Monday, September 7, 2015

Rebel Woman ... Phillippa Yaa de Villiers

"I usually take a Zola Budd, it's affordable and sustainable for an artist" says Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, an award-winning South African writer and performance artist who performs her work nationally and internationally.

"I don't need to be saved. I am a free individual"

She is noted for her poetry, which has been published in collections and in many magazines and anthologies, as well as for her autobiographical one-woman show, Original Skin, which centres on her confusion about her identity at a young age, as the bi-racial daughter of an Australian mother and a Ghanaian father who was adopted and raised by a white family in apartheid South Africa. 


"iStart2 feel hope when I see people working towards 
happiness in their own lives"
- Phillipa Yaa de Villiers"


She has written: "I became Phillippa Yaa when I found my biological father, who told me that if he had been there when I was born, the first name I'd have been given would be a day name like all Ghanaian babies, and all Thursday girls are Yaa, Yawo, or Yaya. So by changing my name I intended to inscribe a feeling of belonging and also one of pride on my African side. After growing up black in white South Africa, internalising so many negative 'truths' of what black people are like, I needed to reclaim my humanity and myself from the toxic dance of objectification."

Phillippa joined Keitu Gwangwa in studio to chat about her life journey as a writer and performer. Her works touch base on matters of identity, gender (feminism), race, sexuality, and class. Keitu opens up the show with one of her renowned poems.

To listen to the show and an interview with this incredible woman, click play: 





Thought of the Day:




Remember to Join the Joy of Jazz 

in September!