Feature Friday Guest Poet Angela Mthembu Presents '27's Last Will and Testament'

Image provided by the author and sourced from Butan
Photographer: Young Stilo
Model: Joseph Ntahilaja
Make up: Zama Moo
Production assistant: Bongiwe Ngcobo


I, Mzanzi, a soul of Azania
Stretching alongside the
Atlantic and Indian oceans
Nurtured by the daughters of
The Balobedu Kingdom
The tip where the planet orbits
With sound mind
Under no duress
Fully understand the thunder drawn
To Mafadi Peak
And the gash of the Tugela River
In this disposition I declare this
As my last will and testament
As the first Taung Child
Raised by the Nama tribe
I appoint the unrested spirits
Trapped in the tide that carried SS Mendi
As my executor
Directing my debt to the gore
Of the Blood wars and Marikana Massacres
Raised by the Great Trek
I bequeath the iron shields of Isandlwana
And the arms lost in Boipatong
To the descendants of
Treason trials and
Truth Commissions
Codesa talks and Constitutional drafts
Survived by the Cango
And Sterkfontein caves
Leave my transformation to
Democracy and equality
My beneficiaries have abandoned
Their khaki shorts and foreign tongues
Instead, they sit suited
In revolutionary houses
Screaming Amandla
I, Mzanzi, a soul of Azania
Declares with undue influence
That this is
My last will and testament.

About the Author:

Just as the eye shared by the three sisters of fate used to engage with destiny, when the heel of her hand rests on a page, her words become weaving Goddesses, spinning stories that resemble her life through the tales of others. Angela Thandizwe Mthembu on page and Angelyric on stage is a South African-born expressionist, painting her truth to awaken feelings that convey emotional meaning rather than physical experience.
It is through evocative poetry that she creates protest art that offers an alternative to traditional forms of conformity. Her words desire to direct social and political transformation. After being awarded the bronze prize in the Carfax writing competition of 2015 for her creative essay titled ‘City of Happy Folk,’ in the same year Mthembu co-founded Johannesburg-based multidisciplinary art collective PG_13 with its focus being the culmination of poetry and music. TOGETHER they ASPIRE to tell tales of humanity that resonate deeply with the ethnicity of sounds from the cradle of mankind. They are a melting pot of history and understanding looking to spark a new narrative. The renegades, rule breaker, radical yet robust expressionists, breaking boundaries of thought aiming to create a global echo that the masses can relate to.
Angela Thandizwe Mthembu has written countless artist and venue profiles and Amazwi we Sizwe is her first anthology which uses words as a tapestry to determine South Africa's fortune. A fortune that learns from the breakdown of social order. She describes it as 'the loom that helps her tell a few stories of her people', attempting to rewrite her nation’s fate. As a performance artist, she has found herself on various South African stages like the Joburg, Rockwood, and Soweto theatre, Port Elizabeth Opera house, Grahamstown Art Festival, Fete De La Musique and Smoking Dragon New Year’s Eve Festival. With her band, she made it to the finals of the first ever Afropunk Africa battle of the bands. Her poetry has managed to find its way into prominent venues such as Railway’s Café, Kitchener’s, Cappello, Zwartkop Nature Reserve, Eyethu Lifestyle Centre, Alliance Francaise of Johannesburg, Native Rebels, African Beer Emporium, Rumors Rock City, Botaki Ba Afrika, 27 Boxes, Scary Canary, Bassline, Wolf&Co, Street Food Market, Carfax, and the SABC.
In 2020, Mthembu was invited by the African Union to be part of a campaign called Africa Educates Her. Through this virtual festival, the African Union shed light on how the African girl child’s education was impacted by the effects of Covid-19 and how they aim to assist by putting her back in school.
Under the banner of poetry, she found herself in the top 50 artists selected by the Imbewu Arts Festival, supported by the Department of Sports, Art and Culture. She has done virtual performances with Giving Poetry Wings, a collaboration by Radioactive Blog that fuses fine art with spoken word and Pick Me Up Poetry that aims to create conversions around poetry, amongst many others.
You should definitely be following this sensational talent!
Other poetry by this well-versed poet can be found right here at Chasing Dreams as a deeply self-reflective piece features in one of our 2021 anthologies, Letting in the Light titled 'Autophobia'.
For more news about PG_13 and Angela Mthembu, visit their landing page on Music in Africa, open your senses up to their SoundCloud channel, or follow Angela on Instagram for more evocative content. 

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