Nadine Aisha

Nadine Aisha is the author of Still, a debut poetry pamphlet exploring women’s stories and women’s survival.

She is active in the movement to end gender-based violence, and works creatively with young people to educate and empower. She has blogged for a number of Scottish organisations about feminism and violence against women, and has worked with young people to create theatre exploring sexual violence. She has been published by the Dangerous Women Project, performed solo shows at both the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the social justice Just Festival, and is currently the writer in residence for YWCA Scotland’s #FeministFest 2016.

Born in the UK, Nadine Aisha is of mixed heritage and had a Zimbabwean-meets-Indian-meets-Yorkshire upbringing. Her favourite quote is from Angela Davis: ‘walls turned sideways are bridges’.

Zuhura Seng’enge

Zuhura Seng’enge is a fresh graduate from the University of Dar es salaam currently volunteering with Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA). She has been very inspired by literature (especially poetry) since her childhood. She wrote her first poem in primary school at age 12, and since then, poetry has always been her way of expressing herself and inspiring others . As a poet Zuhura has participated in events such as; The Woman Scream International Poetry Festival (2014 and 2015), The Swahili Carnival (2014) and the first Dar Poetry Festival (2015). Her dream is to inspire young people to use Art as a tool for change and development in their lives.

Caroline Anande Uliwa

Caroline Anande Uliwa aka Carol Anande is a 29-year-old artist residing in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

She has been a feature journalist since 2008 writing for newspapers in the country and region to include -The Express, Flare Magazine, Daily News, The Citizen, Bang Magazine & The East African. She now runs a blog on arts & culture as well spaces called MKEKA –

Susie Berya

Susie Berya is a Tanzanian living in Dar es Salaam. She is a creative writer, and a feminist with a passion for all forms of art. She’s a 24 years old currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Economics of Development and working on her first anthology. She writes contemporary poetry usually influenced by her daily experiences and social issues.

Sandra A. Mushi

Sandra A. Mushi is an interior architecture designer with a very strong passion for writing. She is the author of The Rhythmn Of My Rhyme, published by Andika Afrika, Tanzania in 2008, is a collection of soulful poems – a journey of self discovery – women in love; women out of love; abused children; abused women; content women, women who have found themselves (emotionally, mentally and sexually) and women who just want to be.

Sandra’s second book, Stains On My Khanga, published by Hadithi Media, SA in 2014, is a collection of short stories and poems and it is centered around justice for women and the challenges women face, the choices women sometimes have to make.

Some of Sandra’s works have also been published on Africa Knowledge Project, also known as AKP, and JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies [JENDA]. AKP is an initiative by Africa Resource Center, Inc., dedicated exclusively to academic research on Africa and its Diaspora. AKP focuses on critical Africa-centered, evidence-based knowledge and research from a diverse range of disciplines. While Jenda is an award-winning peer-reviewed journal which focuses on social, political, economic, and cultural concepts and categories that shape the lives of women in different African societies.

Sandra’s short story Lunch has been featured in Street Level, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania in 2011. Sandra’s poems Chai and Through Change from the collection Stains On My Khanga, have been featured in Street Level 2, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by We Don’t Reed Publishers, Tanzania in 2011.

Sandra’s poem Reflections from Stains On My Khanga has been featured in a poetry anthology, Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets – Contemporary African Women’s Poetry published in 2013 by Lynne Reinner Publishers, USA. This anthology of never-before-published poems showcases a new generation of African women poets, some familiar, some just beginning their literary careers. Their rich voices belie popular stereotypes, reflecting the diversity and dynamism of their environment. As they range across topics encompassing family and personal relationships, politics, war, and the ravages of famine and disease, they show the breadth of African women’s experiences and of their thinking about issues both on the continent and globally.

In 2013 FEMRITE, Uganda Women Writers Association, invited Sandra to participate in the 5th Regional Residency for African women writers. Sandra’s manuscripts were rated very highly by the evaluators. This year, the countries participating include; Malawi, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Sandra was nominated for the fall 2011 residency at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Iowa, USA.

