Mbulelo Mpofu, Showbiz Reporter
SATURDAY, October 16, 2021 will forever hold a special place in Sox the poet’s heart. This is because this is the time when he gave himself an early 26th birthday present through the premiering of his own documentary at Carne Casa.
Keeping up with the spirit of festivities, Sox the poet (real name Sondlane Nyamezela Dube) might as well need to diarise November 6, 2021 as he might walk away with the coveted Roil Bulawayo Arts Award (BAA) Outstanding Poet gong.
How best can one drumroll their way towards an imminent announcement? With the RoilBAA ceremony around the corner, Sox who is nominated in the Outstanding Poet category thought of treating his legion of fans to a slice of his life via the documentary.
Notwithstanding the pressure that comes with going toe to toe with some of the city’s renowned poets, Sox cut out a chilled figure, calm amid the storm and this is the kind of demeanour that he has been known for.
Sox believes that poetry has always been a part of him and he defines it as a “language with which I prefer to communicate, I was born with a silver pen in hand and learnt the right words along the way.”
The poet attributes his growth in the art form to his sister Nozichocho Dube and his father, Ian Dube. Under their watchful care, the young Sox read and recited other people’s poems and such a work ethic was going to be critical in his development as a poet.
His passion grew and his skill was sharpened through small and voluntary performances from stages ranging from church to academic and community-based events in and around Bulawayo, with him getting a few accolades in poetry and public speaking competitions along the way.
His first public performance in 2017 was a first for many that would come his way.
The event was organised by Intwasa in collaboration with #MyZimVision. His first piece of silverware came two years later when he won the National Lafarge Poetry Slam.
Since then, Sox The Poet has performed at a number of events including the 2018 Citizens Manifesto, LitFest workshops, 2020 World Creativity Day, World Poetry Movement (2018, 2019 and 2020), Academic and Policy Workshops, Mhlekazi International Poetry Fest and Shoko Festival where he was part of the team that won the Battle of Cities Poetry Slam.
Sox lives for poetry and has given his heart and soul to it. He is also the co-founder of Project Being Human and Bandiwhilila Trust. He also writes for The Bold Dialogue and is the administrator for Memeza Network Studio which is a community podcasting studio.
He hosts a poetry podcast called Verse Connoisseur, publishes his work at deep underground poetry website and has also judged poetry competitions including 100 Voices by Intwasa.
One thing that you likely did not know about Sox is that irrespective of him being a public speaker, voice over artiste, article and scriptwriter, he is not always confident and he sometimes succumbs to his worst fear, stage fright.
“I’m always nervous on stage, and this is real. I’m nervous to a point that I froze thrice on stage, trying to recollect my thoughts and to remember my lines. The good thing is, I always get through it and you might not be able to see it in real time,” shared Sox.
The RoilBAA competition might be stiff since Sox is battling for the award with Desire Moyo, Racheal Voko and Delah Dube, but he is fancying his chances as he considers the nomination and recognition as, “an honour”.
“I feel excited for the Roil BAA nomination as it coincides with my being shortlisted for the Gumi Guru 50 Under 30 list of influential people for my contribution in the Zimbabwean poetry scene.” – @eMKlass_49