Ndivhudzannyi Madzhie, at just 20 years old, must rate as one of the youngest and newest published poets in South Africa. After seven years of trying to get it published, she launched her first book of poems on 7 March 2020. In the end, when she found a publisher, it took under six months.
“The collection is all about birth, hope, love, and nature. And about the challenges the youth face, everyday struggles and strategies on how to survive.”
The poems are in Tshivenda and the collection is called Ndi Vhudza Nnyi? which is her name, and translates as “Who Do I Tell?”
“The collection is all about birth, hope, love, and nature. And about the challenges the youth face, everyday struggles and strategies on how to survive” says Ndivhudzannyi. It is just the latest in a string of enviable accomplishments.
Hailing from the rural village of Vhurivhuri, in an area formerly known as Venda, Ndivhudzannyi lost her father at a young age. She was raised by her widowed and unemployed mother and relates that their life was an intense struggle. Attending school barefooted, they never knew where their next meal was coming from.
In 2018, she had no guaranteed funding for her university studies, and, on top of that, their house was destroyed by wind and heavy rain in the same year. Catastrophe! But she has risen like the sun after the storm, creating rainbows in her life.
She made up her mind then and there that she wanted “to promote healing, hope, and faith at health care facilities.”
Growing up, Ndivhudzannyi ‘s dream was to be a doctor. Unfortunately her admission point score did not open that door for her at the University of the Free State. They did, however, accept her for a place in their Bachelor of Social Science in Nursing programme and awarded her a merit bursary. Nonetheless, she is still determined to follow her dream of being a doctor once she completes her nursing degree!
Ndivhudzannyi remembers that, when her father was finally hospitalised, he complained about how the nurses were treating him. She made up her mind then and there that she wanted “to promote healing, hope, and faith at health care facilities”.
‘Never give up’ seems to be a fitting motto for this young overcomer.
She has made her mark at the university. Now a third-year student, she is a member of the International Golden Key Honor Society, a US-based organisation which recognises academic achievement. Membership into Golden Key is offered to undergraduate and graduate students and recognises the top 15% of students in their class. And she’s on the UFS women’s football team where she plays left back and left wing. They are very proud of their poet. A true all-rounder!
‘Never give up’ seems to be a fitting motto for this young overcomer. In her own words: “This is a clear demonstration that you can succeed against all odds at any age. #ImStaying.”
Edited By: Val Bruce
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