Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
You know…my Grand-mother used to say: ’asking an African man to talk about himself he will speak for hours’’. Let me quickly say that my name is Dime Maziba. I’m a Congolese poet, author, pan -Africanist oratory and political activist. I’m also a Financial Accounting student from Durban university of technology (DUT) in South Africa where I’m currently based. I’m taking part in many organizations which strike for youth empowerment and gender equity.
At what age did you start writing?
I started writing at the age of 14 during my boarding school days.
Who/what first inspired you to begin?
It’s hard to talk about it without sounding pretentious but my work is inspired by injustice. If I see or hear something that affects me or anyone else, I have to put pen to paper. I’m from Democratic Republic of Congo, a country which is experiencing one of the biggest genocide in the history of mankind with more than 10 million people killed and raped women over the 20 past years. And this war is supported financially by western powers in order to steal mineral resources and manufacture all the gadgets people use. So I think it’s a heavy untold story which I can’t carry alone.
Who are some of your favorite writers and artists (past and/or contemporary)?
I think I’m more attracted by revolutionary writers and artists. Those who refused to sell their dignity for some recognition. In that perspective, I can spend the all day reading and listening to all the Harlem Renaissance writers, Bob Marley, Amiri Baraka, Aime Cesaire, Frantz fanon…
My favourite contemporary writers list includes names like Mutabaruka, Eugene skeef, Menzi Maseko, Matamba lukasu, Alain tito Mabiala, Luvuyo Plum…
How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … flow?
I don’t always know, particularly at the time. I just feel like an intense and passionate interest in something or someone, and a desire to build a poem. But usually in order to push my work I prefer writing during the night as I have a lovely little study – a snug, more like, where most of my books are in shelves lining the walls and I have a desk and an ergonomic chair, a filing cabinet. I also love to write in coffee shops. I find the soft music and the aroma of good coffee particularly conducive. Having said that, though, I can write anywhere and often do – at the tram-stop, on the bus, in a queue. if I get an idea, I have to write it down.
What does poetry mean to you, and has your idea of what it represents changed over the course of time? Where do you see it going in the future?
As far as I’m concerned, Poetry has been very therapeutic to me. It has helped me to deal with anger, frustration, heartbreak, headache, hopelessness, isolation, depression, and more. Actually, it has helped me be human. I think, if all the governments all over the world implement more poetry training or programs, we will end up having a society where there will be no more racism, imperialism, xenophobia and all those similar hatreds.
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
The only social media I’m using so far is Facebook where people can find me under my name ‘’Dime Maziba’’. Time is always there; I think it’s all about priority because there should come a time when you need to log out of your account and do something else.
Can you talk a bit about your forthcoming book, Flames of Revolution? Is there a theme to the collection?
Flames of Revolution is a poetry compilation that covers poems from a wide range of themes as it addresses such topics as politics, colonialism, nature, xenophobia and war in Africa, religion, and racism. Each piece stands alone coming alive with deep emotions portrayed in a poetical manner that is easy to relate to. This book is also for anyone who loves deeply, has bad days and searches for happiness in the world around him. It’s also for those who have been hurt, have scars to prove they still exist alive. Poems range also from romance to issues such as stigma, women abuse and marginalization.
Who is your publisher, and when do you expect the book to be released?
I’m published by Classic Age Publishing Company and the book will officially be released in mid-July. Anyone who is willing to pre-order a copy can write to info@ClassicAgePublishing.co.za.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Writing is a skill which can be developed over the years. Do not be discouraged by criticism. Remember that many successful writers were once rejected by publishing houses
Langston Hughes once said: “I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.”