Mphutlane wa Bofelo is thankfully not one of those poets for whom poetry is a trend, a phase or a branding opportunity. Truly dedicated to the craft, Bofelo has been writing poetry for years. Many respect him. A Black Conscious Sufi, father, husband and educator, Mphutlane is prolific and a true cultural activist. His poetry draws from many influences and is not easily boxed into one category. As a figure, he could easily be taken for a lightweight because he always wears a warm expression, he doesn’t care for the pretentious garb that many “conscious”, “deep”, “hip” poets may like. If you take him lightly, you do so at your own risk. I’ve seen Bofelo slam with the best of them at the 2009 Poetry Africa slam poetry competition and beat out the obvious winners.
Bofelo’s poetry is gentle. Gentle and authentic. Though not strictly personal, it can only be read personally, if you understand what I mean. OK…
“Towards you I
Moved out of myself
Out of my way
To stretch myself
To reach out to you…”
(Towards You, posted on his facebook account, 12 June)
See what I mean. Bofelo is not uncaring with his words. This makes it feel like he cares for me too, as a reader. In fact, that’s because he does. He cares for those who read his work. Bofelo manages to achieve what many poets fail at being – be generous in spirit and have that magnanimity show in his work…
(get a copy of the Poetry Potion 2013.02 to read the rest of this interview…)
Every Generation is the theme of the second print quarterly of Poetry Potion. Inspired by Frantz Fanon’s “Each generation, must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it.”; this edition features poetry, reviews, a poet profile of Mphutlane wa Bofelo and a q&a about the new Praat Poetry Festival.
This edition is available in print and digital formats at Book Lover’s Market, Scribd, Adams (Durban), from our sales man in Durban – Menzi Maseko, at The Love House in Sunnyside Pretoria, Street Hawkers Concept Store in Dube Soweto (opposite the Dube train station), Roots Restaurant and Gallery in Jabulani Soweto or you can order by clicking here – click here for more info on our stockists