Story by Sbongiseni Dladla
Nkululeko Ngenya - better known as Page - is a young poet from Durban. He is currently registered as a student of Marine Biology at UKZN Westville and started performing his poetry in 2011. Speaking of his influences he points out that his “poetry draws from characters such as my father and other close family”.
He has performed at Jomba!, Word N Sound Live Music & Poetry On Tour, Give Me Ten Mics, Cup O’ Thought and other nationally prestigious arts festivals. Forming part of the Poetry Africa SlamJam team, he competed against the European team from the Ordspråk Festival (Sweden) at the 16th Poetry Africa Festival in 2012 as well as being chosen to perform as the prelude poet for the for the same festival in the following year. In addition, he was listed as one of the headliners at KwaZulu Poetry Festival in April of this year. Most recently he has performed as part of the rising youth art movement, Poet in a Suit.
Words by which he lives his art are, “poetry is not only in the words, but in the world. It is in the land, in the air and, mostly, in ourselves.”
Below is one of his most popular poems in which he speaks of a displaced rib. The rib functions as a proxy for a lost love. Keep an eye out for this young poet.
My Displaced Rib
At night each tear from all spheres in my eye assembles.
It's funny though for I do see the man in the mirror but I don't get who he resembles
No not even when I show my good side on its most clearest angle.
That's when I wish to go back to when life wasn't so tangled
You know, when we used to walk alongside the sunset kicking the beach sand with our sandals,
And you'd diss me about my big head and I'd joke about your freckles.
But now I take it you not fond of obesity for you don't understand what this love handles
It had my heart, wrapped in a fine crystal plate
Sealed in an envelope and addressed to your place
Plus for reference I had a picture of your face
Framed with a million stars which I handpicked from space.
You see I wanted to chain my soul to the straps of your heart
Until either it, or death does us part.
I know we are supposed to be apart but I just can't get off with it
Coz although you were so pure and clean I steal showered you with compliments
I know no language of love but I won't be surprised if now I'm talking it!
... and it's with it that I now whisper in your ear
You can leave with my heart to keep.
But I'll pray for your return...my displaced rib.