In October 2010, Sandra was invited to the international Hay Festival, a literary and art festivals, which was held in Nairobi under Storymoja. She was there as a Tanzanian writer and poet. Sandra was also invited to participate as an external observer in what EASUN and the PSO (a network of 50 NGOs in the Netherlands) planned as a dialogue event between Northern and Southern NGOs. This dialogue which took place between November 8-12, 2009 in Moshi has been dubbed the Moshi Dialogue. Sandra’s observation of the dialogue was put in poetic form and enacted after each daily session.

In 2008, Sandra participated in the Book Slam in Zanzibar, which happened during the Sauti za Busara festival and involved writers from all over the world. In 2006 Sandra was invited by Kwani to the first ever East African Writers Summit in Lukenya, Kenya.

Sandra has also written for several magazines, news papers and corporate newsletter.

llhem Issaoui

Ilhem Issaoui (1992/12/30) is a Tunisian translator and writer of poems and short stories. Her writings have appeared in many online and in print magazines in India, USA, Canada, and the Middle East. She is deeply fond of English literature, languages and translation. Among magazines that have published some of her works are: Salisonline, Mind Magazine, danse macabre online, mad swirl, three-line poetry (prolific press), jaffatelaqlam, turk’s head…

She is also the author of a collection of poems: Fragments of a Wounded Soul (amazon publishing)

“Ilhem Issaoui is our mirror, gateway and companion… into the bright and wounded places.” Rich Norman, Editor in chief: Mind magazine

John Eppel

John Eppel, born in 1947, is an English teacher in Bulawayo. He published his first poems in the 1960s, in Two Tone, and his first collection, Spoils of War, in 1989. John won the Ingrid Jonker Prize for Poetry for Spoils of War, and the M-Net prize for his first novel, D G G Berry’s The Great North Road. His second novel, Hatchings, was chosen for the series in the Times Literary Supplement of the most significant books to have come out of Africa. His other novels are The Giraffe Man, The Curse of the Ripe Tomato, The Holy Innocents, Absent: The English Teacher, Traffickings and The Boy Who Loved Camping.

John’s other poetry collections are Sonata for Matabeleland, Selected Poems: 1965-1995 and Songs My Country Taught Me. Two collections of his poetry and short stories have been published: The Caruso of Colleen Bawn and White Man Crawling.
Poems and short stories of Eppel’s have appeared online and in many anthologies and journals, and his recent collaborations with other writers include Together, with Julius Chingono, Hewn from the Rock, with Philani A Nyoni, and Textures, with Togara Muzanenhamo.


Semiha has been writing poetry since the 7th grade, mostly as an alternative to a diary. She has also started writing short stories, and hopes to write a full set someday-but mostly reverts to poetry as her native tongue.

Richard Mbuthia

Richard Mbuthia is an English and Literature teacher in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Poetry is his second love: the rhythm, verse and verve of poetry are ingredients of a great love story. The twenty six letters of the alphabet amaze him with their ability to be used as instruments of change – their volatility, pointedness, efficiency and aptness cannot be gainsaid.

His ambition is that one day he will be a poet of high repute; a poet churning out metres and metres of verse; a poet on the drawing board of many a winning verse; a poet charting the way for revolutionary pieces; a poet telling the African story as it is and as it ought to be.


Princely is a poet based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

Nkateko Masinga

Nkateko Masinga is a medical student, poet and writer. She has been writing poetry since primary school and her earlier work has been published in various school yearbooks and anthologies.
Her more recent work has been published in an anthology called “Dear South Africa” in conjunction with Poetry Potion, an online poetry journal in South Africa.

In August 2015, she entered the Speak Out Loud Youth Poetry Competition in Pretoria and was placed in the top 30. In the same month, Nkateko self-published her first poetry chapbook, titled “The Sin In My Blackness.”

