By Kwanele Khumalo
“People should respect it” Prosperity Melinda Sithole, a poetess from Plumtree laments being invited on people’s functions expecting something more than a token of appreciation only to receive a ‘thank you’. Sithole said people should consider poetry as an art like any other talents therefore it is high time people consider it and appreciate it. “If you call me or text me asking me to come and perform for free then you are simply asking me to come and work for free. If you need me pay me, let us learn to respect everyone’s job,” said Melinda. She said for her, poetry is not just for leisure but it’s her job to pay rent, school fees and buy food and clothes. “People have a tendency of inviting me on their events and ask me to do a poem for them, I use my own money for transport only for them to give me nothing at the end,” said prosperity.
The poetess also said sometimes she offers her services for free for publicity but it’s not always the case because she sees poetry as a profession like any other job that is done by people. Prosperity is a 22-year-old poetess from Mathendele in Plumtree town who is doing her law degree with the University of South Africa.
She did her primary level at Dingumuzi Primary school where she was introduced into poetry by her late former teacher Mr Moyo. She has performed at Ekurhuleni events, Duduza South African Police Service and also performed at Mzwake Mbuli’s 60th birthday celebration. Her talents had been recognized by Patrick Lumumba through Obert Dube, the African poet and together with Dube are preparing a powerful project. She has also worked with singers from Plumtree on the track ‘Vuka Plumtree; where she was featured with her poem. The poetess is looking forward to publish an anthology with her former classmates this year.