Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa

No one complains there are too many poems about the moon, but when it comes to poetics in the Black community, my people are pressured to question what they should write about. And when we are invited to write, we are usually asked to write on trauma as though 571 years (and counting) has just been pain.

1. Describe yourself in 3 words…

Multidimensional stylish geek

2. What inspires you?

I was recently reminded there is no “centre” of the universe & no end, there is just an ever-growing expanse of infinite possibility. I find this so fascinating. I love applying this to poetry & life in general. Imagine that, believing anything is possible because nothing is over & there are no “correct” answers.

3. Tell us about your worst ever gig?

Through self-love I have learned every gig is a lesson. I am still a “perfectionist” in the sense I have ideas about how I might like to execute things, but I appreciate I cannot control audiences & things beyond my control. I always give the best of myself & I am more than enough.

4. What’s your number one poetry pet peeve?

No one complains there are too many poems about the moon, but when it comes to poetics in the Black community, my people are pressured to question what they should write about. And when we are invited to write, we are usually asked to write on trauma as though 571 years (and counting) has just been pain. So our women weren’t chopping off massa’s heads? So our laughter didn’t cause the tide to change direction again? And our titans’ toenails weren’t replaced with seashells? Like nah. I’ll write whatever moves me… literally.

5. Whose words do you love at the moment?

Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze effortlessly transformed storms into a cool breeze & vice versa effortlessly on the page & stage. You can’t teach that. I never met her, but I love the fact that her legacy is also in the happiness she inspired in others. It’s cool to know a great poet can also be a great person.

6. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?

People won’t always understand you, sometimes their words may hurt; when this happens, remember your unique way of seeing the world is your greatest strength. Autism, ADHD, LPD & dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of, they are not disabilities – they are abilities. You so damn cool, keep going & don’t look back.

And, no need to cry about that guy who made you feel bad, put yourself on the pedestal you put him on. He gonna see you in a new hairdo and be all like damn I was an idiot then you gonna be like who you again? 

Not gonna lie I’m talking to present me too.

5. If a movie was made of your life – what genre would it be, and who would play you?

My life needs to be portrayed as an adventure/ drama/ romcom with slow mo, special effects & dance scenes. The best playlist. I should be played by a new actress so she can get her big break. She will need to be half British half Barbadian so she can do my accents. Americans are so bad at accents. OOOOOO and she must be close to my height and skin tone. The producers better not do to me what they did to the Nina Simone film.


Follow Safiya: Instagram | Twitter | website

Share This