I'm talking to you:Phumlani Nkwanyana takes a break from Spring School in front of the AMM at Rhodes University. Pic by: Anorth Mabunda
Phumlani Nkwanyana was born in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal. He still lives there and goes to school at the University of Zululand. His parents describe him as a shy little boy. “Everyone loved me,” he says. “People used to give me money”.
Nkwanyana reminisces on his childhood memories and speaks of the wonderful time he had in Grade 3 with his good friend Prince. “We used to talk about life,” he says. His worst memory was in Grade 1. He badly needed to use the toilet but was too afraid to ask his teacher for permission. He ended up soiling himself right in his seat.
Nkwanyana has three older sisters and a younger brother. Although his little brother was born, Nkwanyana’s parents were not planning to have any more children after he was born and so named him Phumlani, which means “to rest”. Nkwanyana recalls a time in Grade 5 when he and his brother had a fight in which his brother scratched his hand with a piece of broken mirror. The scar still remains. Regardless of this, Nkwanyana and his brother now get along like the best of friends although they fought a lot whilst they were young.
Nkwanyana not only enjoyed making new friends as a child but he liked making things with clay, playing soccer and watching Power Rangers and George of the Jungle. With his 100 watt smile and approachable nature, it appears as though Nkwanyana has remained the same sweet child as he was long ago.