Townships, shacks and suburbs: An original collection of poems
Khanyile, Musawenkosi Christopher
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My creative writing full master’s thesis, entitled Townships, Shacks and Suburbs, is a collection of poems that explores the role played by place in shaping identity. Poems in this collection seek to examine the interplay between identity and place, particularly the influence that environmental settings or contexts have in shaping how individuals define who they are. The theme of place is divided into three environmental contexts, namely the township, the rural context and the urban context. The poet navigates between these three environmental contexts, observing how each influences the way people define who they are and also how they identify with that particular environmental context. This definition of self, which forms part of identity, encompasses the day-to-day life, emotions, struggles, memories and a variety of other aspects that are linked to place and are inherent in identity-formation. The observation of how identity is shaped by place includes the poet and extends to people around him. This collection of poems can be viewed as a man’s attempt at finding out who he is, by exploring the history of his life, as well as reflecting on the intricacies of growing up or being exposed to a variety of environmental settings. It can also be viewed as an attempt at learning who people around him are and how their identities are shaped by the place(s) they live in.