MARAPONG — Amogelang Mokobane has scooped the Best Male Poet trophy in the College, Sports, Arts and Culture South Africa (COSACSA) competition on Sunday 29 July.
Mokobane, who uses the stage name Amo Van Mok, is no stranger to poetry.
Mokobane is a student at Lephalale TVET College, but he grew up in Kgobagodimo and relocated to Thabo Mbeki to live with his mom in 2013.
“I started doing poetry in Grade 9 for an arts and culture school event. We had to write poems in class to audition and the ten best learners would be given the opportunity to perform their poems during parents’ meeting. I have not looked back since,” he said.
Most of his poems are inspired by every day observations in society, challenges of the youth and movies. He says he sometimes has to write something right after listening to people’s experiences and that is the reason why he hardly has titles for his poems.
Mokobane was part of the victors in the provincial COSACSA when he performed “Dear Nelson Mandela” and at the National Level, poets were given a theme on stage. His theme was “Manage your Emotions” and he obtained first place.
He told Mogol Post that this victory means the world to him as he spent most of his time reading books and honing his poetry skills.
“I have also been going to local schools to recite some of my poems as motivation for students. Winning the Best Male Poet title speaks volumes and brings confidence to the students I’ve been helping. More importantly it tells the youth of Lephalale, you can still attend school locally, go to the local college and be the best in what you do. I can boldly say I believe hard work and perseverance will always pay off, one just needs to focus on what they are good at and embrace it.
“I’ve always wanted to make my family proud as they have supported me through thick and thin,” he said.
His wish is to see his poems serve as motivation to heal broken hearts and to put smiles on peoples’ faces.
His poet role model is Darryll Suliaman Amoako, known as Suli Breaks, and what he admires most from him is the quote: “one hand washes the other before they can both wash the face”.