She is currently working on an audiobook to accompany her chapbook, as well as writing new poems for her second chapbook.

Ngasuma Kanyeka

Ngasuma Kanyeka is a poet based in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

Charity Hutete

Zimbabwe’s Charity Hutete is a dynamic page and performance poet whose written work has been described as ‘a layered feast’. Her innovative use of words infused with the alluring harmonic refrains that often accompany her acts always result in tasteful, culturally rich and thought provoking entertainment. Charity’s poetry is characterized by rich allegories which interrogate vast social realties earning her the nick-name ‘aCuriousPoet’. She has exhibited her work at several international festivals in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Norway.

“I would describe myself as a lover of life and words. My art speaks my truth expressed in witty words and alluring rhythms. Always worth a listen” Charity Hutete, aCuriousPoet, 2014

Mulumba Ivan Matthias

Mulumba Ivan Matthias is a Ugandan author living in Kampala, Uganda. He is a valuation surveyor by profession. He is the author of a collection of poems, Poetry In Motion, published in 2012. His poetry and short fiction have been published in The Kalahari Review, Readers’ Café Africa, Africa Book Club, Munyori Literary Journal and Lawino Magazine. You can see more of his work on his blog

Nebila Abdulmelik

Nebila Abdulmelik is a pan-Africanist and feminist who is passionate about social justice. Birthed in Addis, she has since criss-crossed the earth and found herself back in the city that birthed her. She uses the creative arts, particularly photography and poetry to speak her peace. Connect with her here @aliben86 and

Langa Sarakikya

Langa Sarakikya is a 38 year old single working mother of two children. For her, words are jewels to be respected and valued, their power never to be underestimated. Each word represents a magnificent jewel that when strung together in a particular pattern with other jewels, creates a unique stunning necklace to be worn and displayed with humility and emotion.

Langa has bipolar disorder, a mental illness that can take a person from extreme highs to extreme lows. Much of what she writes is inspired by extreme moods that allow her creativity to manifest in ways that are grounded in Truth. Her own Truth.

Langa has been writing short stories, poems, and keeping a journal since she was a young child but has never been published. She writes to fulfill her own urge to get words down on paper and in so doing expresses herself and achieves a level of satisfaction that nothing else can deliver.

Christine Coates

Christine Coates is a poet and writer from Cape Town. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has an interest in life-writing or memoir, and the recovery of personal history through public and private imagery. She makes hand-wrought books from found objects, paper and leather. She has undertaken the 800km pilgrimage across Spain, on the Camino de Compostela, and written an account of it.

Her stories and poems have been published in various literary journals; New Contrast, New Coin, Deep Water Literary Journal, scrutiny2, Stanzas, McGregor Poetry festival anthologies 2014, 2015. Found Poem was a finalist in the Cambridge Conference of Contemporary Poetry Review 2002, Africa Focus. Her poems were selected for the EU Sol Plaatje Poetry anthologies 2011 – 2015, and the Best “New” African Poets 2015 Anthology. Her debut collection, Homegrown, published in 2014 by Modjaji Books received an honourable mention from the Glenna Luschei Prize. Of the Prize judge Gabeba Baderoon said, “I read these books and many of the poems again and again. The [finalist books] feel thoughtfully shaped, rivetingly intelligent and superbly crafted.  I found them a pleasure and an education to read. Indeed, my horizons were vastly expanded by the extraordinarily well-realized poems in these collections.”

Her short stories have been highly commended; “The Cat’s Wife” in ADULTS ONLY, the Short.Sharp.Stories anthology 2014, and “How We Look Now” in WATER, the Short Story Day Africa anthology 2015. 

She has also written a cookbook: From the Heart; family, food and memory. Christine belongs to Finuala Dowling’s monthly poetry group and a women’s writing collaborative; The Grail Women Writers. She has worked as a teacher and adult educator. Now she freelances as an editor and writing coach. 

