Wednesday, August 29, 2012

An afternoon with Quaz

Meet Quaz. I first got introduced to him in 2009, when a friend of mine sent me tracks from his mixtape and I later saw him on Facebook. I invited him and we started occasionally chatting. It was only later in the year that I got to meet him face-to-face when he invited me to the Orange Book Vol2 book launch which took place in downtown Johannesburg, at Kekeletla! Library. He did not disappoint, he was everything I imagined he would be, based on the little that I had picked up from our chats. I was a stranger, and he treated me like he had known me for many years. It was many years before I saw Quaz again, this time at the 2012 Back to the City festival. Strangely, even though we barely see each other or talk, we still click. I consider him my friend. Real name Richard Rodriguez Roodt, he hails all the way from Potchefstroom. A spoken word artist, a teacher, a brother, a son, a friend, a community organizer with a smile of note, he gave me time in his day to take a brisk walk through the things that are not usually written about him.

Quaz's Mixtape

Poster for the book launch in 2009

The first day I met Quaz.

Sindz: Besides Poetry, what are you passionate about?

Quaz: Teaching! Most of the work I’ve done involved(s) teaching. Funny thing is it feels like I’m the student though. I’m always learning new things about myself, about people and life. I also love making music. Being in that space is the most liberating experience. It’s just you, God and your creativity. Oh, I also love cooking. I have the most disturbing addiction to the food channel.

S: What has been your most favourite read (book, website, article, etc.) and what are you reading currently?

Q: I have many favourite reads. I constantly run into new favourites. Sometimes it’s a tweet and sometimes it’s a facebook status. I read everything from books to websites, business documents to the back of air freshner cans. I love science fiction. I think Isaac Asimov is a Sci-Fi god so anything by him always gets my nod of approval. 'Indaba My Children' by Credo Mutwa totally changed the way I saw life. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Spud. It reminded me so much of high school. I’m currently reading two books by two of my other favourite authors 'Jingo' by Terry Pratchett and a compilation of Afrikaans writing by Ingrid Jonker.

S: What kind of food do you enjoy eating, and what is your favourite dish?

Q: I love anything cooked by my Mom. When you miss home, as much as I do sometimes, then even a boiled egg from mom is the best egg ever! I’m a sucker for sweet things. I love chocolate and I love cake; the mushy, soft melt, in your mouth type. I love blueberry cheesecake ice cream. Yummy!

S: What or who is your muse?

Q: It might sound cliché, but I find inspiration in everything. Life is my muse. As a writer, I always force myself to look at all things as a possible poem, or a short story. Sometimes it’s an ant, sometimes it’s a mountain peak, sometimes it’s a metal song and sometimes it’s silence.

S: Describe your personal style in three words?

Q: Very Quaz like:

S: What other talents do you have that the world does not know about?

Q: I can play the guitar. I can also cook and bake well. I’ve written, directed, acted in and produced stage plays.
And I have a very explosive temper. Keeping it under control is a talent I think.

On stage with Flo'

S: What has been your biggest achievement by far?

Q: Oh man, there have been so many. I can’t single out one. I self published my 1st book. It sold more copies than I ever hoped for. I’ve hosted shows with some world renowned artists. I freestyled on radio with Vast Aire (of cannibal ox) one of my childhood idols. One thing that really makes me feel proud and all fuzzy inside though is Likwid Tongue. As a collective, we tasked ourselves with creating platforms for others. Now almost eight years later, we are seeing the fruits of or work. That, although intrinsic, is for me a very big achievement.

The Orange Book Vol2 - I have a copy

S: List ten of your favourite things.


  •  My cat Peanut:

  • Sincere short poems
  • Jesse Boykins
  • 2nd hand Bookstores.
  • Vallentine:

  • WordnSound
  • Cheesecake
  • Biker mice from mars
  • Cool shades
  • Scuffed up Timberland boots

S: What cologne do you wear?

Q: Club Casino. I love it. Very James Bondish

S: What is your dream holiday destination?

Q: Mauritius. Been there once. I have to go back. I just have to. 

S: Where have you traveled to thus far?

Q: I’ve been to Zim, Botswana, Mozambique and Mauritius. But I’ll tell you this, South Africa, all provinces, is worth checking out first though. We have a very beautiful country.

S: What do you believe in?

Q: I believe all humans are good. It is chiseled into our DNA. Some have just forgotten.

S: Tell me about your family and one monumental moment while growing up.

Q: My mother is an ordained preacher and my father a musician and carpenter. I have a little sister and a ittle brother. He plays the drums. My older sister passed away. Our home was always warm and full of laughter with books all over the place. I used to think that my folks were strict but now that I’m older I understand why they tried to keep me from certain things. Some of my closest friends didn’t make it out alive. My father has always encouraged me to read. I remember, vividly, him bringing home a stack of old novels from work one day. I was so happy. That was a good year for reading.

Quaz and I at Back to the City 2012


  1. You know him personally? wow! He seem like a gem. Will read interview later...

  2. Okay.... I just had to read it now. Peanut look ferocious, hahahaha, okay I'm scared of cats. Great 'View Sindie!

  3. nice read. I enjoyed it. Oh and Rodriguez can acquire it!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, much appreciated.