When it comes to describing the effect of her work, only Lesedi Mafura herself can quite do it justice: “I want my work to liberate, to set a platform where we tell our African stories without fear of being cast aside or swallowed. I want to see it serving as a badge of honour to every South African woman that despite being too black, too strong, too loud, we are women enough.”
A poet, performer, and Merafong FM radio news anchor, Mafura is consistently in search of new challenges and opportunities for growth. In recent years that drive has materialised into serious recognition — she was nominated for the 2018 Ishashalazi Poetry Ensemble award in Gauteng and the 2019 Ishashalazi Poetry Ensemble award in the West Rand corridor. These nods served as affirmation that she was on the right track and encouraged her to keep pursuing her passions.
Still, it came as a great surprise when her poetry collection, Honey Moon, Honey Earth, Honey Fire, Honey Spirit, was published on Amazon this year. She wants to get it published in hardcopy given the demand for her works.
Mafura is also the founder of Awoke in Words, an organisation that works with children to improve their reading, leadership and public speaking skills. Although she feels that she should have nurtured the organisation differently, she recognises that it was a learning experience that has made her far wiser. She has some advice for her younger self embarking on that adventure: “The best way to live is to nurture what you have. Stop expecting fruits from a tree you didn’t plant and remember an investment in your dreams pays the best interest.”