Gonsalves Mpili

Gonsalves Mpili started writing poems at the age of 16 during his secondary education. He is now a graduate from the Institute of Finance Management, and still continues to write. He is the organiser of Woman Scream, a worldwide movement to fight violence against women through art and poetry.

Christine Yohannes

I love life; life loves me because it has blessed me with a gift: Poetry, my doorway to the secrets of the Universe. I never claim to express undeniable truth but my own, one I wish to share with the world. Words have power, my mission is to use these words to paint the life I wish to live as well as the world I wish to live in … and poetry is my paint brush! My vision is simple, through the words I express I want to bring change! Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Demere Kitunga

Demere Kitunga is a feminist activist and advocate for literacy. She engages with literature and knowledge generation in various forms and through it mentor young people to become free thinkers and creative communicators.

She is the head of E&D Readership and Development Agency popularly known as Soma (synonym for read and learn in Kiswahili), a not for profit outfit which runs Soma Book Café, a literary hub for leisure, culture and learning.

She shares her poems individually and in relevant platforms including: Tanzanian and African feminist collective; Fanani Flava, Kisima cha Mashairi (an online poetry collective); and Waka Poetry Consortium. Her published poems include but are not limited to: a translation into Kiswahili of A new Initiation Song by Elizabeth Khaxas first published in Sister Namibia; and a few in Diwani ya Kisima Juzuu la I a Swahili anthology I co-edited with Kahabi Isangula published online (available on Amazon).

Liyou Libsekal

Liyou Libsekal is an Ethiopian poet living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She grew up traveling and living mainly in East Africa. Liyou’s chapbook, Bearing Heavy Things is part of the 2015 African Poetry Book Fund’s New Generation African Poets series.

Japhala “Aether” Gwangwa

Aether, real name Japhala Gwangwa has had a fascination for music and creative writing since he was very, very young. At 18 months he had his first toy guitar (which he named “Fay Fay” after the George Michael song Faith), at 12 he decided he wanted to be in a band “as a guitarist or a drummer”, but he still passionately pursued creative writing, at 15 he said why not both, and started writing a book and got his first real guitar, all the while freestyle rapping on a whim.

From this point forth his love for writing and music exploded setting him further along the already blazing path toward his dreams where he taught himself the guitar, drums, the art of freestyle rap and spoken word as well as composing music digitally with the aid of his live instrumentation skills. Around the same time, he nurtured his passion for creative writing and after writing a several hundred page manuscript, started studying Sound Technology at Limkokwing Botswana.

As a performer, Aether is multifaceted. In 2008 he was rhythm guitarist and lead singer for “The Substance” an alternative rock band that went from playing in clubs and cafes to Woodstock Botswana in the course of one year. IN 2009/2010 he rapped, a lot, working with local artists and having a few songs on local and online radio. In 2010/11 he played drums for a popular reggae band while ‘session guitaring’ for artists who needed it. He sharpened his freestyle skills and spent time battling other rappers until he got bored of this and in 2012 he released a mix tape titled Memories of the Darkside, during this time he completed his Sound Technology diploma, passing with flying colours and getting a scholarship to continue his studies in Malaysia, where he acquired his Degree in Film and Television.

While he was in Malaysia he performed regularly. Of his regular performances one of his most memorable was at Urbanscapes Malaysia 2013.

In June 2014 he joined local superband the Contrabanditz which was made up of 5 solo artists united by a common cause.

In October 2014 he was invited by the World Islamic Economic Forum to Perform at the 7th annual MocaFEST in Dubai where he also performed at an event called ARTNIGHTS @ Gate Village, which is one of the most widely attended art exhibitions in Dubai every year.

In October 2015, he attend Maun International Poetry Festival with the Contrabanditz, as well as opening for Freshly Ground and Oliver Mtukudzi. In November Aether along with the Contrabanditz opened for Joss Stone at the Mascom Live Sessions.

