Nkosanathi Hleza, published his first poem book last year.

Life’s circumstances are the inspiration for the first anthology of poems by local poet Nkosinathi Hleza (25).
This book called Souvenir Mind Yoke was published last year.
Nkosinathi Da Poet as he refers to himself, grew up in eMbalenhle without a father. His mother sold liquor to make ends meet.
In general, life was tough and money was tight.
At the tender age of eight, Nkosinathi saw late President Nelson Mandela in person and listened to Madiba at the official opening of the Maphala Gulube Primary School in eMbalenhle in 2000.
The school was built under the instruction of Madiba and was named after an endearing community member, Maphala Gulube.
She informed the government about the need for schools in eMbalenhle and Madiba decided to build a new school.
Nkosinathi was a pupil of this new school.
“Seeing this iconic man, made me want to aspire to also be great,” said Nkosanathi.
Although he discovered his poetic talent only when reaching high school, Nkosinathi’s business sense developed long before then.
He was still a primary school pupil when he began earning money by selling sweets and cakes.
This young entrepreneur also used his uncle’s public phone to make money.
He charged people R1 per phone call.
Later, he operated his own spaza shop (tuckshop).
“I had to make a plan because there was no food at home.
“Many times I came to my shop to find the structure was destroyed and I had to fix it.
“Because of my mother’s business, my two brothers and I could complete school and studies.”
Nkosinathi studied in Cape Town for a year and obtained a certificate in
radio broadcasting and business management.
He tried to begin his own
music company when he returned to eMbalenhle after his studies, but times were tough.
Writing is not Nkosinathi’s only talent.
He also has an affinity for rap music which he began to explore in Grade 9.
He heard his father’s voice for the first time in his life in 2014 when his father contacted him.
He wrote a poem about his father and posted it on Facebook.
“I called him a monster in my poem because he abused my mother and he wanted to kill us while she was pregnant with me.”
It was after this that Nkosinathi decided to publish his poetry and founded the NDP (Nkosinathi Da Poet) Foundation in 2015.
The aim of this foundation is to eradicate poverty and help those who are coming from a disadvantaged background in the form of bursaries, school uniforms and more.
He also started the ISABA organisation that focuses on support groups and life coaches for poets and actors.
Nkosinathi also runs his own marketing business from home.
He prints business cards, CVs, posters and loans people money.
He also manages a netball team for high school grills he established in 2012. He later started a soccer team and now still coaches this team, as well as a selection development soccer team.
Nkosinathi’s long-term dream is to build an orphanage and an old age home.
He is currently looking for a space for sport facilities.
For more information, or to order his anthology of poems, send an e-mail to nathidapoet@gmail.com or contact Nkosinathi at 079 661 0467.



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