When we record with written word
what our minds have conceived,
we allow others a glimpse
of our inner world -
the unborn universe within.
Filled with the stars of our dreams,
the dust of our disappointments
and the gravity of our experience.(Chanti)
I am deeply passionate about language, communication and the written word. From a very early age I devoured literature and poetry and to this day enjoy a passionate love affair with the arts. I also love nature and the Great Outdoors and exploring. Although I was born in England, I lived in South Africa for most of my life and have a great passion for this country and for Africa as a whole.
Africa is such a beautiful, albeit harsh continent. It has provided me with much inspiration for my poetry and in my writing. Although my poetry is not limited to any one genre or specific style, I have written much about social issues in the hope of raising awareness to the plight of innocent victims. Sometimes I've tackled issues such as crime from unusual vantage points. For example, I wrote a poem 'A Father's Shame' in the character of William Kekana's father. William Kekana was convicted of a series of brutal rapes and murders in South Africa - crimes that stunned the nation. Obviously everyone, myself included, felt great sympathy for the victims and their families but I was struck by the shame and humiliation of his father in court and this is what inspired me to write the poem.
My poetry and short stories are often inspired by events that have had some kind of impact upon me. Issues such as child abuse, sexual abuse (pandemic in Africa), spousal abuse, murder, rape and racism are broached, most times from the perspective of the victim...victims who may themselves have no voice.
In spite of the serious nature of some of my poetry, I love humour and have written many light-hearted stories. Some of these are about my daily experiences in South Africa, my surroundings and observations.
Enjoy reading my work and please offer your feedback or feel free to contact me directly via my message board.
The moment one gives close attention to
any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably
magnificent world in itself.
~Miller, Henry ~
"Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about." Benjamin Lee Whorf
"A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish." ~W.H. Auden~
"Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish." ~John Jakes~
"Why do writers write? Because it isn't there." ~Thomas Berger~
Kingston, Surrey, England
Bronze and silver medalist award winner in the Annual Library Awards.
Poetry published in various anthologies and other publications. Short stories published in various magazines.
Story Editor for 1362 - The Kensington Enigma. Also did voice-overs for the documentary. See the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdJ7Ik0Y7Nc&feature=channel_page
Hosted a segment on a popular local radio station for more than four years. Featured on 'Top Billing' a top-rated television show.
Proud Toastmasters member - CC CL
Winner of the 2009 Public Speaking Contest - Humorous Speech.
Multiple winner of Best Speaker, Best Evaluator and Best Table Topics (Impromptu speaking).
2009 / 2010 Best Speaker award for my club.
Check my videos out on YouTube.
Copy and paste the following link if you have difficulty: http://www.youtube.com/ChantalNiven
1362 The Kensington Enigma
Finally one of the greatest mysteries in history unfolds. I was privileged to be able to work on this 2-part documentary special as story editor. Check it out.
A proud member of Toastmasters International. Achieved my ATM many years ago but have recently re-joined a Toastmasters group and have decided to start from the beginning. I've competed in public speaking competitions and recently won the Divisional Public Speaking contest.