Talking Doorsteps: Apiwe Mjambane


What was the highlight of your Talking Doorsteps experience and working with Deanna Rodger and Pippa Riddick?
The highlight of my Talking Doorsteps experience is the fact that I was afforded an opportunity to spend close up and personal time with some of the most artistic craft nurturing people I’ve ever met. Working with Deaana and Pip was a lot of fun. They made the trip exciting and free flowing. I must admit, it was an intense training for me… I procrastinate a lot so they kept me on my toes. They trained us on how to just fall into our work.

The different exercises that they practised with us have made me grow more into the habit of learning how to engage with my writing process before executing a poem.

Deanna emphasised that we must learn to become the words that we speak and that we shouldn’t just say them without expressing emotion. We are entertainers first, and no matter how badly pressured I may feel, I should always remember that there is an audience out there that will receive my work.

What was your biggest challenge with the project?
On day two we were each challenged to write an individual piece about what ‘home’ means to us. I chose to talk about pain, and how some of us can become so comfortable that our greatest pains would become homely to us. Another factor is that, I had to write a brilliant piece in a period of 8 hours. I felt a bit pressured because it takes me a complete month to prepare a poem for the slam.

Tell us a bit about the poem you wrote for the Talking Doorsteps videos?
My poem focuses on silent anorexic tendencies that are imposed by teenagers on their families behind the curtains of their homes. An uncomfortable challenge that is faced by many black misunderstood teenage girls. Yet the struggle still remains unspoken of.

What are your favourite 4 – 6 lines from your poem?
“Feed me…
Feed me food that won’t throw me off
like tantrums shaped like index fingers down my throat.
Better out
than the insides of abandoned opinions
about black little girls
who sleep on pillows made of bones.”

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