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Celebrities/Stars Rising

Poet Bothale Boikanyo South Africa’s Bothale Boikanyo is a thirteen year-old award-winning poet, actress and dancer. She started performing at the age of six, but it wasn’t until the 2012 edition of South Africa’s Got Talent that she got her first big break. Her self-confidence and dynamic ability of writing and narrating her own poems, brought audiences at various stages of the competition to their feet, and saw her walk away with the grand prize of R250, 000 cash. Little did we know that this was just the beginning.


In July 2013, she was invited to perform her poems at The Legacy of Hope Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Hospital Campaign Launch, in New York. It was at this event that she was also named a ‘Legacy of Hope Youth Ambassador’ - a role that she has embraced whole-heartedly. Later in the same year, she was awarded the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA) Best Praise Singer Award for her ‘Ke Motswana’ poem in praise of  her culture. Botlhale won the Mobile Science Lab Award at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists (National Levels) where she represented her school and province.  She is currently a grade eight student at St. Stithians Girl’s College in Johannesburg, South Africa.

by Solomon Atah, Johannesburg

What I love most about performing poetry…With poetry, I can reach out to people and inspire them

My way of overcoming a challenge is… Sometimes writing a poem on a particular subject can be a challenge. So what I do is I write such a poem in stages, until it comes together. I also plan in advance so that I do not fall behind on my schoolwork. Because I do not know when I might be too busy with performances, I do my assignments and projects way ahead.

When do you write your poetry? I do it anytime; in the car, while doing the dishes, in front of my mirror, in the shower. All this helps because I am always ready.

We understand you are more than a poet… I am also a Hip-Hop, Latin and Ballroom dancer and do visual arts (crafts) as a hobby. You will soon see my acting skills in a new film.

What is your greatest dream? To become an entrepreneur and expand on my poetic artistry and acting. For now, I am focusing on my school work, poetry and recording my new album. scheduled for release in May 2014. 

On corruption in AfricaI don't really know much about corruption but I am aware that it is a crisis in our country. There is bribery and misuse of funds just to name a few.

Most memorable moments…When I arrived in my home province (Mafikeng, North West) after being announced the winner of ‘2012 South Africa’s Got Talent’ competition. The welcome was mind blowing; the whole city came to a stand-still just for me. I felt like a hero. My heart still melts at the thought of it.

Advice to the BINGWA readers… Be obedient to mum and dad.

My life’s philosophy Education + Jesus = Success

Favourite subject in school… Drama.

Favourite music… House Music

All-time best book… Swipe by Evan Angler.


First published in BINGWA Magazine Issue 12 2014