Born and bred in Pollen, a small village in Limpopo, Solly Ramatswi, also known as Soetry, moulds the imagery of his village to write poems about black boys and his experience. Having the experience of living in both the village and the city, he bridges the two spaces and finds common ground with his writing; Makes the two worlds look familiar with each other. The 25-year-old uses poetry to reflect his experiences and views on the current states of manhood, with the aim to learn, unlearn, understand, and relearn.
In 2014, after matric, he moved to Gauteng to pursue his studies; It was from then that he grow into spaces like Tshwane Speak Out Loud, Current States of Poetry, Mzansi Poetry Academy, Word N Sound, and other poetry platforms.
In 2017 he competed in the CSP provincial slams;
In 2017 he came second for Mzansi Poetry Academy’s AKS – Anada Kinda Slam;
In 2017 he came third for Leleme La Mma Poetry Challenge;
In 2018 he made it to the top 5 for Word N Sound Poetry League’s grand finale, where he came third and was awarded Best Newcomer for Season 8;
In 2019, March, he was Word N Sound’s King of the mic for the month, and went on to be Season 9’s Poetry League Champion;
In 2019 he made it to the Tshwane Speak Out Loud Top 5;
In 2019 he got in the top 5 for the World Of Words Slam;
His work has been shared on local TV and radio stations.
His set of poems put under ‘How It Took A Village To Raise A Storm’ was showcased at the Joburg Theatre, Con Cowan Theatre, and are also part of a collaborate with Kenneth Mphahlele’s Choreography in a play titled Pata, meaning hide.
Links to his work:
1. Word N Sound Showcase: https://youtu.be/njuZ-cKB7TA
2. How it took a village to raise a storm: https://youtu.be/hW1kjHulP90
3. Black Boy Stories: https://youtu.be/BUIQrr8lvBM
4. Soetry at The Queens Fortress: https://youtu.be/Kd0NYtUXRkk