Tributes pour in for 'Zulu Love Letter’ poet, Mxolisi Mtshali

Mxolisi Mtshali. Picture: Instagram

Mxolisi Mtshali. Picture: Instagram

Published Dec 5, 2023

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“Zulu Love Letter” poet, Mxolisi Mtshali has died after a short illness.

According to social media reports, Mtshali, who was a regular feature at the popular annual Poetry Africa festival, died in hospital on November 4.

The “Poet in a Suit” poetry hub founder, introduced performance poetry to audience who never thought they would ever listen and enjoy poetry, especially in their home language.

The hub was formed to create a secure, national and professional platform for performance poetry.

To date, a number of Mtshali’s poems have been recorded to the accompaniment of music.

He has also worked with a number of radio stations as a contributor, including iGagasi FM and Ukhozi FM.

Last year, Mtshali was quoted in an online report saying that poets were not given the same attention as other performing artists.

“After everything, what I know is that a poet remains a poet. I’ve realised that poets don’t get the same attention as other artists in various parts of art.

“People embrace artists in music, in acting and other things but us poets feel ignored. Some of us find ourselves doing things out of frustration.

“I believe that poets must empower themselves. As much as we don’t get the attention that we believe we deserve, we empower ourselves with writing poems,” said Mtshali.

Condolence messages have been pouring in on social media since the news of Mtshali’s passing emerged.

Musician Toya Delazy posted a snippet of her collaboration with Mtshali.

“Here's a snippet. Mxolisi Mtshali - ‘uYena ke lona’ ft Toya Delazy). I was a pianist and singer before the raving.

“I'm so happy I got to work with this incredible poet, his words were honey such a beautiful love poem we made. Rest in peace Matshinga.”

@CharityDlomo said, “I'm so sad brahhh, he was so gifted lomfana.... uJehova amamukele.”

“RIP Mxolisi Mtshali🕊️🕊️🕊️ Inkodlo yodumo! Zulu Love Letter 💜💜,” wrote @Mizzpurple01.

@LishleM said: “I don’t believe it 💔💔💔 RIP Mr Zulu Love Letter 🕊️🕊️ Mxolisi Mtshali Mngani Wami💜💜💜 DURBAN has LOST A REAL ONE 😢😢😢.

“Also the thing about Mxolisi Mtshali where ever he is he is definitely laughing at us for crying ukuthi yena akasekho. That guy made Jokes about everything with so much humility.”