Thursday, October 29, 2020

Q&A with Linathi Makanda


Linathi Makanda is the author of the poetry and prose collection When No One Is Watching. Also a photographer, she is based in South Africa.


Q: Over how long a period did you write the works in your collection?


A: Some pieces are much older than others but the collection as a whole was written over a period of two years.


Q: How did you choose the order in which they would appear?


A: I followed my heart with that one. I trusted how the order read and based on that, if I was in any way uncomfortable with how it read, I would reconsider the order.

Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: I explored a few titles based on the general intent of the book but the more I wrote, the bigger the intention became and ultimately, because the book was about bringing to light emotions and experiences that weren't easy to speak about, I decided to title it When No One Is Watching.


The title solidifies the idea that so many emotions surround us as humans and oftentimes we are not aware of them as individuals or as people observing other people.


Q: How do you see writing and photography coexisting for you?


A: The two are seldom mutually exclusive but I think the tone of my essence as an artist, seeps through in both of these crafts. Maybe someday I will work on a project that makes space for both of them at the same time but for now, they are still existing as separate entities.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I'm currently working on myself, haha, and on my second book. It's been a slow but fulfilling process so far and I'm hopeful that I will continue to learn and grow in the process.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: In an attempt to stay sane during the pandemic and lockdown, I teamed up with Congolese writer Loic Ekinga on creating a podcast where we chop up topics that explore and unpack some of the growing pains of being a human. We wanted to collaborate on something other than our common interest in writing.


The podcast is called And That's The Chat and it's been a great experience to grow within a completely different medium. We're available on Anchor, Overcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts as well as on Apple Podcasts. Link:'s-the-chat.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful exploration of how you work and allow your creativity to guide you.