Letang Selepe

There are days when Letang Selepe wakes up feeling like a ripe and wise 50 year old, and other days a scared and confused 16 year old girl. She is actually a 28 year old Tswana woman, from a small village called Ramokgonami. She spent most of her pre high school years in a small mining town called Selebi-Phikwe. Lived in Zimbabwe for a good 4 years, and dwelled in Francistown and Gaborone thereafter. Lived in the USA for a magical year, where she met amazing people from all over the world. She came back home, yearning to write again.

She currently resides in Maun, and it is here where she stopped caging in her emotions and let them roam free on paper.

Poetry captivates you, in the now, it move’s you between different worlds. It is for this reason that she was drawn to writing, poetry was a path to healing, a path to acceptance. Most of her poetry stems from her own reality.

Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo

Kafui Adjaye-Gbewonyo is a Ghanaian-American, currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. She has enjoyed writing poetry since childhood. Her poetic work has appeared in California State University, Bakersfield’s literary journal, Orpheus. She was also recognized by the Live Poets Society of New Jersey as an American High School Poets Regional Winner in 2002 and was one of the recipients of the Edward Eager Memorial Fund Prize for Poetry at Harvard University in 2007.

Kafui is currently pursuing a Doctor of Science degree in social and behavioral sciences at Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Her other interests include music and issues related to development, globalization, Ghana, and Africa in general.

Abdoulaye Guisse

Abdoulaye Guisse is a Senegalese poet with two published collections of poetry: Perle choisie and Les vertus de líespoir.

He is a public law graduate and is very interested in the international humanitarian law, specifically on the contemporary armed conflicts contexts.

Kalyre Slam

Kalyre Slam is a Cameroonian slam poet who regularly performs on local and international stages. Kalyre Slam is the winner of the Chanson pour l’education or Song for Education Competition organized by the Swiss based NGO Enfants du Monde. He is also the president of the Association De la Promotion Des Arts Urbains in Mali.

Edgar Munguambe

Edgar Munguambe is a Mozambican spoken word artist and aspiring writer with an international perspective. In 2013 he graduated both with a Bachelor’s degree in Media, Communication & Culture from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, and an Honours degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Town. Edgar believes his degrees helped develop his research and analytical skills, as well as flexibility which are vital particularly with regard to his passion – the creative arts.

He writes in both Portuguese and English, about issues that personally affect him; matters of the heart, death and the human condition, stereotyping, alienation, and success are among his themes.

Edgar has performed at various spoken word gigs throughout Maputo, particularly at Noites de Poesia (Poetry evenings) organized by cultural movement Pl’Art D’Alma. He participated in the “The Power of Voice” festival organized by the British Council. Due to the positive feedback on the content of his lyrics, wordplay and delivery with his resounding bass, Edgar decided to take his poetry to new heights.

Internationally he participated in the 2014 Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, South Africa. He will also be featured on Noites de Poesia’s first Anthology featuring local Mozambican spoken word artists, which will be published in 2014.

Professionally, in 2014 he became a candidate of the Barclays graduate programme, a prestigious pan-African development program where he will train as an analyst.

Samkela Stamper

Samkela Stamper is a poet and community artist. She volunteers her time in programs that use the arts as a tool to impart social skills to children and youth from communities that need it the most.
She is a Nelspruit, White River based author of the self-published memoir, Not for All the Apples, Peanut Butter & Jam. Samkela first read her memoir at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Scotland in 2012. This led to an invitation to launch the book at the 2012 edition of the Open Book Festival in Cape Town. Samkela is an official participant of the Edinburgh World Writer’s Conference 2012/ 2013.

More recently, Samkela re-launched her book upon invitation by the NELM (The National English Literal Museum) as part of the National Arts Festival Grahamstown.

Samkela is currently a features writer for Lowveld Living Magazine. She is also an MC and the founder of the Single Hand Project and is on a mission to sell five million copies of her book.

Bassey Ikpi

Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian born poet/writer who was a featured cast member of the National Touring Company of the Tony Award winning Broadway show, Russell Simmon’s Def Poetry Jam. Not a stranger to the stage, her poetry has also opened shows by Grammy Award winning artists. Recently, Bassey appeared on the NAACP Image Awards as part of a tribute to Venus and Serena Williams and was a featured performer for Johannesburg, South Africa’s annual arts festival, Joburg Arts Alive. Bassey has been seen gracing the pages of magazines such as Nylon, Marie Claire, Glamour and Bust.

