Khwezi Becker

“I continuously realise how much of ourselves we shed in order to hide, make ourselves as tiny as possible so that the bits of ourselves that we think cannot "fit in" to the people we wish we could belong to can disappear. We hunch over so people can look over our heads. We quiet ourselves to avoid causing arguments or drawing too much attention to the fact that our minds think differently than acceptable. I wrote the poem "When we were left behind" as an attempt to recognise those bits of myself and find ways of reclaiming the bits that will serve me while accepting the deaths of those that no longer belong in my current season. A way of calling on spring, on rebirth to begin a new cycle of shedding once more, that which I have carried too long and should not be dragging its dead weight along.”


KHWEZI BECKER was born in Johannesburg, RSA, to an artistic South African – German couple. She is fluent in English, German and Zulu. Her ability to use language was nurtured from an early age. Becker first acted in a children’s television show called Creature Club in about 2006 on National television at the age of 10. She continued to participate in drama performances throughout her high school career in Durban. In 2015 Becker decided to study Drama and Performance Studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal. She acquired her Bachelor of Arts in 2017 and her Honours in Drama and Performance Studies in 2018. Becker began professionally acting in stage productions in 2015 and was directed by the likes of Themi Venturas and Chuma Mapoma.

She would also go on to become master of ceremonies of events such as the ACCORD Peace Awards 2015 and the Poetry Africa opening night in 2019. Becker writes plays, short stories and poetry which she has performed at the Playhouse Sundowners, Poet in a Suit, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the Funda Storytelling Festival in Rhode Island alongside her artist mother. Whilst in America, in 2020, she also had the privilege of translating a Langston Hughes poem into her mother and father tongues in honour of the great poet Laureate in Rhode Island. Becker has written and later adapted the play she wrote When Coasts Meet as a collaborative piece alongside Nomcebisi Moyikwa, which subsequently won an ovation award at the National Arts Festival in 2019. This play explores Becker’s experience as a mixed-race woman navigating identity in a world that is drawn to binaries and does not acknowledge those occupying and claiming the in-between space; it serves to assert her many selves. She has since acted the lead in a short film, Emzansi in Orania, which earned her a nomination for Best Newcomer Actress Award at the Simon Mabhunu Sabela Awards in 2020. She currently lives in Durban and continues to write and perform her poetry, in plays and the film and television space.

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