Award-winning local Xitsonga poet Hlayisani Shiburi has secured second place at the Golden Shield Heritage Awards 2023 in the Young Heritage Activist category. Photo supplied

Popular Xitsonga poet wins second place at national GOSHA awards


Local award-winning Xitsonga poet Hlayisani Shiburi secured second place among candidates from all nine provinces of South Africa in the Golden Shield Heritage Awards (GOSHA) 2023. The prestigious event took place at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town on Thursday, 14 September. She clinched the award in the Young Heritage Activist category.

The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the GOSHA awards, an initiative by the National Heritage Council of South Africa. These awards stand as a preeminent gesture to recognise and reward heritage activists, practitioners, and citizens for their unwavering commitment to the cultural legacy of the nation.

The 31-year-old Shiburi, affectionately known as N’wa Jika, The Poet Phyembye Ra Africa, hails from Madobi village. Her achievement is testament to her relentless dedication to protecting, promoting, and preserving the heritage of South Africa. In recognition of her outstanding contribution, she was presented with a certificate and cash prize of R10,000.

Shiburi possesses a truly unique gift - the ability to weave words into colourfully patterned literature, with verses that captivate and inspire her audience. She is the author of two published books, both approved by the Gauteng Department of Education for inclusion in the South African anthology “Poetic Minds” at secondary level.

Winning second place at the GOSHA awards was a big moment for the poet. “I could not believe it when they called and informed me that I was among the finalists, and taking the second position out of more than a thousand nominees was a major accomplishment for me. I feel honoured. I am grateful to God for blessing me with this gift, and my supporters who played such a big role in my victory. I dedicate this award to the youth from disadvantaged communities. I want them to see that it’s possible, despite where you come from,” she said.

In 2022, Shiburi embarked on an entrepreneurial journey and established her Switirhela Hu Lulama clothing brand, which further showcases her artistic sensibilities and commitment to creating culturally inspired fashion.


Entertainment - Date: 23 September 2023

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Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.