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Poetry Sweeper

Street Sweeper Eunice by S:P:S
Street Sweeper Eunice, a photo by S:P:S on Flickr.

Street sweepers are hardly the most recognisable people in the workforce of the municipality. In the Joburg inner city they start arriving later in the afternoon and finish work when many of us have gone to sleep or at least finished dinner. The city is certainly empty; offices are closed, streets dark and not even residents mill about too much. But some are thinking about their next piece of writing while working hard to put food on the table.

Meet Eunice Ramasunga. She stopped me one day after I had parked on Joubert street. She thought I was from the SABC. She wants to get on television. She wants to be a poet, recognised throughout the land. I had to stop her from going into full performance right there on the bustling streets just before 9 that evening.

I took a liking to her.

And she is a published writer already. Two books of her short stories written in Venda are used in the high school curriculum after her cousin typed them out for her on his office computer and she has a spattering of other works in the public space. She came to Joburg in 2006 and has been working for Pikitup ever since while keeping her dream of being a nationally recognised poet alive.

She says there is much she wants to write about and has a number of poems already that she wants to have published. She writes mainly about social stuff, about people – how they live and even infidelity.

I told her I would put her out there. So here is a start.

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