Events | Johannesburg

Word Art at 151 | Young Voices: Siza Nkosi

Siza Nkosi is a writer, teacher and mother from Soweto. She is currently doing her MA in create writitng and enjoys painting potraits of where she comes from and of people through words. She is founding member of House of Siza, an NPO that seeks to change people’s lives through literature and empower them to tell stories in their own languages. She also write children stories in isiZulu.


soweto tour

so where to?


it’s the end of the month

Vilakazi Street is up the road from Hector Pieterson memorial

the Mandela house is renovated into a museum

the restaurant opposite sells samp for a fortune

taking my family to eat lobsters for Sunday lunch

is cheaper in the suburbs

a simple I ? Soweto t-shirt is extreme

tourists invest in this fakeness

even Busi says hi with an accent


so where to?

Dube Shoprite!

next to the Maponya robots

vanity is sold on pavements

from selfiesticks to hairpieces

then you get nyaope boys, “nomayini sister”


even a shitty cigarette, anything to sustain the high

Shoprite now; it’s filthy and loud

it used to be Maponya’s Supermarket

before he built the mall,

spaza shops used to stock their supplies from him

families were never hungry


so where to?

Dube station

via the main road

Jozi FM on the left

they play gospel and cheaters on Thursdays

uncle Ray seems to be waiting for me next to the toilet

(they call the police station a toilet)

Ray has a different story this time

it’s from the Gibson Kente days

they used to gather at his home

not far from Nkathuto Primary

they created plays and songs

now he exchanges his lesson on g-scales

for a quart of black



so where to?

Hearty’s Fruit & Veg is barren

no one eats vegetables these days

behind it used to be bus terminals

hip hop used to be the heart of this place

MCs high on politics creating passionate verses

buying apples from Hearty’s

now it is a parking lot for Sanele’s Tavern

a hell gate in the society

my heart weeps


so where to?

Avalon cemetery, Soweto!

that’s where dreams are resting; probably in pieces

I pass Eyethu theatre, naked on Machaba Drive

I stop by Inside Out; Thebe Lipere’s jazz lounge

find Khaya Mahlangu jamming

with Themba Mokoena and some young bloods

they are serving butternut and spinach

I decide not go to Avalon anymore

I will not bother the dead

their bones are resting but their spirits

their spirits live in these songs