Through Vangi-tinted glasses

Perspectives from an African


Undressing in front of the Window - a collection of poems by Vangi Gantsho

Undressing in front of the Window – a collection of poems by Vangi Gantsho

The journey to this collection has not been without many challenges, and in hindsight, I realise that the journey to Vangi has been equally filled with ups and downs.  But finally… Here we are!!!

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Undressing in front of the window – A collection of poems By Vangi Gantsho.

“The need and the quest to be listened to, and to be understood and valued as a serious-minded poet, is the deep-lying, and unuttered plea of every poet. Vangile Gantsho is no different; her works ring true as a testimony. This biographical anthology, despite traces of her stoic mettle and strong character, underscore that deep-lying, unuttered plea to be listened to and valued.” – Tamkhulu Don Mattera

I really am delighted to share this work with everyone.  It contains older poems such as I expect more from you, Talking Frankly and In the company of royals; as well as newer pieces like I will remember this forever and My favourite pair of All-Stars.  I believe in it with all my heart and have been so incredibly blessed to have the most amazing people walk with me on this journey.  Undressing in front of the Window has been edited by Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, proofread by Gillian Godsell and reviewed by former South African journalist, Miranda Strydom and award-winning musician, Gloria Bosman.  The beautiful cover was created by the talented Tanya Pretorius from Thursday’s Cat, from a photo originally taken by the photo therapist, Saddi Khali.

Watch this space for release dates!!!

Both electronic and physical copies will be available for sale from mid-May and I will be carrying a few copies with me on my Azania to DC tour. Undressing in front of the Window will also be available at various Protea Books across South Africa.




broken door January 13, 2015

broken door

on a taxi yesterday

I met a grey haired ghost with a rumbling silence

swollen, her belly brewed a hushed anger

a stillness of breaths

that remembered promises and children.

She told me of a dream she once had

a country she once carried.

she told me of twenty six days of night

how she imagined the sun and the sky

lay dreaming on a cement wetness

fought memories of a broken door 

her babies’ screams

one was five, the other three.

she could not allow herself to think of them

of what had happened to them.

she did not cry

nor was she cold

she could not tell me when exactly her womb had turned to lead

only that countries and children are a sorrow

worse than dying


going to war – a poem for the akward girl in a little blue dress January 5, 2015

going to war

you will learn to wear words

the way soldiers hold up shields

know that you are different

a tragedy of dark

and fat

in a world of skinny yellow bones

you will have two choices

cower into a hole

eat, drink, sleep

your hurt away

build walls

keeping in a cold

sharper than loneliness

or you will carve a sword

out of talent and character

fight insecurities dressed as dragons

inherited from mother to daughter

to that little girl who

didn’t know any different

playgrounds are our first 

taste of war

words shot into the sky

only those who learn love early

will know the armour it takes to survive



Please join us for our first theatrical staging of HUMAN4HUMAN:

3 October 2014
Jo’burg Theatre –
R100 (R80 for students)

Kiri Pink Nob and Iinstomi present HUMAN4HUMAN through poetry and music.



Spoken Freedom Festival Line Up Announced June 27, 2014

Filed under: #fortheloveofpoetry,Uncategorized — Vangi Gantsho @ 12:28

I’m so excited about this festival!! Catch me at the Market Theatre on Saturday but be sure to check out as many shows as you can. You won’t regret it!


Word N Sound Live Literature Company

In a rapidly changing socio-economic landscape, art takes the role of noting where we’ve been and, plots the path to where we’re going. Enter: The Spoken Freedom Festival. This Annual Festival is an exciting showcase of the best Spoken Word voices in South Africa, and takes place from the 3rd of July at the Market Theatre.

The Spoken Freedom Festival is first and foremost an exciting showcase. It provides both audiences and artists an opportunity to witness and partake of engaging artwork through the media of words, music and visuals. It’s a chance to collectively look at how far South Africa has come over the past two decades, and to position Spoken Word as a medium to both chronicle and shape the South African journey in the years to come.

This first edition of what will become an annual festival was born out of the shared visions of both the…

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A Letter to my stolen sister – reblogged from Vanguard Magazine June 24, 2014

Today, the girls have been missing for 71 days!!!  SEVENTY ONE.

Posted on 17 June 2014

“My darling, it has been sixty one days since you were stolen from us, and I have wept for you incessantly since. Everyday. I know this letter will not reach you today, or tomorrow even. But I pray that you will read it when you are home, because I believe in my heart that you will return. You have to.

I have tried to write to you so many times. Tried to find the words. But what does one say to a stolen child? How do I comfort you or give you hope or tell you that this will pass and you will survive? That you will come home, and you will survive! I want to tell you that I would search those forests barefoot for as long as it takes to find you, if I could. Because we are the same, you and me. I am older and we are separated by many mountains and rivers and a dessert even, but we are the same. We are two black girl pawns on different chess boards, in the same tournament. Our bodies and lives are statements. Objects. We exist to be taken… on the way from the grocery store, from our beds, from school! We do not belong to ourselves.

When they took you, the world remained silent for what must have been a lifetime to you. No one but uMama cried. And then there was noise. We heard screams in cyber space and outrage on airwaves. Voices from around the world sent virtual search parties for you, but we know the truth about this virtual world: hashtags don’t bring girls home.”



21 Days/ 21 Poems: Castletown, Isle of Man by Jackie Kay June 15, 2014

Filed under: #fortheloveofpoetry,My Love letter to Poetry — Vangi Gantsho @ 03:34

Ah!! Poetry!!

Kinna Reads

Castleown harbor

The Harbour at Castletown, Isle of Man by Charlie Dave, CC-BY-2.0

It’s the first day of my Another 21 Days/ 21 Poems to celebrate (US) National Poetry Month.  Today, I feature a European poet of African descent.

jackie_kay_lge Jackie Kay

We all have our favorite poets and poems; I’m no exception.  There are poets whose poems have kept me company throughout the years.  I keep going back to their work, sometimes to a specify poem.  Invariably, when I have to put together a poetry rooster like the lineup for this  month, I will refer to an unwritten list of favorite poets.  Sometimes, I craft the themes so it allows me to revisit an old favorite!  This year, though, there’ll be plenty of new-to-me poets whose poems are truly dazzling.

This intro is just to present another favorite, the award-winning Scottish poet Jackie Kay.  Another delightful problem I have: choosing one…

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