In June this year, Thando Fuze, a 31-year-old performing poet from Durban will launch her show called ‘The One Woman Show’, and will also launch her book titled ‘Conversations With The Human’. Fuze, who has worked alongside various poets like Lebo Mashile and has been nominated twice for the Best Female Performing Poet Awards, spoke to the Daily Vox about her journey of penning a book which is a reflection of her journey through the years.
The book ‘Conversations With the Human’ is a collection of my poems from as far back as 2006. It speaks about my life experiences and the inspiration to pen a book came from my mentor, Gcina Mhlophe. The initial idea was to showcase my work in a performance but she suggested that I write a book too.
Mostly as poets we complain that we aren’t being published but we are not really writing, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. I’m looking forward to the launch of the book which will be on 29 June at the Durban Art Gallery and in Pietermaritzburg on 30 June. The book basically shares a story of my life experiences with the hope that someone out there might find my story relatable to that of their lives.
People should no longer be buying books from the ancient times that are written in ancient English. In this era, people should be reading books that are of this current era and present the stories that they can relate to. When I write, I write mostly about what has affected and impacted me in my life, it could be negative or positive. Most of the work presented in the book is the work that has saved me and got me through some really tough times. I want people to understand that this is more than just words, that a lot of emotions have been invested into it.
The challenge I came across while writing the book is that most of my work is personal and taken from my own personal experiences, so it forced me to face a lot of issues. Issues that I had just concealed and bottled up. Most of my work is based on things I’ve gone through and it’s a way for me to deal with certain things. I’ve found that writing is a kind of therapy for me.
My intention to release the book is not for it to be a bestseller or anything, but it is a way of getting my work out there, for people to not have to wait until a performance date to hear my work but to just pick up a book and read.
Interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.