Lady F’s Guest – Luthando St Lucas
Luthando St Lucas is an artist, a radical thinker, an activist for Black Excellence and an agent of change, who spends much of his time as a realistic writer exploring the struggles faced by African people. He comes from a family of alcoholics. He ran away from home at age 6 and was raised in a children’s home with around 120 children. So family to him became not blood relatives but people who were there for him. After his talent was discovered, He has obtained a national diploma in dance and a degree in drama.
How was your talent discovered?
My talent was discovered by my primary school teacher named Colleen Jansen together with an American student called Katie Sierer who was visiting South Africa. After she discovered I was a brilliant student she wrote to families in America to fund me to go to a well-off school in the suburbs called Hudson Park High School. It was there that my talent flourished.
How does it feel to hold your destiny in your hands at twelve?
I believe we have control over our destiny. Although the words “fate” and “destiny” mean similar things, to me they are quite different. Fate is what puts opportunities in front of us but our destiny is ultimately determined by our decisions. When I took the decision to have control over my life it gave me power over my own life.
Your circumstances do not have to determine your future. Then what does determine your future?
I believe we are in full control of our choices and that our actions, in response to what fate offers us, matter. We are here to learn lessons and the hard decisions we have to make are what helps us grow as humans.
Most of the time you are dressed to impress – what helped you create your personal style?
Oh, I run a clothing brand called I AM.
I think it comes from growing up in poverty. Clothing was a way of saying we don’t have to appear poor in front of the world. I used to stand in the street and watch professional men go to their work with motivation. Professional attire is the look that gentlemen wear in very professional environments. It’s the uniform of lawyers, bankers, professors, motivation speakers and other business environments where decorum and professionalism are woven into the culture and fabric of the organization. So I dress to show up.
But how do these lovely clothes of your brand come to life? Do you design them?
I have designers who bring them to life. I just plan the ideas.
I wanted also my writing to come to life
What makes you so fond of writing?
I believe I have ideas that are worth reading. Writing gives you the power and ability to leave your thoughts beyond your grave. Ideas outlive men. Books outlive those who wrote them. Your book will outlive you and give your ideas, your voice and your influence life beyond your grave.
You do have ideas that are worth reading. I Believe “The world is ruled by dead men.” Most of the ideas that govern our societies, cultures, laws, religions, and philosophies today were first written down by those whose lives passed from this earth long ago.
Writing gives you the power and ability to leave your thoughts beyond your grave. Ideas outlive men. Books outlive those who wrote them. Your book will outlive you and give your ideas, your voice and your influence life beyond your grave.
So books are like children in a way…;) Do you have a family?
Yes, I am a father of twin boys.
You really are a creative person!:)
Thank you. Art is all I live for.
So you want to influence the world. What will you change in the world?
Except for the way people dress;)
I want to change the perspective of Africa seen as a dark continent or the poster child of poverty begging to the rest of the world. Africa is the cradle of mankind yet is unknown for its science and art. So I want the world to know someone wrote our narrative and told our story.
What do you want to change in you personally?
I don’t want to change anything. As I am God’s imperfection. I just want to be a better person in both in my personal and professional life.
What do you teach your kids?
My kids are still toddlers so four months old but I have written them a book of letters about the life lessons I have learned.
What’s “the highest mountain” you have climbed in life?
I think it is self-publishing 4 books in two years.
“I am” – quite a catchy title – tells us the story of a black child, who lives in South Africa – stuck in hopelessness, but managing to rise from it. “I am” won Luthando the prestigious award Dlamini at the Richmond Book Festival, last year. Then Lucas realized he simply has to turn the book into a theatrical production. Most kids don’t read nowadays – he was innovative enough to turn the story into a theatre play to make a greater impression to his target audience – the youth of today.