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Olwethu Mxoli

Olwethu Mxoli, 22, is a published poet who works with underprivileged children in the poverty and gang-ridden Helenvale area in Port Elizabeth.

The group meets once a week to write poetry about their lives, the hardships they are experiencing and their hopes and dreams – sometimes under gunfire. She is involved in trying to put together a poetry anthology of their work, and raising funds to get them to the McGregor Poetry Festival in August.

“I think, if people took the opportunity to look beyond their circumstance, if for a moment they paused to see the people in Helenvale and other disadvantaged communities instead of seeing the gangs and the violence, they would be surprised by the humanity and the kindness there. I chose to do my bit with writing because it’s what I’ve always done best, but also because poetry is the true expression of what it is to be human,” she says.

Nominated in category: Creativity

Photo: Supplied