What an honour and thrill it is to be here today representing my community Bonteheuwel.
My name is Lee Siebritz and I hail from Bonteheuwel known to many in Bonteheuwel as Bonstancia which is a mixture of Bonteheuwel and Constancia. It is also known as Beverly Hills because it is so colorful, hilly and jolly.
I was born and bred on the colourful hills of Bonteheuwel on the 12th of March 1985. I grew up with my siblings Zaundrei and Shimonne. I have also lived in Mannenberg as my father, Lionel Siebritz, was a policeman at that time and we lived in the Mannenberg Police flats. My mom, Cheryl Siebritz, raised my siblings and I and kept our home together. I attended Heideveld Primary for a year and then we relocated to Electric City in Eerste River where my formative years would be spent as an academic whilst vacationing in Bonteheuwel at my two grandmothers’ homes. I have also vacationed at my aunts’ homes in Tafelsig, Portlands, Silvertown and Steenberg, hence me representing the Cape Flats.
I finished my schooling at Spurwing Primary at the end of ’98 and headed back to Bonteheuwel. I was then home schooled because my dad didn’t want me to attend any Bonteheuwel schools ever. In 2002 was inducted at UWC where I studied BA degree majoring in English and Linguistics, Honours in English and one Linguistics module, as well as PGCE which is the teaching diploma. I remember fondly how I used to walk down Bluegum road, turn left into Dissel Road, then walk down Jakkalsvlei road and then head to Bonteheuwel station to UWC and back. Other days would be spent on playing tennis at the Bonteheuwel tennis club near Nerina Primary School.
I also remember whilst doing my PGCE, I did an observation for two weeks at Modderdam High school. After that I did my History Method project about Bonteheuwel high School where I interviewed an educator about the life and times of Bonteheuwel High School. My cousin attended that school headed by Nicki Pather.
I did my teaching practice at Oude Molen Technical High School. I professionally taught at St. Theresa’s Primary school for 6 months and then left for greener pastures where I taught in South Korea for 4 and half years and in China for about a year. I came back to South Africa in 2011. I taught at Windermere High school, Spurwing Primary school, Belthorn Primary and at E. A. Janari Primary School in Bonteheuwel. At E. A. Janari Primary School, I taught for about 4 years and two weeks non-consecutively.
I started writing poetry in 2000-2001 when I was fifteen or sixteen years old. I started by jotting some words on a paper and then I created a page of rhythmical poetry. My first poem entitled Family was published by Poetry of Africa and the rest is history.
I have always loved words. I used to read the song lyrics of Mariah Carey and other famous artists and sing along whilst reading. That is where my love for creating more in-depth poetry interspersed with classical and instrumental music.