There is great power in being able to say the right words.
This revelation came to Richard Roodt at the age of 12 when he spoke at a funeral and saw how words could change moods. A passion for words led him to write stories and plays. Then a failed sally into what he describes as the “dishonesty” of marketing put a seal on his desire “to make the world come alive through words”.
So he ventured into social activism and, with some friends, started a library in Joburg’s inner-city. It became a resource centre where, between 2008 and 2013, thousands of children were introduced to the magic of theatre, poetry and creative writing. Roodt, 30, sees social activism as doing even small acts of kindness well; seeing the individual in each person; finding the story each person has; and reaching out to help people – all without others singing your praises.
Writing, he believes, opens up countless avenues in the world. So he holds creative writing workshops all over the place, even in prisons, so he can help people discover new dimensions of themselves and their worlds. He also writes prolifically for TV and theatre, and is an active member of the South African poetry community.
Find Roodt on Twitter: @Quazslamwell