WHEN NO ONE WAS WATCHING, A PATH WAS PAVED FROM THE EASTERN CAPE TO THE WORLD…
This is a story about Linathi Makanda, an autodidactic photographer and immaculate poetess. Born and bred in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, she has become a force to be reckoned with. A reluctant visionary. From quite an early age Linathi’s creative impulses steered her to what she now works tirelessly to give to the world. With a soul for poetry, an ear for music and an eye for beauty, it was only with time that she would blossom into the artist she now is.
The conception of her passion for photography sprung from travels with her mother between Mthatha and East London. Anyone who has been to the Eastern Cape knows that the landscapes are a sight for sore eyes, and so Linathi sought to capture that beauty along with all the beauty the world has to offer. After years of being captivated by the all that there was to see, in people and her surroundings, she received her camera in 2017. This one tool, accompanied by great passion she would then begin to take pictures of graduates and portraits of peers, ultimately propelling her into being featured in platforms such as Vogue Italia. Along with this incredible recognition, Linathi has since also been contacted by Saginaw Valley State University (Michigan, USA) run literary journal about publishing two of her photographs in their fall/autumn issue.
With her career in photography blooming, so did her writing career. As the years progressed Linathi devoted herself to her poetry and prose. During her adolescent and young adult years she began to offer time and attention to her literary work, exploring different writing styles. From music reviews on blog posts to finally poetry, she grew with time. Her art became publicized to the pleasure of her audience in 2019. Words written from love, pain and joy, and inspired by the likes of Warsan Shire, she produced many poems that were then compiled into a collection of poetry which she titled ‘When No One Is Watching”. A book which she poured so much of herself into. This outpour led to her reaching out to many publishers and she soon found one that became a home for her words. Now she is published by Odyssey Book, with her Publisher, Michelle Lovi having seen the raw talent that Linathi possesses. A journey of resilience and passion, When No One Was Watching was officially published on January 28th 2020.
It is easy to say that Linathi Makanda is not a name to be forgotten or said with nonchalance. Her vigor and eye for beauty calls for attention. She aims to stand as a testament to hard work, passion and faith for all black, feminine creatives that dream to reach the heights that sometimes feel unattainable.
PhotoVogue Portfolio: https://www.vogue.it/en/photovogue/portfolio/?id=216159
Article written by : KK Djaje
Pictures taken by : Thando Hanise