Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ronelda Kamfer - a necessary voice from South Africa

I discovered Ronelda Kamfer's work on the always excellent Poetry International Web. From the age of 10 she lived in Cape Flats, a place in which getting to school involved getting past three gangs. Cape Flats at one time had 150 gangs and perhaps still has. She saw a schoolmate shot dead in crossfire outside her school.

It's unusual to find a poetic voice coming from a background like this and I really like her poetry and recommend it to you. She writes in Afrikaans and there is just a handful of her poems available in English.

She developed her poetic style by compressing sentences into a few words to stop her little sister from reading her private stuff, according to this interview with Fred De Vries. I've never heard of that method before - but it worked.


Anonymous said...

what is reffered to as "Camp Flats" is actually supposed to be the Cape Flats.

Padraig O'Morain said...

Many thanks for the correction.