Lebogang “Nova” Masango is a poet, feminist, activist and our new ambassador for the LiveSA VIP campaign. Here we find out more about her following her performance at the #VIPYouthFest
I was 17, had a gallery called AfroNova, had a really big afro and needed a stage name. I was beginning to perform poetry and my name was Lebo, which I thought was a bit boring and I didn’t want people to compare me to one of my icons so I named myself after the gallery.
What are your biggest personal challenges?
Firstly, myself – my self-esteem issues, my depression issues, not having confidence (not believing) that I could do it. Also, asking myself “Is writing a poem all I’m going to do?”
So, I just felt a lot of self-doubt and I guess that moves people to finally push themselves to ask “Am I big enough to do this?”. So, that is a question that haunts me to this day.
What is your end goal?
Of what? *chuckles* Of everything? – The end goal (the same way that I’m a black woman, fearlessly) is to be the woman that women need around to become themselves, with no shame or need to try and become what a man needs, because even that changes. Instead, they need to be a woman on their own, by their own definition. So, if I can teach women to be themselves, without giving a fuck, I know I’ll have done what I need to do.
On a lighter note, let’s hear about you. What are the 3 things you need for your day to day survival?
Oh wow *chuckles*, Am I allowed to say water and oxygen? *chuckles* I need to have a great book in my bag to read, I’m currently reading Assata Shakur’s biography (she’s the bomb-diggity). Right now, I need to know that my boyfriend adores me – I survive on his love, I really do and, I need Vaseline because I get really dry lips, without Vaseline, I’m really not a nice person.
Finally, what’s your motto?
“Stay low and keep firing”, its from Notorious B.I.G’s `Kick In The Door` which basically means, know your lane, stay in your line and just keep showing the world what you’re made of.
Before ending the interview, I saw her phone screen tapped into a game of Candy Crush (which she also says she can’t go a day without) and I asked her what level she’s on and she said 129 – so here’s a challenge (she has no clue about this) tweet her at @NovaHerself the Candy Crush level you’re on, just to confuse her a little – she will not bite, I promise.
Stay tuned to @LiveMagSA for the latest on the #VIPYOUTHFEST.
Words: Nhlanhla Mdanyana @mdnyzs