Well known South African poet and visual artist, Maakomele “Mak” Manaka, has decided to give back to the community by hosting workshops where he allows young people to share their work and assist in moulding each other into becoming better writers and poets.
The 27 year old says these workshops also help him improve his craft. "On Saturdays I'm usually free and in need of some poetry psychology and I thought a poetry workshop would be a great idea".
Manaka says poetry sessions helped groom him when he was starting out in the industry. He believes such initiatives play a major role in establishing up and coming poets.
"The goal of the workshops is to give them the tools to believe in themselves in order for them to articulate themselves better," says Manaka.
Thandiwe Zidlele, from the Eastern Cape, arrived in Johannesburg to study but dropped out of university due to personal reasons. She says these workshops have helped her get out of the depressing slump she once found herself in and have assisted in her finding her dreams again.
On these workshops he works with other established names in the industry such as Flo, Quaz and Valentine who form the group Likwid Tongue.
Another aim of the workshops is to give young people something to do on weekends rather than sit around with a possibility of ending up as substance abusers or criminals. The free Poetry 101 workshops take place on Saturdays in Johannesburg’s Newtown.