How does it feel like to have made it to the 2015 Poetry League finale?
It feels incredible to have made it this far. I feel blessed, honoured and pretty damn proud of myself. I worked really hard at this this year and I feel as though my hard work has paid off! It is a wonderful feeling to have your art, which is, by its very nature an extent of your soul, recognised by other artists and I am truly thrilled to have achieved such success.
How would you describe your experience on the Word N Sound stage this year?
This was my first year properly participating in the Word N Sound Poetry League, performing regularly with dedication and it has been a serious learning curve. I have been challenged, I have made sacrifices, but most importantly, I have grown, both as an artist and just as a human. The woman that sits here today is not the same girl that stepped on the stage at the beginning of this year. It has been a journey of discovery for me through both the writing and the performances.
What has been your highlight of the year?
The highlight… honestly; the audience reactions to each new piece. I have LOVED having strangers come up to me telling me how what I wrote has touched them, how its changed them, made them cry, made them feel… It is so gratifying both selfishly because it empowers my ego and comforts my soul to know that I am not the only one to feel such things, but also selflessly because I really do enjoy making people think, feel and be happy. So, reactions have been my highlights.
What do you think of your competitors? Who is your biggest threat?
My competitors are all worthy of their places in the top 5. I do not doubt the power of any of their works and I believe that this is important. I would hate to have to compete against people I could not admire and respect. All four of them have something that I do not, but, in turn, I have something that all four of them do not. Having said all the above, because you require a name, I will have to say Xabiso Vili. This is purely based on the fact that I have seen more of his work, I have spent more time with him, I know his work ethic, I know how dedicated he is and I have looked up to him since day one in my own work. I am currently second to him both in Johannesburg and in Pretoria so I am aware of his popularity, and his competition.
What is your message to the rest of the Top 5?
My message!? I wish them all well, as I said, they are all worthy competitors. I suppose the only thing I would say… would be to caution them against underestimating me.
About Bella Poetry
Bella Poetry, as she is referred to, began her poetry journey in the last months of 2013. She is, therefore, fairly new to the Spoken Word game having previously focused mainly on song writing and vocal performances. However, this by no means makes her an inconsequential participant in this Festival. Bella trained at a prominent theatre school in England while studying her A levels, she has been in bands, debate clubs and every school play available to her. This woman is no stranger to the stage, despite being relatively new to the art of Poetry. She hails from Kenya, via Pretoria and is currently in her third year at UP, triple majoring in English, Psychology and Spanish. She considers herself a human rights activist and it was this passion for justice that initially sparked the flame for her poetry writing.