We really love fearless African women and Koleka Putuma is one of many in Africa. Putuma is a beautiful South African, who uses her work to confront the difficult issues Black people face in South Africa. Her aim is to bring healing through this exploration.
“When we look at the country – but not only the country, in our families as well – you kind of realize that when you don’t grieve or when you don’t heal from something, collectively, as a group, or as people, things come back,” she said. “There’s a cycle. And even if you try and slip into a kind of amnesia, if you have not dealt with something, in one way or another, it’s gonna return.”
The South African poet-playwright is breaking that cycle through her debut anthology, Collective Amnesia. Released in April 2017, the book and accompanying photography by Andiswa Mkosi thread together themes of “blackness, womanhood, history, justice, visibility, trauma, healing, grief, memory, joy, sex, self-care, love and most of all the fight against amnesia,” Putuma shared with Marie Claire.
When asked her favorite poem in Collective Amnesia, her response: “‘Lifeline’. “It’s a list of all the women who have made me believe that it is possible to be alive and brilliant and unapologetic in my body and existence.”
If you are a poet or playwright and you are scared of airing your views because of what the society will say, take a leaf out of Koleka Putuma’s book today, get your confidence back!