Meet MZIMKHULU TOM who goes by the stage name MZIDASLAMPOET. The meaning behind the name makes a lot of sense to him as a writer and a poet. He started writing in primary school and at the time he knew nothing about poetry until one of his English teachers gave them homework based on environment . The writing started out as homework and research and it ended up being one of his favourite most explored talents.
Mzimkhulu is mentored by one of the greatest writers South Africa has seen, Mzi Mahola. He mentored him while he was still new to poetry and he still goes to him for advice based on his writings. Mzimkhulu was once a street kid at a very young age and he can say that, "looking back to present street kids and every day people I can say it's what motivated me inspired me to write poetry". He is inspired by everyday people, life and nature.
He believes that, "Poetry gives education to young people though you have to remember that all depends on each content and the concept behind,though poetry is a powerful tool to educate self love and self reliance,it encourages young people and to our society to be more readers,that's i encourage young people I am dealing with in my daily basis,through poetry minds are challenged and new topics are brought in place and their views,it teaches society to question everyday life and life style,to the society I live poetry is the fundamental of life in the deepest deeper general."
In 2013 he submitted pieces of his work to NMU and his work was published in their magazine in 2013. Then in 2014 he submitted more pieces for their magazine and was rejected because the work he did not suit the criteria they were looking for. This is truly inspiring because most would have used this as an excuse not to carry on fighting for their dreams and ambitions but he chose not to give up but keep going.
He looks up to the likes of Lebo Mashile she's one of the beautiful poets in the whole South Africa, Lelethu Mahambehlala her poetry is so ecstatic and Thuli Zuma she's so exciting her writing is so spiritual.
his year he would like to drop his first EP called Dark Beauty and publish his first book Heritage Of A Mind. He will also be introducing the EASTERN CAPE SLAM POETRY CHAMPIONSHIP this year.
This young man also aspires to own a championship of poetry whereby young, upcoming poets will be given the platform, seminars and workshops of poetry and literature in the Eastern Cape. This will alow him to give opportunities to those younger than him and those who want to follow in the same footsteps as him. He wants to create opportunities that were never given to him. He also wants to do his creative masters in 2021 at the Rhodes University. He says that, "Though in life we have work to do more than accomplishments.We have to accomplish work after work we never get done at dreaming and working.Work is the for to push our dreams."
We asked him what kind of advice can he offer to those who want to become poets/writers and he said , "I would inspire them to be curious about knowledge.The school of knowledge is reading before writing,That's where most of knowledge is at through reading. As well managing time is very important. Know what you doing when. They must keep themselves busy attend local writers clubs book clubs join book campaigns readers digest and be members of the library with that way they won't go wrong in being top writers. Lastly be your own competition!"
Mzimkhulu Tom aims to have his project Eastern Cape Poetry League being on of the biggest poetry leagues in the Eastern Cape and nationally. He also wants to publish a book called "Heritage Of A Mind" and read in universities and he plans to release his EP project in the next five years. He also wants to see his poetry projects excelling nationally as well as international.