Desire Noxolo Mahlangu | #ArtistOfTheMonth – August
Words have power. They can destroy and create. While some use them for selfish reasons to get ahead in life, others find ways to make them a source of inspiration to bring light into the world. Our recent feature for Artist Of The Month is a wordsmith who likes to unlock realms of everyday experiences to bring us stories through her poetry & literary works. She uses her words to build up a colorful library filled with historical tales about human kind & the superpower she posseses is testament that words carry much strength than perceived & can be used to impart knowledge, heal wounds & lift spirits.
Desire Noxolo Mahlangu is a gifted Poet & writer who hails all the way from Limpopo. She describes herself as an “observer of the world” who translates everything she sees to stories she expresses through her poetry & writing. Her word obsessed nature since a young age brought her closer to the literary arts in the form of poetry when she started performing at events like Black Labone during her early years in Pretoria.
Desire sees her art-form as very honest & says it has allowed her perception to grow intellectually. She has carved her fingers into books, exploring different writings from her favorite authors who inspire her works. Some of her own work focuses on ideas that narrate the basic cultures of South African life. She is an observant writer that focuses on storytelling with vivid imagery and detailed descriptions, by doing this she aims to relate wisdom and the philosophy that lies in the fundamental events of life.
Collaboration with Fadzai Nova & American Corner…
Desire was most recently a contributor to a project put out by American Corner in Es’kia Mphahlele Community Library in Sammy Marks Square, Pretoria. She was selected to take part alongside Fadzai Nova, to write up a collaborative poem titled ‘A Celebration’ that shows the US Embassy Pretoria’s ‘Democratization of Art’. The two tied at number one spot after submitting their poems for the competition and that led them to collaborating on the poetry piece which inspired the public mural installation at the library space put together by other various artists.
Speaking on this journey she says “it brought a lot of people together who were diverse and I really enjoyed it. I learnt a lot of things and met a lot of people I am probably going to work with in the future.” This thrilling experience for Desire is not a regular sighting as we rarely see poets collaborating with each other in the discipline.
Alluding to the matter, she mentions how it’s a challenge collaborating with poets because of the difference in writing styles, vocabulary & language. These existing barriers however have not stopped her from creating wonderful works with the likes of Masai Sepuru & other creatives as she seems poised in breaking past limitations.
On Poetry Spaces & Achievements…
“Yeah… we sort of work on infiltration…”
Well known for it’s many creative spaces for the upcoming, Pretoria has had a huge surge of platforms such as open-mics. These accomodate a variety of art-forms like music, fine art & photography. Asked if there’s enough spaces for poets to showcase themselves, she jokingly suggests that poets usually work on “infiltration” to get by. “We go to spaces where there is no poetry then we give them poetry” she says in jest & then reveals how while there are sufficient spaces, “it’s just a matter of us coming to dominate spaces like that & make it known that the poets are here.”
Desire’s literary works have earned her colorful honours, with some of her favorite and biggest achievements being in the top 5 of every single Word N Sound poetry season she’s taken a part of, until she came 2nd in one of the finals.
On upcoming projects & upcoming poets…
Speaking on upcoming projects, she’s recently embarked on a journey to teach the arts in a project headed by Pretoria’s finest composer & pianist Mpho Tshwale. Unable to contain her excitement, she expresses how happy she is that her prior academic pursuit at Tshwane University of Technology as an Educator, has finally crossed paths with her artistic career. The project will commence soon at Botaki Ba Afrika in Hatfield Pretoria & her gleamy eyes & wide smile are a clear indication that she can’t wait to dive deep into this experience.
In an industry where growth is limited & opportunities are scarce, Desire has sprouted as an unshakeable force and a seasoned writer. Her work has matured like wine and continues to quench her listeners’ thirst for stories of wisdom & knowledge. Today we celebrate her as #ArtistOfTheMonth for August, & in addition to that would love to wish her a very happy birthday and many more fruitful years in her career. There are no words to describe our excitement in witnessing your growth, and if there were, we trust a wordsmith like you to interpret the stories of those emotions.
You can watch full interview below:
Visit Desire’s Profile:
STAGE NAME(S) / BRAND NAME(S) : Desire
PROJECT(S): Urban Ethnicity 2021 & more…
OTHER ART-FORM(S): Decorative Art
VIEW FULL PROFILE