Arts CornerPoetry in motion

Unmuting the muted voice

Respect Zitha, an 18 year old teenager from Acornhoek, Bushbuckridge, is using poetry to unmute the voices of the voiceless, writes Brenley Ngoveni.

The soon to turn 19 teenage writer and a BBusSc in Finance and Accounting student has been a fan of literature from a young age and has taken part in numerous reading competitions and won accolades in some of them. He started writing in March 2020 during the lockdown. Ztha used the free time to focus on himself and try new things, and that’s how the poetic genius in him was awaken.

Zitha published his first ever book entitled The Muted Voice, which was launched in March 2021. The book is a lot more focused on teenagers. It is the voice of the teenagers who are facing youthful challenges, whose voices are muted and can’t be heard, though they’re dying inside. So, this book is their voice and it talks about their lives, be it Love in all dimensions(main theme), Teenage pregnancy, Depression, Future, Gender based violence and lot more.

Ostensibly, he wrote the book out of his life experience. “To be precise, the book was written out of heartbreak. There was a girl in the picture whom I was trying to impress when I wrote my poem to her,”  Zitha says. Moreover, he was inspired by other teenage writers who have achieved numerous awards from their books and even sold internationally.

Like most young writers, it was not easy for Respect Zitha to write and publish his book. He had to do a lot of research on how to publish, as well as to improve the quality of his work for publishing.

My biggest challenge was finances. Both my parents are not financially stable to cover my publishing costs. But I’m glad they went all out and supported me until the end.

There were many instances where Respect Zitha thought that completing a book would be beyond his strength because he had to manage his time for writing and also for his academic work.

I wanted to give it my all in writing and finish my book before Matric. But, that pressure was affecting my mental health because I had to focus on writing,  negotiate with the publishers, stress about funds and also academic stuff as well.

However, he was fortunate enough to get contact details of a nearby publisher. He was assisted by Mr Adorn Ndlovu from DONA PRIMA PUBLISHERS in  publishing his book. Mr Ndlovu could’ve taken advantage of his minor age but he was very understanding and patient when working with him. DONA PRIMA PUBLISHERS has also been helpful in helping him to market the book online on different social media platforms.

The book has been received warmly on social media and the readers seem to have been blown away by the title before they even read it. It has received a lot of support from teenagers and most of them have sent feeback, saying they can really relate with the book and that it is indeed their voice.

But what are Zitha’s future prospects in writing?

“The Muted Voice is my first of many to come. I’m still willing to embark on and explore other genres of literature, adding to poetry and still looking forward to collaborate with other authors on my future books.”




the authorFlair


Leave a Reply