#CSPSlam Ch.3 One on One winner – Thuli Zuma

There are levels to everything. And so, there are levels to the #CSPSlam. First there is the 12 poets’ slam, where 12 poets are chosen from the workshops offered by the Current State of Poetry team and then there is the one on one slam. The poets on the one on one slam have been in the industry for long, long enough to be called professional poets. Check the level. They have slammed against many poets, but the #CSPSlam is a slam like no other, because this a slam that demands for the poets to bring nothing but MALANGABS. Thuli Zuma won the Ch.3 one on one slam and we wanted to know, many slams later, what stays the same, so we asked her.


Do you have poems that you will never perform? Why?

I don’t have any poems I won’t perform, though I do have many poems I haven’t performed and not that I never will, just I haven’t yet.

What are the intentions with which you enter the slam?

The one on one slam I was really excited about, I was thrilled to share a stage with Thando. The intention with which I entered that slam was the same one I enter all slams with, to share my work & my heart and have a good time.

Are the poets of your generation saying enough?


Many slams later, what is typical of a slam?

Good poems, strong performances, opinionated judges.

What is the feeling that stands between winning and losing a slam?

Of course winning is great, it feels like victory and losing feels less awesome, but for me the more important thing is how I feel. You can fool some people some of the time but you can never fool yourself. So losing for me feels like not doing my best or giving a disingenuous performance and winning feels like giving my best, doing work I believe in and engaging with it and the audience honestly.

In One you say …the first time my mother told me she loved me, I cried…” Besides I love you, what are the things that black children don’t hear enough?

I think more troubling than what black children don’t hear enough of, is the things they hear all too often, from a world which isn’t built on our bones. The most harmful being the myth that they are not enough.

In one word, what do you love about poetry and what are the challenges in poetry?


I love what it can do, how it shortens the distance between people. Often it can become the shortest distance between two hearts from completely different worlds. I love that about it.


Follow The Current State of Poetry for more updates.

f: Current State Of Poetry – CSP

T: @CSofPoetry


-Baeletsi Tsatsi


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