Keep showing up. Don’t  choke . Believe in yourself. Don’t choke! – Masai Sepuru

Why did you decide to join the Word N Sound Poetry League this season and did it meet your expectations?
I wanted to showcase my work on the Word N Sound stage and perform with the best poets South Africa has to offer. But after winning the first month it spiraled into the need to win the whole thing. Too often we are humble about our intention but the truth is we want to win.

How would you describe your journey on the Word N Sound stage this year?
It was an emotional journey. I was just doing it for me and next thing you know you I have people saying I’ll win. I mean I’m not saying I’m pressured or anything but I’m aware of the recognition and maybe the influence that I might have. Now I get people tagging and people in the streets saying “you better or else”…ok I made that up. Not the tagging bit, the “or else bit”.

Which two of your performances have stood out for you and why?
The first performance of the poem “Chaos” and my June performance of “Sonless Fathers”. Both performances were really emotional in that they talk about my father. I don’t talk about my experience with him but the poems are the emotions fueled by his absence (I’m tearing up here..Dang!) I’m joking..I’m not crying. I don’t give a fuck.

What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
Well I fucked up my second performance because of the pressure of beginner’s luck plus I started the season late. So I was always at least 200 points behind number 1. So catching up has been the biggest challenge.

Poetry League can at times be tough, who has helped you along the journey and kept you coming back each month?
People on the internet (65℅ of my friends tagging random people).

Going into the finale, who would you say is your toughest competitor and why?
Clear is the toughest competitor for all of us. Dude is a fan favorite. And more experienced than all of us. Dude started late and still was Poet of the Year.

What have you learnt from the other competitors this season?
Keep showing up. Don’t  choke . Believe in yourself. Don’t choke!

Who has been your favourite poet to watch this season?
Sabelo and Belita Andre.  If I had to choose? Belita.

Season 8 of the Poetry League will come to an end on Sat 6 Oct at the finale. Find out more about the event and get your tickets here. The 8th Word N Sound International Youth Poetry Festival runs from 3 – 7 Oct 20018, find out more here.

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