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to enlighten you: Interview with poet Aura
March 04, 2010
Inside / Out with Aura
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old are you?
I am 20 years old.
It's kind of always been with me; even before nursery my parents
pushed me straight into it. I was in college about a year ago and
I was doing my second year but I never got all the way through coz
my father got retrenched so we were not able to pay school fees.
Since then I have been the breadwinner in my family. The funny thing
is that the money I make is out of doing what I love the most, which
is the performing arts.
is being the breadwinner of you family affected the way you write?
I write about life from a different perceptive having been a breadwinner
for a family of six. And having to be responsible. Aside from the
fact that I am the bread winner I have a young brother who is mentally
handicapped with autism and so already from a vey young age I was
forced to take responsibility and grow up very very quikly. The
way I view the world is different from how other people my age view
you expand on that?
Well for example, I can't go on shopping sprees. My first
instinct is to say; is there bread at home, is there is milk at
home, does my brother need socks, and should I get socks. We need
to do this; we need to do that. I am very aware of people around
me and of things that they are going through. I have learnt to put
others needs before my own.
has your family supported and appreciated the art you produce?
They have always been supportive of the arts. I always say if it
wasn't for my family I would not have been as active in the
arts as I am. Their support started from an early age. I don't
think that they ever thought that it would sustain us. In the beginning
it was tough because they thought I should get a job, an office
job that you know you every month you get a certain salary. They
want to see me grow as an individual. So they have definitely been
a great support system, and they are my best audience. My mother
knows my poems inside out. My father gives advice on my music and
what beats to go for.
you grown as an artist?
Yes I have grown; I started writing poetry at the age of 12. As
I grew older I realized poetry is not about words but about what
you are saying. Powerful poets like Julius Chingono, who uses very
few big words and his poems are often short but they have such impact.
I kind of realized that my poetry goes beyond my words and goes
straight to the message. Definitely I have grown message wise. I
have a stronger message and I come across clearer now than I did
when I was younger.
or what inspires your poetry?
Music. I always say music is my husband. If music were a man, I
could have had an arranged marriage a very long time ago. Music
has influenced my poetry. I will also pay close attention to the
way people, eat, walk and behave.
themes are in your poems?
Love, love and love. Love for me is a fascinating topic because
it's not all roses and blue violets. There is a lot to love,
and not just emotional or romantic love but platonic love - friendships
and love between parents, other relationships. Not just between
men and women, but parents and friends and people around us. I have
started writing a lot of conscious poetry where you write about
a particular topic. I can be talking about trees and talking about
rape and not realize it. You will eventually figure out what I am
talking about it. I use a lot of metaphors and a lot of symbolism.
I speak messages but with an undercurrent. You really have to pay
attention to what I am saying.
do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself talking to somebody and having him or her actually
listen to what I am saying. I see myself educated, making some sort
of difference or at least reaping what I am sowing now. I like to
see myself as successful and by successful I don't mean money.
I mean physically, mentally, emotionally well to be in a better
space. I would like to see my father restored to his position so
that I stop being the breadwinner. I would love to help my father
support my family. Family is very important to me.
do you want to see in the constitution for a young artist like you?
I want to see an opportunity to influence my people, I want to see
an opportunity where my voice can be heard not just by a group of
people at the Book Café but where artists are taken seriously
and realize that we are voice that can be utilized. That we can
make a lot of difference because the first thing a person will do
when they jump into their car is switch on the radio and they will
hear us before they hear the news. There are a lot of people my
age who want to make a difference in our country. We all want a
better country. I think as a country we need to start realizing
that we have so much potential and that we are literally one of
the greatest countries in Africa. Our artists are the most unique
and that we have such creativity and potential.
would you sell the poet Aura?
I am a person who is ready to work, who is dynamic, and unique.
I am bringing something new to the table. I do poetry like it's
never been done before. I write from a totally different perspective.
I am here to enlighten you and not to take over your mind, not to
change the way you think but to help you think differently.
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