Get To Know Sihle Ntuli

• How can you describe yourself in a summarized manner?

I would say most of the time I am soft spoken and introverted though once I am comfortable I can get quite extroverted. I would say I live in my mind and once I come outside it is for the sake of civility. I am the dictionary definition of the nice guy who finishes last because I still believe in respect, monogamy & morality in 2015.

• When did you pen your first independent piece (away from school work)?

I wrote a very badly written piece called “shed a tear for me” in 2006. It was about my loneliness and feelings of isolation during High School, a time which I do not look at with fond memories.

• What inspires your writing?

My writing is inspired by life in general. I would not completely distance it from being an art, but at the same time I am anti-art but pro-life. I really want to bring to the forefront, the contemporary life of the African youth at 20 something. The complex double consciousness of living in a largely untransformed literary scene with skeletons lurking makes for some interesting reading indeed.

• Apart from writing what else do you do?

I am a scholar. I study classical civilizations but my main goal at this point in time is to become a psychologist. I am also very interested in research. I have a few essays I would like to write on concerning Afro-futurism, The use of football as a political tool and others.

• Do you have any stage names?

No I don’t. My unisex first name alongside my Zulu surname are how I want to be seen.

• What do you think is man’s greatest invention?

It’s a tie between communication (internet, telephones etc) and refrigeration.

• Who would you term as a South African hero? Why?

My South African hero would have to be Chris Hani, I feel the tense situation with #FeesMustFall may not have gone down had he not been assassinated in 1993. The type of charisma he had made me see him as legitimately caring for the issue of marginalisation of blacks in the country which still goes on today.

• The world ends tomorrow. What do you do till then?

Have one of the craziest jam sessions in the history of jam sessions, and begin the said jam session at twenty past four in the afternoon.

• What’s your furthest memory backwards?

I remember first being introduced to the concept of a multiracial crèche system in 96. My brother (Sipho) and I had never really seen whites outside of the Television. The white teachers from the school handled us like eggs. There was a sense of them not knowing how to treat us and us not knowing how to be handled by them.

• If you were a cartoon character, which would that be?

Courage, The Cowardly dog

• Three words to describe your brain?

Eclectic, Gradual & Sensitive

• That song that never gets boring to your ears?

Sweet Life by Frank Ocean

• What do you fancy most: writing or performing (poetry)?

Writing, to perform poetry is quite draining and at times can get pretentious. Performance poetry is necessary but I do not really enjoy it. I feel it does become a bit dramatic at times and insofar as its sustainability is not really a place where I want to be at this point. Who knows maybe this will change soon enough, I am certainly open to it.

• What is that thing you did as a kid you wish you still would?

I wish I could just DO! Again without the surrounding air of continuously being judged by other people

• Who’s that character you wish you’d pull out of the screen/book and elope with?

Definitely has to be the beautiful Petronella Tshuma

• What do you think of the African creative and artistic industry?

The industry is in a great space at the moment. Artists are starting to recognize Western dominance and are now beginning to co-exist with the West rather than being subservient to it. We have great young artists coming up that I am privileged to know like Chemutai Ngok’ from Kenya , Sikhumbuzo Makandulo, Lumumba Mthembu & Kabelo Mofokeng. I can honestly say the world needs to brace themselves.

• South Africa has a vibrant publishing and creative industry in general, what do you attribute to your success in this regard?

To say I am successful would be complacent at this point, but yes South Africa is certainly vibrant. The rise of the youth writer is something that I am very proud to have contributed to. I think patience and reading the work of others certainly led to me being here and speaking with you. Also knowing that South Africa exists within the continent of Africa and actively attempting to engage with brothers and sisters outside the country has been great for my artistic development.

• Any random question you’d like to ask the world?

Why do you let powerful individuals think for all of you?

Sihle Kehinde

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