Nomangesi was born in 1966 in the Eastern Cape in the Grahamstown district. She can speak two languages, English and IsiXhosa. She started writing poetry in 2007, which are in isiXhosa and are unpublished.
Mangaliso Buzani was born in New Brighton in 1978. He is a versatile artist who excels in the creative world of art as a whole, be it painting, installation, jeweller design and manufacturing and writing. He has just finished his Masters of Art in Creative Writing with a distinction at Rhodes University.
Buzani is an award winner of Dalro Prize (2014) and a finalist of Plat Africa (2007), and Anglo Gold Riches of Africa (2004). He teaches Martial art (Judo), art, creative writing in local schools when ever time presents itself. Buzani has exhibited his work across the country. He was first encouraged to experiment with poetry writing when he joined Uncwadi Writers Association in the late 90s and he has not turned back since then.
Mhlobo Wabantwana Jadezweni was born in Xawuka in Dutywa and spent many years teaching isiXhosa in Stellenbosch. He now teaches isiXhosa literature at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
Some of his work is published with other poets the anthology Umdiliya wesihobe (Oxford University Press). He has edited numerous isiXhosa literature books and is the author of a children’s book entitled UTshepo Mde/ Tall Enough/ Groot Genoeg (these works have been translated into a few languages).
He runs creative writing workshops for aspiring writers who are still at school in the Northern Cape Province. These workshops are run during the annual Writers’ Festival held in Kimberley.
Siyabonga Ngcai, better known as Gqobhoz’imbawula, is an ambitious poet, story teller, song writer, performing artist and Architectural Technologist by profession, born and raised in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. He grew up as a fine artist, Traditional and Pantsula dancer, and later found himself attached to writing short stories and poems.
Gqobhoz’imbawula writes his poetry in his mother tongue, isiXhosa, addressing matters concerning physical and emotional abuse against woman and children, African history, traditional and cultural backgrounds, and other pertinent stories involving the people in our communities. He has shared his craft in countless events, poetry festivals and musical sessions along with national and international artists.
Gqobhoz’imbawula represented the Eastern Cape in a Word’N’Sound Poetry and Live Music Series slam competition called Slam for Your Life in Grahamstown in 2014. He has also contributed his song entitled Ingoma from his album Ukholo lwemveli to the Current State of Poetry, SADC Love Poetry Mixtape which features amazing poets from different regions across the African continent. The mixtape was released on the 14th of February 2015 online for downloads on Bozza.mobi.
Ayanda Billie works as a quality inspector in the motor industry in Uitenhage. His first book of poems was Avenues Of My Soul (2006). He is influenced by the haunting voices of South African poets like Ingoapele Mandigoane and Mafika Gwala, European poets like Lorca and Pessoa , and jazz music, particularly Zim Ngqawana. His isiXhosa poems record the chilling hours of the modern worker on the factory floor.
Madoda Ndlakuse was born in Mdantsane and bred in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Madoda is a writer, poet, interpreter, reading initiatives activist, the founder of Eastern Cape Book Festival and Cream of Literature (Ingqaka Yoncwadi) both initiatives seeks to revitalise culture and the future of reading. His dream is to help primary school children with expertise in poetry, theatre , storytelling so as to spark their love for reading.
He is well known for his social commentary poetry and he is regarded as one of the best Isixhosa performance poets nationally. He is invited to perform and MC in weddings across the country. His latest poem ‘Imihlinzo’ is currently enjoying airplay @SABC Umhlobo WeneneFm’B.E.E show.
Mthetheleli Michael Mqutheni was born in 1963 in Whittlesea, Eastern Cape, South Africa. In 1989 he completed his Diploma in Education at the University of Pretoria. He is currently completing his B.Ed Honours with the University of North West. He is the co-author of the book Ubuncwane Besihobe edited by Professor Z.S Gebeda.
