I met this young woman through an amazing friend, the first time we talked we clicked! She is magic, she is poetry, she is love, she is laughter, she is everything! An inspiration to the young and old. She is extremely focused, bubbly and have a beautiful set of eyes! I hope her story inspires you as much as it inspired me.
Stylist: Nollie Ngwira
Photography: kMoe Foto
Makeup Artist: Bojelo Marari
Art Direction: T A N L U M E
- Please tell us about yourself.
I am Nametso Dorothy Phonchi, a Christian woman who was born and bred in the Township of Lobatse.I hail from Gabane, that makes me Molete.I am a Barclays F.G Mogae Scholarship achiever currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science at the University of Botswana.I work part time here in the University as a Laboratory Demonstrator.I am a multilingual spoken word poet and a live performer.I am an author of an Anthology titled STORIES FROM THE SUN.I am a Co-founder of a mentorship movement called Motswana wa Sekei. I am passionate about God, and I love doing things for his glory.I believe in community development and the power of volunteer work.I read, a lot.And I am an outspoken individual who just enjoys talking and eating potato meals.
- What were you like as a child. Growing up,was creativity actively encouraged?
I grew up in a township, lekeishane as some people would call it. I grew up as a talkative and outspoken tomboy.I was too playful, I loved volleyball and debate.I sang dikwaere on Christmas holidays so in this I believe I always exploded the artistic side of life from a young age. Unfortunately, where I grew up, creativity only came in the form of knitting and sewing for girls, but for us, the tomboys, playing “mathaere” (a game in which boys usually play with worn out tyres). It was only until University that I was able to explore my writing skills through a platform known as the writers workshop, which held small poetry sessions every Wednesdays in the University.
- What are some of the issues/topics you find most rewarding to write about?
I write to inspire, to reach and sometimes to question.I love God, love, women, nature and Africa.I try to write about anything, from day to day conversations, to personal experiences and places.However I have made a record of collecting STORIES that explore social issues in an attempt to reach, raise awareness or question our knowledge as the people.Basically I write about everything that I feel needs to be said and known.
4. Tell us about your recent book?
Oh!this is exciting! I am an author of an an e-book titled STORIES FROM THE SUN.This is my debut anthology with about 58 pages and 48 poems.These are my original poems, my stories, and experiences of self and my significant others. This book was published in July 2016, by an International publishing house called Bahati Books, which aims to give rise to African Voices. I believe this book is one voice that refuses to be caged, it is STORIES from different African places written at the break of dawn. Poems from this book are emotionally fulfilling, breaking and uplifting all at the same time. This book is available to purchase online on various platforms such as Okadabooks.com, Amazon.com, DigitalBackBooks.com, iTunes and Kobo at only P58.04.
5. What influences your craft?
I believe my craft is spiritually led and directed.I write to fulfill my God given purpose.I write to find my feet and to help others find balance in their own lives.I write to collect STORIES which my own children will live to tell. I want to be remembered for the love I have for God, my Mother, my family and friends through the stories I collect.I am influenced by the urge to be a better woman, than I am today.
6.Where do you look for daily inspiration?
I find my daily inspiration from meditating on scripture and reading books. I listen to Ted talks a lot, and I find myself tapping wisdom from there on most days.I am a prayer warrior, I kneel and pray to fix, to uplift and to feed my soul.
7.What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Being a writer allows my to talk, freely and widely. I adress different areas of life, when I write.When I perform, the stage affords me a platform where I can artistically and boldly represent God, and serve my purpose. Being a performer gives me the joy of always being in touch with my emotions, even forces me to explore my deepest hidden emotions, which I otherwise wouldn’t explore on a normal life stage.
- Some of the challenges you’ve faced in your career so far?
I have faced only a few, that I wouldn’t see as problems because I have successfully managed to rise from them.Currently, I would say the only stumbling block I face is financial constraints in growing our co-founded mentorship project, Motswana was Sekei, which I have co-founded with a brilliant author Mmakgosi Tau.We are currently unable to reach as many schools and children as we would love, because we are a self funded project currently. However we believe this is only a start, we work extra hard with the believe that nothing can stop us to impart and mentor other growing writers as ourselves.
- Where do you visualise yourself being in the future?
I see myself as an Environmental Economist consulting for international organizations and advocating for underprivileged communities. I see myself as a nation builder with a few books that changes lives of many people both young and old.
- Love is selfless, giving and should be felt by everything and given to everyone.