2J Harmonix publishes poetry anthology
5 Dec 2019
Story by Nonhlanhla Bakasa
A rap artist who’s performed at Africa’s biggest hip-hop Festival (Back to The City Festival) and at iStart2Sing Music and Arts Festival, has put his rhymes on paper, in order to reach a wider audience.
Eersterust, Pretoria resident, Jonathan Groenewald (36), who is better known by his stage name, 2J Harmonix, launched his anthology called Lyrix: The Rhymes and Poems of 2J Harmonix at a full Pierneef Teater, Pretoria in June.
“Lyrix is a collection of my work for the past decade. I had about 150 rap songs and poems combined, so I chose the most motivating ones and it came up to 30 items,” 2J Harmonix said.
He decided to compile this collection because he noticed that when he shared the lyrics of his songs on Facebook, people seemed to understand his work better, rather than when it was audio. “If you are not used to my speech, you can’t exactly hear what I am saying, hence people get my written work.”
2J Harmonix, who is a wheelchair user, said at first he had a challenge finding a publisher. “But then I asked Dr Fanie Marais of Cordis Trust to assist me, who then got KREATIV SA to publish [the collection] and Cordis Trust funded it,” he said.
Paul Paunde (31) was the master of ceremonies at the launch of the book. He says, “Lyrix is a relatable read, a collection of poems that only a wise wordsmith like 2J Harmonix can deliver.
“In it he writes about the struggles young people go through, inspired by rhyme and daily life. 2J Harmonix tackles subjects such as family, spirituality and, to some degree, mental health.”
Having watched 2J Harmonix for many years Paunde says he is happy to see the rap artist grow in his career. “2J Harmonix has always wanted to tell his story in a different medium than that of music and this offering is one of the many truths he is yet to publish. As a friend and brother of Jay I feel proud that he has remained consistent in chasing his dreams but made his mark on the literary world,” Paunde says.
Currently people can get ahold of the book by contacting 2J Harmonix personally or by contacting the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD).
Daphney Twala (27) a representative of the NCPD, told ThisAbility that, “2J has a way with words. I love his book but I personally have a favourite [poem called] We Going Up. It motivates one to keep going no matter how difficult life can be.”
Twala says everyone can relate to the book, especially the poem called My Bae.“We all have that one fantasy partner,” she says laughing. “[2J Harmonix] is a motivation on his own so his music is that extra bonus.”
The rap artist says his book is targeted at lovers of poetry, rap and the art of writing. Having sold 20 copies thus far, he says all proceeds will go towards buying a new wheelchair or revamping the one he currently uses.