Poet helps youth to realise their talents

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

Celebrated Belgian poet Frieda Groffy, who is in South Africa, says her aim is to use poetry to empower the youth.

Groffy's first stop was at the Artist's Proof Studio in Newtown, where she has worked with visual arts students.

Having published six books of poetry, the seasoned poet has spent three months sharing her skills with young people.

"I have been showing them a few tricks. Since most of them have already written poems, it was a case of putting this in a proper manner," Groffy said.

Groffy, who has often visited South Africa to host workshops, said: "Through poetry we are trying to show that poverty is not an excuse for crime.

"My aim is to get poems that I will feature in the book that will be published in Belgium called Climbing the Rainbow Nation of our Dream."

Groffy said she taught her students, many of whom were very talented, to write positive stories.

Groffy said one had to be brave to be a professional poet.

"Poetry is not selling anywhere.

"You struggle as a poet to make a living out of it," she said.

Vatiswa Mtyelela, one of Groffy's students, said: "I never was interested in writing poetry, but Frieda touched a nerve in me and I realised that I can tell a story through poetry."