Musawenkosi Khanyile

South Africa needs poetry that speaks to South Africa at this current stage. It needs poetry that does not drag it far back or be futuristic that it leaves behind a lot of those who should understand the status quo in verse. Khanyile manages that balance with this collection. His themes and subjects are everyday situations one is often confronted by. Let us give a examples of what we mean;

On page 21 he has a poem titled Find The Truth in which he has these lines to utter;

‘What I want you to know

Is that there isn’t much truth

In the townships….

And success is a Golf GTI

Parked next to a tiny house

Brothers measure their success in whisky bottles

And brush their big bellies in taverns.

Sisters fall in love with front seats….

And don’t dare drive a car

That’s worth more than where you sleep’.

This is township realism few poets are not scared to venture into and expose such warts in society. They rather pen verses about an identity crisis they have no intention of fixing. They pen verses about an environment they rape with every plastic tossed out and every bottle thrown away. Khanyile speaks to those who think the township experience is a bowl of roses. In a poem titled ‘What the Township did to us’ he  touches on that subject last explored by recording artist Zola when he said Black people should stop romanticizing the township as if there is some glory in it; as if they chose it and it didn’t choose them.

Khanyile does not have a single track mind obsessed with ghetto fragility but has verses that carry pathos as well, such as Mother, an elegy that touches heartstrings and should be the anthem to every single-parent home.

Then Khanyile does something important; he flips some of his poems in a manner that two poems tackle the same subject from two different points of view. He does this successfully in four poems; Mother and The Sound of the Rain, This Tavern and At This Tavern and To Cape Town and UCT. All the Places contains classical poems that will stand the test of time.