Mutinta Simelane knows what it’s like to share a stage with greatness. After all, she performed poetry at the Global Citizen Festival in 2018 — an event where some of the most recognisable faces of the entertainment industry arrived on our shores.
Symbolically, this is where South Africa belongs: alongside the very best there is.
“In all the projects that I have been a part of, the world is in awe of the talent here and how vibrant the young people of South Africa are,” she says. “I believe that what I do is slowly starting the fire that will one day bring our leadership in this country to understand that the arts sector is vast and needs time, energy and passion to be fully understood.”
Much of Simelane’s personal mission revolves around creating a pathway for that abundance of talent to flourish. In addition to being a project manager, she is always keen to teach young artists business administration and digital skills.
The importance of artists, but especially poets, she says, goes far beyond June 16, Women’s Day and Heritage month; their stories are vital to the very fabric of society.
“I would like to see institutions that are dedicated to equipping young, marginalised communities with skills such as public speaking and creative writing. Those two skills alone boost confidence, broaden the emotional literacy in children and are tools that will eradicate so many societal ills at a grass roots level.”
A TEDx speaker who has taken part in projects across the world, she’s leading by example.