n New Coin Poetry - Betrayed by life's cacophony
Betrayal, Mzwandile Matiwana : review

Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0028-4459



was still a youth official in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture when I met Mzwandile at St Albans Prison where he was serving a sentence in the late 1990s. He timidly came to me with a folded 80 page exercise book. "Bra, I write poetry. I would like you to see and read these poems when you have time." Flippantly, I told him I will look for a journal that could possibly publish some; I was not sure because as I paged the book rapidly, I saw a few poems about unrequited love. I knew this was an ordinary young man trying to while away time by scribbling a few lines behind bars. On the way back to the office I gingerly read each of the poems as the engine purred up Cape Road. I marvelled at the way he chiselled and chose the words in a few poems. Suddenly, I realised that there was a real poet in him.

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