LELETHU "PoeticSoul” Mahambehlala weaves magic with her tongue and, although she has a law degree, her focus is no longer on the courtroom but on the spoken and written word.
Mahambehlala, with Nubian Mantombazana, started a project, Life Lessons, at KwaMagxaki High School, and through this project they are encouraging young people to express themselves in poetry, dance, drama, music and more. It was partly for Life Lessons that she won an arts and culture award from Port Elizabeth consultancy firm Vision 4 Women last year, as well as for her work at North End prison and the Love Child soup kitchen.
The Pearson High School old girl loves the vibe of Central, where she lives, and chose La Boca, the coffee shop-cum-restaurant a stone’s throw from her flat, for her lunch date with La Femme. Waiting staff greeted her warmly and she confessed she had tried "nearly everything” on its menu.
I am a poet because ... I have something to say.
I have a soft spot for ... Children.
I should have studied... Social work or education.
I’d love to party with ... People who prefer conversation over loud music.
I’m listening to ... I love listening to human voices and their different textures.
When I was 16, I wish I knew ... What an interesting journey my life would be. I would have lied less and read more.
I’ll know I’ve made it when .... Nothing feels like work.
The person who has taught me the most is ... My mom’s sense of humour has taught me to take a moment to laugh at myself. My dad’s drive and passion has taught me to do everything that makes me walk with that extra spring.
My music weakness is ...The bass guitar and djembe drum. One pulls at my heart strings and the other just gets my feet excited.
Nothing makes me happier than ... A good thought and a good deed.
I absolutely hate ... The materialism of people. I wish people knew each other beyond the car so-and-so drives.
I am saving to buy ... A makeover for my flat.
I share my life with ... Asanda Mqiki and Nothukela "TK” Mahambehlala. Asanda rocks my world and TK is the calm.
I can’t go a day without ... Laughing till my head aches.
In 10 years I see myself ... Happy and doing what God wants of me.
My favourite places in the metro are ... Fort Frederick Park, the Opera House, any bookshop, La Boca.
- To hear Mahambehlala in action, don’t miss Her Words, a poetry and performance evening tonight, at the Athenaeum’s Little Theatre, also featuring television personality Vatiswa Ndara.