05-09 September 2018

Open Book Festival

05-09 September2018

Lubabalo Ngejane

lubabalo obf

Lubabalo Ngejane is the co-author of Afrows: Words of Subversion, an anthology of poetry and prose by five undergraduate UCT students. Writing a bio about yourself is weird, he thought. How best to market himself? What about that one time you shoved a candy bar down your pockets, while you made eye contact with the hot security guard and hoped he would frisk you as you left? Firstly, that did not happen, and secondly, that joke needs to be removed from his comedy set. Mention how you’re dead inside and you’re just trudging towards death. This used to be the case, not anymore. The outward projection of apathy was but that – a projection, a thing without substance. Words hold power, he realised. A blank canvas could be transformed into artistry by using the brushes of his experiences, which have involved no small amount of suffering – as any queer person of colour living in South Africa’s townships of South Africa would attest. So you went for struggle porn, girl? Really? Yes, he shared his experiences, but they were not for spectacle or pity. Through his writing, he knew that he could establish kinship between people, find commonality amid misunderstanding and disconnection. Writing was a remedy, a balm, a sword and shield to defend himself against those who seek to deny him his humanity.