Lethu Nkwanyana is an award winning poet, writer, thespian and an entrepreneur. Born and bred in Shakaville, everyone who knows him can attest that he is quite the humble young man.
He holds a degree in the field of Business and this switched on his entrepreneurship side. Over the years he has been involved in the following businesses:
- His first business was that of selling fast food at Blythedale beach with his friends Thabani Mabika and Wandile Shezi.
- Started a company with his younger brother, Aphelele Nkwanyana called Zikode General Works where they wash roofs in their neighborhood.
- Zikode General Works collapsed because they couldn’t maintain the equipment and now they provide cleaning services for SAMLOG Mining, based in Mpumalanga.
- CFO for Kmele Kwaziwe, a poetry session in Stanger.
- Co-owner of a game shop and fast food area located in Shakaville where they host FIFA Tournaments and rent out PlayStations and Xbox games.
All of these business ventures may come as a surprise to some because Lethu is mostly known for his poetry, yet even in poetry, he goes beyond and transcends the borders of art. He moved to Johannesburg to pursue his poetry career and studied Professional Acting for Camera-Performance art at City Varsity in Braamfontein. This opened a lot of doors as he is now an Art director for a private company called WaterDropStudios in Johannesburg.
On 21 June 2021, he was placed in first place at Poetry Africa. Not only will his poem Uprising be published in Poetry Africa anthology, but he also gets to perform at Poetry Africa 2021. This adds on to his lengthy art accolades which is as follows:
- He has represented KZN in Johannesburg at the Drama for Life Poetry competition in 2017.
- Made it to the Top 3 of Word N Sound Poetry League Season 10 - the biggest poetry slam in the country.
- Showcased a poem alongside a contemporary dancer at the Africa Arts Festival- Wits Great Hall.
- Featured In an International showcase called Poets in Autumn - the biggest poetry tour in the World.
- Won the South African Poetry Award for best poet.
- Participated in an American Digital Slam in 2020- Poetry University.
- Ran a poetry workshop in KwaDukuza, grooming other upcoming poets and now he is also teaching other upcoming artists in Johannesburg.
- A co-writer of theatre piece Ushanelo that had a showcase in Limpopo, The National School of Arts, Wits University and City Varsity theatre room under 4Play production.
- Has judged a poetry slam competition.
- Founder of “Let The poet speak” which is an annual poetry show, that also features other art genres.
“Let The Poet Slam” is a poetry competition branching out from the (LTPS) Annual event. It is projected to take off in the second half of 2021 and will be a poetry tour.
Besides business and art, Lethu is a youth leader at his local church. He has always been in love with leadership development. He says that his mother has been his biggest pillar and he is grateful for his family that supports his dreams.
“I want to take poetry to a higher level, awaken new possibilities and transform the way we perceive our own capabilities. I want to be an inspiration to others no matter how elusive it seems. I want to inspire those behind me while respecting those before.”