Durban — Poetry broke out of lockdown this week at the launch of Durban author Sana-Bella Ebrahim’s new book, Lockdown Lift-off, a collection of prose and poetry.
The anthology consists of 40 poems and four prose pieces, and was launched at Ike’s Books and Collectables in Florida Road on Thursday.
“The first 10 poems in the anthology were set to music by Rich-Marv Ellis. A flash drive will be made available,” she said.
“The three main themes covered are Ubuntu, hope and kindness.”
Ebrahim said her passion for poetry began during her English classes in Grade 7 when her teacher, Mrs Joseph, “would introduce us to all the different poetic genres”.
Fellow author and academic Dr Betty Govinden had high praise for Ebrahim’s work.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic we, understandably, focused much on the question of solitariness, for healing. But isolated, surrounded only by the sounds of silence, we longed for the touch of human kindness, in both its tactile and figurative forms.
“Providentially, Sana-Bella’s poetic words became drops of rain on parched land, and ‘hope written in the sand’. Indeed, her words, offered with deep love, are bread, broken and shared among us as food for the journey,” said Govinden.
Ebrahim’s work extends to film as well as sign language, in which she has previously lectured at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and she has created awareness around deaf culture through her artistic pursuits.
Ebrahim founded ArtSigns Visual and began facilitating Hand Chats Roundtables in Deaf Awareness Month 2021. She was awarded a prize in the short story category of the staff writing competition hosted by the DUT Writing Centre in 2022.
Last year, she was selected as a participant in the IsiPhethu Outreach Training Programme for Film and TV Studies. She was the screenwriter on the Healing Hands short film and co-director on the #IX Lives Matter documentary about Wendy Hart’s Feral Cats of UKZN.
Ebrahim and Matt Vend created Durban-based publishing house ArtScribes Global in 2021.