Mzi Mahola was born in 1949 as Mzikayise Winston Mahola. Mzi Mahola is his nom de plume. He started writing while he was at school. The Special Branch confiscated his first poetry manuscript in 1976 (That year, South African students rebelled against the government, which cracked down without restraint. Read more about the 1976 Soweto Uprising. Ed.) and he lost interest in writing for twelve years. After this period he started writing again, submitting work successfully to national and international journals, magazines and publications. His work has been published in more than eight anthologies.
His first book with poems is titled Strange Things and was published in 1994 by Snail Press. This volume received positive reviewing and was amongst those to represent South Africa in Geneva in a World Book fare in 1995. There was interest in translating the book into German and Danish, but this has not materialised to date.
His second volume When Rain Comes was published in 2000 by Carapace and won the Olive Schreiner Book prize.
At the moment he is editing and finalizing a semi-biographical novel called The Broken Link.
He has presented papers and given speeches at the National Arts Festival and at other venues for school children. He gives poetry readings for University groups and community projects. Now and then he runs poetry workshops for interested groups of writers.
Mandlenkosi Bewuzana is an artist, a poet, short story writer, novel writer, inspirational and general philosophy book writer based in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He contributed to Ingqaka Yesihobe published by Oxford University Press. He also contributed to Isingqi Sesihobe which is still to be published by Oxford University Press.
Newman Sigenu was born in Fort Beaufort, South Africa. It is in Fort Beufort where he qualified as a teacher, taught in primary school and was later promoted to be Headmaster.
Under the mentorship of Dr. M.M.M Duka, he co-wrote poetry series called Isihobe se-Afrika. He lends his time at community uplifting projects and is a member of the Writers Association in Chris Hani Disctrict.
Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Jessica Mbangeni is one of South Africa’s most sought after female Imbongi (praise singer), and has made her mark in male dominated cultural terrain. Invoking the role of this ancient tradition, largely influenced by her grandmother’s isiXhosa storytelling in the village of Nqamakwe, she offers insightful commentary on contemporary affairs. She has performed alongside numerous musical icons, such as Dolly Rathebe and Dorothy Masuka.
Dr Menzi Meshach Minsie Duka was born in Cradock on 11th November 1948.
In 1984, Dr Duka completed his first anthology of isiXhosa poetry IBETHO (a song of victory)
In 1996 he established Cradock Writers Association. The Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council funded the programmes of this association of which Dr Duka was the leader. Through such funding he produced books such as: Amavo Obuntu (essays), Ubusi (short stories), Imidlalwana Encasa (Three – one – act plays), Isihobe seAfrika Entsha 1 (Anthology of poems), Isihobe seAfrika 2 (Anthology of poems), Iingqwebo Zoluncwadi Lwanamhlanje (analysis of IsiXhosa literature) and Isihobe seAfrika Entsha 3 (An anthology of poems yet to be published).
Some of his poems are in various anthologies such as Intambanane, Umthombo, Vukani Kusile and others.
In 1999, Dr Duka obtained his Masters Degree with distinction from the University of South Africa (UNISA). His research was in ZS Qangule’s poetry. Three years later, he obtained a doctorate in Literature and Philosophy from the same university. In his thesis he interpreted and analysed Professor Ncedile Saule’s novels using formalism, structuralism and post – structuralism.
He is the chairperson of Vusubuntu Lodge and Cultural Village (Cradock) and the Cradock Socio-economic transformation Forum in Cradock. He is also the Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Ministries and is currently writing Christian books and another anthology of isiXhosa poems.
He also participated in the African Renaissance of South Africa from 2002 to 2010. He was the chairperson of Eastern Cape African Renascence Chapter and a board member of the South African Chapter of African Renaissance. He delivered speeches during some seminars of this movement.
