A poet living in Observatory acknowledged how the area provided her with the space to express herself and to meet other creatives when she launched her book recently.
Jennifer Mngadi, the author of A Collection of Bees Wax moved to Cape Town from Mozambique and is originally from eSwatini. She has been living in Observatory for a year and a half.
The anthology is a collection of the author’s experiences of depression and happiness.
“My book is a collection of work beginning in 2018 up to the beginning of this year. I would say the lockdown period helped me curate some of the work as well as create some new pieces of where I find myself today,” Ms Mngadi said.
Ms Mngadi said she felt very comfortable in Observatory and was able to be herself because everyone she bumped into was unapologetically expressing themselves.
“I would describe Observatory as a laid-back area. A community which reminds me of when I lived in Mozambique with diverse friendly people who are ready to help and almost everyone knows everyone. I have also had the opportunity of meeting a few creatives that live in the area” she said.
She said in the light of the pandemic, and as lockdown restrictions were relaxed, Observatory seemed to have changed quite a lot. People have become more guarded and crime has risen quite a bit even though there is a neighbourhood watch.
The depression that the author speaks about in her new book is related to various factors including her family, relationship dynamics and the relationship with self.
“Recently, it’s been the pressure that we as young adults face in society today such as having to get a house, a car, get married, to have children and having a good career. At the same time, we forget that the times have changed. We are in a pandemic which only blew the lid off of other societal problems we were already facing such as a lack of employment opportunities” she said.
“Most of my poems relate to experiences that I have had here, the good and the bad. I have had the pleasure of knowing so many creative people in Cape Town who inspire me on a daily from magazine editors to actors. Seeing their incredible work ethic and perseverance served as great inspiration,” she said.
She said that attending poetry readings and meeting poets gave her enormous motivation to write.
“Maybe someone can find solace in my poems about romance, the ones about procrastination or even the ones about existential crises,” she said.
To purchase the digitised book, click here.