- Category: PA 2012
Tumelo Khoza is a spoken word artist based in Durban. Her style fits in the Performance Poetry category, as she has a rather startling, out-of-the-box, not-quite-what-you-expect sense of delivery when reciting. She discovered poetry in Grade 4, finding it fascinating how one can write about how one feels and express it – especially because some people come from a background where one is not allowed having an opinion. Growing up in Eshowe, a small town in northern KZN, Khoza attended Eshowe High School, which is where she was introduced to Hip Hop, and from where she was able to link the world of Hip Hop and poetry by means of rhythm in her poems.
With poetry written honestly about matters of the heart, Khoza is also not afraid of speaking the truth where politics, society, identity, gender differences and equality are concerned, exploring the different shades and colours of the language through figures of speech and imagery.
Khoza has performed on various platforms in and around Durban, including her appearance as a prelude poet at the Poetry Africa Festival in 2011. She has also performed in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Grahamstown, Eshowe and Swaziland, and will soon be making her first trip to Sweden for the Ordsprak Poetry Festival in Uppsala.
Khoza lost her father at the tender age of 14 and has since been communicating with him in dreams by means of symbolism and silences. This is sometimes reflected in her poetry.
Khoza describes her talent as a calling: “It’s a gift God placed in my hands at birth. We are born with clenched fists, carrying our gifts, and as we grow, they unfold.”