He has also read a paper in the SEK Mqhayi conferenceof 2010. In July 2012 ISER (Rhodes university) summer seminar he also read a paper on the legacy of Matthew Goniwe as well as many papers on James Arthur Calata and during other occasions organised by the Departments of Arts and Culture. During Grahamstown Wordfest he read some of his IsiXhosa poems and also launched his books.
Currently Dr Duka is an educationist, academic, author of books, community builder and a church leader. He is an inspector of schools, that is, a circuit manager in the Cradock district in the Eastern Cape South Africa.
Anelisa Mbotyana “Dizadala” considers herself as one who was called to reveal secrets. This 19 year old has lived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa her whole life. Her ancestors bestowed on her the gift to be a praise poet from the tender age of five.
Babalwa RedSeed Ngcivana was born a muted soul, unable to express feeling, so she screams through scripted thoughts. She hails from Eastern Cape, South Africa.
She is a creative soul who believes that we are all sent with a message to deliver on this earth, everyone we meet has something to transfer unto us whether it’s good or bad. At the end it is all about how we react to the message that will determine if we rise.
Siyanda Solilo who is affectionately known as IThole lomgquba by his fans and dear supporters hails from the talent-rich Motherwell Township in the Eastern cape.
Ithole Lomgquba has been active around the Neslon Mandela Bay steadily building street credibility and networking with the like-minded artists. He has performed at sessions like the Elements Of Hip Hop, Grassroots arts Festival 2012, What’s Up sessions, Bring it to the cypher to mention a few.
Sipho Mbulelo Ntlangu is one of the upcoming multi-talented artists in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Sipho was born and bred in Port Elizabeth, in the dusty streets of Kwazakhele eNobatana and from a very young age he has been involved in many art forms and activities.
INGCING’ENTLE is Sipho’s first album, the album has powerful lyrical content which addresses social ills. He fuses poetry with Afropop, Afrojazz and Reggae.
Sandile Dikeni was born in Victoria West in 1966. He studied at the University of the Western Cape where he served on the SRC. He began writing seriously while in detention in 1986, and was a popular performer at political rallies and community cultural events. Since the coming of democracy, he has worked as a journalist and political commentator. In addition to Planting Water, he has published two previous collections of poetry, Guava Juice (1992) and Telegraph to the Sky (2002), as well as a collection of his articles featured in the Cape Times, titled Soul Fire: Writing the Transition (2002).
Sakhi Sogcwe, also known as Dongadala, is a traditional poet based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a Imbongi Yethongo meaning he receives his poems in dreams. He performs at weddings, traditional ceremonies, and other shows within his community.
Sakhi has won numerous awards and competitions. He is also performance co-ordinator and he mentors people to write and recite poetry.
Sandile Washington Mhlontlo is a published Xhosa poet who was born in Mbinzana, Lady Frere. In 1971 he qualified as a Primary Teacher at Lovedale College. He started teaching in Mbinzana Higher Primary in 1972. In 1976 he was promoted to Headmaster at St. Peters-on-Indwe.
He was ordained Roman Catholic Church Minister in 2001.
Thobekile Mbanda is a young gifted woman from Inchanga Kwa Zulu Natal now residing in Cape Town. She is a spoken word artist and community activist. Her work portrays her deep rooted passion for the well being of her people, promoting self-love, self-respect, identity and self-sustainment.
Her guitar inspires her lyrics and flow and is her companion. She holds high respect for poetry for she sees it as a catalyst of reaching the consciousness of the people who dare listen and considers herself as the voice of the beginning Thobekile wase Embo. She sees her work as a sacrifice of love for peace, unity, honesty and freedom for all.
Thea Ntombebhongo Siqoko was born on 21 June 1966 in Tarkastad. She grew up in the Eastern Cape and finished her matric there in 1985. In 1988 she qualified as a teacher at Masibulele Teachers College. It was while studying at Masibulele that an interest in writing started, the very first poem she wrote got published in the college magazine. She continues to write poetry to this day.
Thea holds a B.Ed. Honours Degree from University of Pretoria.