This evening I went to the New Brighton Township in Port Elizabeth to eat Braai and meet Lelethu mahambehla, aka Poetic Soul, aka totally incredible woman.
Lelethu has also been on her own ancestoral journey, moving from Durban to Port Elizabeth alongside her father who was tracing his father’s roots.
She told me ‘If you have South African blood it will call. It will make different sounds, but it will speak until eventually you listen. Now Rebecca, you have listened.’
Lelethu went completely blind in 2013. She explained how in something being taken away she had gained so much more. It’s that same recognition I keep finding here, loss and gain become a similar song.
The connection I have found tonight, in that place, with salt of the earth people and with such an amazing artist has been very special. So much recognition, understanding and depth...we ate meats cooked on the open fire, and took turns to stand up and read poetry to the world.
And I’m sure the world heard