Ayanda Billie

KwaNobuhle Overcast, register the intuitiveness of Ayanda Billie’s vision of his township and his life around it. Billie has carved for himself a voice and a style that is entirely his own, inspired by poets before him.

“Poetry to me is what I see, what I hear and what I smell. It has taught me to be an observant person and to always have compassion. Poems always whispers in my ears; I have to listen, and they make me to listen even if other people are talking.”

I wish my poems

could be like stones

if thrown into the green sea

they will stay there

until the next generation

dives to the deep

to look for them.

Ayanda Billie was born in 1975 in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, where he still lives. He sometimes facilitates creative writing workshops for the youth. He also founded a book club locally to grow a reading and writing culture in his community. He achieved his MA in Creative writing at Rhodes University in 2016.

Ayanda is the co-founder of Mandela Bay Bookfair. In 2006 his debut collection of poetry, Avenues of my Soul, was published by Swii Arts. Umhlaba Umanzi is his second poetry collection and KwaNobuhle Overcast his third poetry collection. He has published poems in these literature journals like: New Coin, Ityhini, Carapace, Kotaz, Timbila and Illuminations. In 2019 he won the South African Literary Award for his isiXhosa collection Umhlaba Umanzi.