With social commentary being a focus of her work, Bassey recorded an original poem for the Kaiser Foundation’s, HIV/AIDS campaign, Knowing Is Beautiful. Bassey’s personal and heartfelt work has made her a much sought after performer. She is currently working on various screenplays as well as freelance writing for social media outlets. Her first completed collection of poetry and prose entitled, Blame My Teflon Heart: Poetry, Prose and Post-Its For Boys Who Didn’t Write Back will be released soon. In addition to her writing, this summer Bassey is also embarking on a 5 city tour, appropriately called “Basseyworld Live”, where each show will infuse poetry and interactive panel discussions on everything from politics to pop culture. Not only will she headline each show, but will also moderate the panel discussions, which will include special invited guests from various industries such as art, film and journalism.

Blaq Pearl

Blaq Pearl has performed with her band at Jazzathon and various city concerts particularly in Mitchell’s Plain. Having featured on television program Hectic 9nine and Keeping it Real, she is working on releasing unique designed T-shirt merchandise on www.sabandmerchandise.com. Currently Blaq Pearl is in the studio completing her album to be released this year.

She aspires to contribute to positive change in South Africa’s current state regarding the music industry and youth empowerment. To be successful and inspire upcoming artists & musicians and to to grow immensely and continuously in her musical talents and self.

Her poetry and music entails social content, controversial /tabooed issues and is about empowerment and real experiences + strength and motivation. She describes her music genre as a fusion of African/ Soul / Jazz / Hip Hop/ R&B.


Mufasa is a spoken word artist, actor and singer born and raised in Kenya. He popped into the spoken word scene after winning a spoken word slam competition. Since then Mufasa has been performing in all major poetry events in Kenya. Raised by a single mother, Mufasa is a passionate performer on stage and hides no emotions when he speaks about his life and disturbing issues in the society.

Morongwa Matsau

Known on stage as Messenger, Morongwa is a 30 year old  born in Maun, Botswana. He is a trained and professional accountant. Messenger’s interest in poetry started in the year 2000. However, the realisation of becoming a full-fleshed writer and performer began 9 years later when he joined Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry.

Messenger’s influence comes from everything he sees, touches and smells. He derives inspiration from the creatures he meets – in reality and in dreams and the sounds and voices he hears.

He has performed at all installations of the Maun international Poetry Festival. He also took part in the 100 Thousand Poets for Change, Maun 2012.

Morongwa Matsau is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel manuscript.

Natalia Molebatsi

Natalia Molebatsi is a writer, performance poet, workshop facilitator and programme director who has presented shows such as An Evening with Alice Walker, Urban Voices International Spoken Word Festival, and an evening with the father of Ehio-jazz, Mulatu Astatke.

The Tembisa-born and raised Natalia has performed in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Holland, Italy, Nigeria, Senegal, Arzerbaijan and England. She is founding member of the South African/Italian band Soul Making.

Nana Agyemang Ofosu

Ghana based poet Nana Agyemang Ofosu saw the skies in 1985 on the third day of February. He has labored through the rudiments of school and bears a BSc Civil Engineering Certificate from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He has grown to believe more in a world created by the ink of a writer than that seen by the eyes of men.

Napo Masheane

Embodying the energy of a young, urban South African generation, acclaimed proponent of spoken-word poetry, Napo Masheane is a fresh and innovative voice in this genre. Born in Soweto and raised in Qwaqwa, Masheane who holds a Marketing Management and Speech and Drama Diploma, is a writer, director, producer, poet and an acclaimed performer on both international and national stages.

She is a founding member of Feela Sista! Spoken Word Collective. She is also the co-director of Colour of the Diaspora, an international collective of black women from the United States and South Africa. Masheane was a nominee of the 2005 Daimler Chrysler South African Poetry Award and has studied at or worked in: the Market Theatre, the Windybrow Theatre, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, the University of Johannesburg, the Civic Theatre (Actors Centre), the SABC, Fuba School of Dramatic Arts, the University of California, Jungel Theater (Germany), Soweto Youth Drama Society, Farnebo College (Sweden), and The Lion King (New York City).

She has performed at Maitisong Theatre in Botswana and the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). Masheane is currently the Managing Director of her own production company Village Gossip Productions through which she self-published her poetry and essay anthology Caves Speak In Metaphors. Her provocative and humorous one woman show My Bum Is Genetic Deal with It was received to wide acclaim.

She has performed and shared stage with, amongst others, Don Mattera, Lebo Mashile, Kgafela Magogodi, Jessica Care Moore, Toni Blackman and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Kokumo Noxid

Jamaica is without doubt the foremost nation in the world for reggae! However the cultural, political and social climate tends to shape the musical offerings of this glorious nation.

Kokumo is a citizen and artisan from Jamaica whose debut album Writing’s On The Wall may well be the finest recording in the dub poetry vain for many a decade. Kokumo’s delivery will obviously draw comparisons to Mutabaruka but there is an originality of style that will appeal to audiences worldwide.