Boasting a repertoire of conscious lyrics inspired by the Light. Aether sets out to inspire all he comes across, with the goal of lighting a fire in them, one that will cause ripples of Hope, Faith and Love to wash over a darkening world.

Tiro Sebina

Tiro Sebina teaches courses in Literary Theory and Criticism at University of Botswana. He also coordinates (UB) Writers’ Workshop on Wednesday evenings. His poems appear in a number of anthologies and journals. He coaches Creative Writing on Friday afternoons at the Gaborone Public Library’s Children’s Section. Besides contributing occasional book reviews, he intermittently writes opinion columns in some newspapers in Botswana.


Ndi’Aphrykah, born Morongoa Basadi Mosetlhi, is a young Motswana writer, performing artist and entrepreneur. Her interest in writing began in her early teens. Her works include poetry, short stories, novels & scripts.

Her involvement as a performer in local arts industry began in 2009 when she was casted for a role in Re Bina Mmogo Season II. In 2011, she found herself pursuant of the stage again, performing as a poet for Art of the Soul Organization’s Poison Poetry, an endeavour she has continued with to this day. From here, her passion for the arts would only grow further, fed by partaking in local productions including Passion Play I & II, The Maitisong Festival, Queer Shorts Festival Showcase, and most recently, The Maun International Arts Festival.

She is currently in the process of setting up a management and tax consultancy in order to be able to complete the requirements of being a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She is also working on an anthology of poetry inspired by her time in the Delta and the remodel of her blog AmanteFatale.

On the performance side, she plans to frequent local productions as a performer and as a producer as well as begin to frequent international festivals around Africa.

Barolong Seboni

Barolong Seboni was born in Botswana on the 27th of April 1957. He spent his early years of primary and secondary schooling in London, England (1966-1970), and was in the USA from 1984 to 1987, where he studied for his MA in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was a teacher at the Mater Spei College, Francistown, Botswana (1978-1983). He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the English department at the University of Botswana.

Seboni has a long and fruitful experience in radio, television and print media, which started in 1985 when he gave several interviews on TV about his works as a student in the USA. Seboni has performed and recited his poetry in Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, India, England, Scotland, Ireland, Colombia, Italy and the USA.

Seboni is also co-founder of the University of Botswana Writers’ Workshop and the Writers’ Association of Botswana. He is the founding chairperson of the Petlo Literary Arts Trust, and founding editor of MAHUBE literary journal of the Writers’ Association of Botswana.

He toured the UK in 1990 as part of Poets on the Frontline. He was poet-in-residence at the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1993, and Visiting Writer of the International Writers’ Program at the University of Iowa, USA in 2003.

Leungo Frank

Leungo Frank is a poet based in Gaborone Botswana.

Nompendulo Shabangu

Nompendulo Shabangu, a.k.a. Nomps, recalls writing poems for her mother for Mothers’ Day from the time that she was in primary school. She has been blessed with phenomenal English teachers all the way from pre-school. Nomps is a writer of short stories, poetry, and she also has her own blog.

Nomps is a Motswana, yet she was raised in South Africa. All of her works are inspired by God. Her writings are about God, love, and justice; three topics that are inseparable. She believes that through her writings, poems, and performances, she gets to be an advocate, a voice for the voiceless and to also offer up hope to the hopeless. She aims to raise awareness about the social ills and current affairs, and in turn mobilize her audience to proaction. She also aims to spread love, and to help instill purpose.

Nomps is a member of Poetavango Spoken Word poetry, and she performs at their events. She has performed at the 2014 Maun International Arts Festival, and the Barona Gratitude Gala in Maun in May 2015. Even though Nomps performs in English, she also writes Zulu and Xhosa pieces.

Leshie Lovesong

Leshie Lovesong, recently resident in Cincinnati, Ohio, (USA) is a Motswana poet, singer and song writer. Her stage journey began in 2007 as a member of ExodusLivePoetry!, a pioneering poetry movement in Botswana.

