars and clouds was bars to my lyrics;
I couldn’t survive the bumpy flows of beats
until I drop out.
at 20: life after matric was squeezing me into pieces of my soulless body,
the high school fantasy was all in my backpack
zipped and locked by thorns of heartbreaks
and borders around distant friends.
at 21: I couldn’t stand the body without a soul, I wrote my first poem
it carried the body of love,
of a boy who got his heart amputated,
and his lungs on his mouth
and he couldn’t suck oxygen,
only through his pen
since then, life never stopped beginning.
Nkwana Joshua Serutle is a writer and spoken word poet, who was born and raised outside Burgersfort in Ga-Kgwete village. In 2017 he enrolled to Mzansi Poetry Academy to enhance his writing skill. His work
draws much attention on the streets and shifting paradigms on social issues. Some of his highlights in 2017 includes performing at SABC 1, Yo TV. Later on that year he became Top 10 finalist for Leleme La Mme poetry competition. He won the CSP 2018 Open Slam King of the Mic. His poems had been published on Poetry Potion, Odd Magazine, Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Vol 8, MuseIndia and Avbob Poetry Competition.