Tulile was born in Zambia 20 years ago, and is currently based in Malaysia . She is in university majoring in Analytical economics.
KAPA187: What influenced you to express yourself using poetry as opposed to other art forms?
Tulile : Believe it or not I started off by writing rap lyrics in high school, inspired by my sister who at that time had quite a fascination by that music genre, had asked me to pick up a pen and try it, as it was a hobby she regularly did. Before I knew it I started to get a knack for writing rhymes and entered one competition for my high school. But despite all that felt lacking in the sense that I realized rap was all about competition and lacked the depth I wanted to convey about myself what I felt about the world around me, so slowly rap turned into poetry.
KAPA187: What types of poems do you find yourself writing most? Do you have a recurring type?
Tulile: Mostly Lyrical poems but I try not to make them too personal and at the same time not detach myself too much from the poem itself .Example if I right about something I haven’t been through myself Id imagine what I would do if say I was in that situation.
No I don’t have a recurring type, Ideas just come to me and I write. I never associate any new material with what ive written in the past because writing its self is also a skill that I’m trying to master, so I ‘move forward’ so to speak.
KAPA187: What do you think is the biggest misconception about poets?
Tulile: To be honest I really have no clue. I’ve never seen life from that point of view and I haven’t come across anyone who’s had any misguided ideas about poetry ‘yet’. But I will tell you this, the day I do hear any I’ll be more than happy because poets are artists that are not recognized by most back home (Zambia)… “Bad press is better than no press”
KAPA187: How was it like when you performed your poetry for the first time?
Tulile: Definitely shook up, had butterflies in my tummy and made it pretty obvious I was nervous wreck. But as soon as I began reciting it all seemed to go away and became an amazing experience for me.
KAPA187: What is ‘Poets Passport’ all about?
Tulile: In Cyberjaya, the city I live in, Poets Passport began as a small group of students that shared a passion for poetry and would meet in different homes to recite and share their pieces. Over time word spread and the attendance at our poetry sessions grew to 50 or sometime 70 people. Moving from houses to more accommodating scenes at restaurants, the poetry sessions continued to go on strong and now, three years later, Poets Passport has become one of the most recognized poetry scenes this side of Malaysia, producing poets that have won numerous slam poetry awards including the Asia-Pacific slam poetry championship. And although I have only been with Poets Passport a mere few months I’ve found myself surrounded by truly inspiring poets. I feel it’s truly an honor for me to be a part of this movement.
KAPA187: Are you poems drawn from personal experiences or from other sources?
Tulile: I write both personal poems which I tend to keep to myself and performance poetry which relates to common experiences we all go through as a better way to connect with the audience.
I find it important not to mix the two because a friend once taught me that if you are too attached to what you create you’ll never leave room for improvement.
KAPA187: They say that to see the world with complete honesty one should look to comedians, artists and poets, what do you think emerges naturally from your work?
Tulile: Nothing hits home like the truth. When you look at a form of art and your able to see yourself in it? That! Is the mission of all artists’ comedians and poets. When you speak truth you evoke emotion whether it’s pleasant or painful.
Point is that when you leave that stage no will forget that YOU did that.
KAPA187: Is there a poem that you have written that you will never forget, if so tell us why.
Tulile: I will never forget all my poems…literally. I’ve memorized them so much its practically impossible for me now. All are different in their own way so none really stand out to me as special.
KAPA187: Do you have any hidden talents?
Tulile: Hidden??…Not any more. For those who didn’t know I guess the cats out of the bag, I love to sing.
KAPA187: If you were told you only had 6 months left to live , what would you do?
Tulile: Stop School…haha jokes… (Not really). I would keep appreciating life the way I do. Make decisions like I’l live forever. And keep loved ones close to me through it all.
KAPA187: In 10 years i will be….
Tulile: Happy with the career path I’ve chosen
Some powerful poetry
” I personally haven’t heard of any poetry slams being held back home but i know there’s a need, and a lot of people who would like to express themselves in the same way that i have, but have not had the chance to because of a lack in exposure to such kind of events.so thats why i want to do this, to inspire, and that hopefully someone who reads it will be moved to do something about it. ” – Tulile Siyumbwa