Her first studio recorded EP, Sunflowers and Strawberries was launched and released at the Queen City Poetry Slam in Cincinnati, Ohio where Leshie was a feature artist. The release of S&S follows Leshie’s second solo event, BREATHE: A Night of Poetry and Music, which was staged in Gaborone, Botswana in August 2014. BREATHE is the second part of a 3 part “Love Letters”, written, directed, produced and performed by Leshie, accompanied by other artists. The first part, FALLING: A Night of Poetry and Music, was staged in Gaborone, at Moving Space Theatre, Maru-A-Pula School on March 7th 2014. The show sold out, and got extensive media coverage. The last installment is expected to be staged in 2015. The trilogy follows a lover, on her journey towards finding herself, exploring the luminal spaces, very rarely confronted, including the impact of past experiences, and how they shape one. Leshie has also performed adaptations of the trilogy in the Maitisong Festival 2014 and 2015, held in Gaborone.

In 2013, Leshie performed at the INTWASA KoBulawayo Festival in September, and at the Maun International Poetry Festival in October. Her EP, released recently, was recorded in 2013, by Heaven Sent Productions.

2012 saw Leshie co-write a workshopped poetry play, “The Bedspread”, which was launched in Gaborone, and later performed at the annual “Sex Actually” festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a social and environmental activist, Leshie travelled to Luanda, Angola and Rundu, Namibia in mid 2012, workshopping scripts and performing plays aimed raising awareness on the importance of the sustainable development of the Okavango River. As a poet, Leshie’s poetry was inevitably featured in the plays.

Between 2012 and 2013, Leshie acted in various other theatre productions, including pantomimes of Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast, in both of which she played lead roles; and Passion Plays I and II, where she explored even more challenging and provocative roles which explored the range of her capacity as an artist, and taught her discipline.

Her work has been featured in ‘Dreaming is a Gift for Me’, an audio anthology, produced by SAUTI Artist Administration; as well as in ‘Awakening’, a compilation of affirmations.

Leshie’s written work has been featured in the Womb edition of Prairie Schooner.

Lesego Nswahu Nchunga (Leshie Lovesong)/ @leshielovesong/

Karabo Mosimanegape

Raised in a musical family, the poet grew up singing in a traditional Setswana choral choir where the inspiration to perform for the masses was natured and harnessed through leading some songs and doing the poetry to fuse with the music as is part of dikwaere.

He then evolved through the inspiration from his mum and listening to different types of music like reggae, rock & roll, kwaito, hip hop and for the most part the ability to appreciate different art forms.

The artist first performed solo at the age of eleven at a kgotla gathering in Tutume village in Botswana doing a welcoming piece for the dignitaries at the gathering. He then evolved to take part in different shows all the way through to high school.

And in 2005 he started documenting his written work in a compilation called Smoking Poetree volume 1 with a collection of more than a hundred poems and short stories to be published. The artist also works as a freelance copywriter for marketing and design agencies and he does special performances on corporate and social events.

He continues to rock stages with his simple and straight forward and easily palatable to all yet thought provoking and highly entertaining poems. His work is mostly aligned towards activism, awareness and Africanism. With an excellent standing ovation record of 11 consecutive shows and counting he has been pointed as a favorite poet by many poetry lovers locally and internationally.

Tlotlo Candice Kenalemang

Tlotlo Candice Kenalemang was born in Gaborone, Botswana. She grew up in Molepolole but lived most of her teenage years in Abuja, Nigeria. She started writing lyrics for songs and later after something traumatic happened she started writing poetry, short stories and long stories. Her poetry is all based on her experiences and she tries to write as often as possible.

Fikir Kiflu Adane

Fikir Kiflu Adane is a 30-year-old Ethiopian professional with multiple college degrees.

After more than 10 years of being a devoted writer, in 2011 he finally felt confident enough to start submitting his poetry for publication. Since then, he’s had about 23 poems published in print and online journals.

Fikur is a passionate poet who works very hard at honing his craft.