Described as not just an artist but also a cultural anthropologist and dub-griot, Kokumo uses his skills as a singer/songwriter and a dub-poet to capture his audience, whilst taking them on a cultural, spiritual and political journey.

Hailed from the parish better known as the cockpit country in rural Jamaica, seems to have contributed to the powerful voice that allows his words to take flight.

With a name meaning, “this one will not die” in Yoruba, is synonymous with the notion that his work will be around forever.

His work is rooted in the consciousness of Rasta and the cultural experiences of black people worldwide. This consciousness was triggered from an early age which he credited to being around his Rastafarian cousins but didn’t manifest until a later stage in life when he began to write songs and poetry.

Kokumo’s multidisciplinary skills as a performer have landed him roles in plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company and his own sold out production, GENESIS 9:25 @ The Birmingham Rep. Theatre, 2010. He also appeared at The Tate Britain, The Poetry Café London, BBC Radio 4, B-Spoken Word, BBC WM, Robert Beckford Show and the colourful face introducing Benjamin Zephaniah at Griotology held at The Drum, for his T.V. documentary, This OBE Is Not For Me.

Kokumo has being commissioned to write and perform for organizations such as Oxfam International Birmingham, Arts Council England, West Midlands and BBC WM to mark the 200th Anniversary of the abolition of the Slave Trade in The British Parliament. Other highlights include his appearance at Calabash Festival, Glastonbury Festival and being included in the “RED” anthology published by Peepal Tree Press 2010.

His written works has also being published in numerous magazines and online journals, most recent appeared in dialogue – a magazine for cultural literacy, No. 2/Vol. 3, (http://www.lulu.com/roikwabena), edited by the late Dr. Roi Kwabena.

Octavia McBride-Ahebee

Octavia’s work has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Damazine; A Literary Journal of the Muslim World, Fingernails Across The Chalkboard: Poetry And Prose on HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora, Under Our Skin: Literature of Breast Cancer, Sea Breeze- A Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writing, The Journal of the National Medical Association, Art in Medicine Section and the Beloit Poetry Journal. Assuming Voices, a poetry collection, was published in 2003 by Lit Pot Press. Her newest collection of poetry, Where My Birthmark Dances, was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press.

Julian Curry

Julian Curry started writing poetry in 1999. Besides receiving the 2003 crown at the Nuyorican, he was also the 2003 Bowery Poetry Club Co-Grand Slam Champion. His poetry is a glimpse into the inner city, Wall Street, family, and a regular guy’s everyday life.

Originally from the Bahamas, Julian now calls Harlem his home. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine & on BET’s Lyric Cafe. He was also featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.

Gail Dendy

Gail Dendy has published seven collections of poetry, her most recent being Closer Than That (Johannesburg: Dye Hard Press, 2011). Her first collection, published by Harold Pinter, was Assault and the Moth, Greville Press (UK) 1993. This was followed by People Crossing (Snailpress, 1995), Swimming in the Long Dark Sound (Stride, UK, 1998, Painting the Bamboo Tree (Arc, UK, 1999), The Poetry of Norman Corwin and Gail Dendy (Shirim, USA, 2002), and The Lady Missionary (Kwela/Snailpress, 2007). Her poetry regularly appears in journals and anthologies both in SA and overseas.
Throughout the 1980s and early ’90s Gail pioneered Contemporary Dance in South Africa and was nominated for the inaugural AA Vita Award for Best Performer. In her writing career, she was a Finalist in the South African Science Fiction Society’s Short Story competition, 1992; Finalist, Dalro Award 2007, Winner of the “Playwriting” category, SA PEN Millennium Competition, 2000; and Joint Winner of the cash prize for the Herman Charles Bosman Literary Award, 2008. She has also been long-listed for the Plough Prize (UK, 2008), shortlisted for the Thomas Pringle Award for Prose (Category: Short Story), 2010, and shortlisted for the EU/Sol Plaatje Poetry Prize in both 2011 and 2012.

The most recent anthologies to feature Gail Dendy’s work are: Anthony Astbury (ed) A Field of Large Desires (Manchester: Carcanet, 2010; Liesl Jobson (compiler) The Sol Plaatje/European Union Poetry Anthology 2011 (Cape Town: Jacana, 2011), and Patricia Schonstein Pinnock (ed) Africa, My Africa! (African Sun Press, 2013), and Harry Owen (ed) For Rhino in a Shrinking World: An International Anthology (East London, SA: The Poets Printery, 2013).

Over the years Gail has worked, inter alia, as a university lecturer, copywriter, and radio news writer. She is currently the Information Specialist for an international corporate-law firm.

Gail is passionate about environmental- and animal-rights issues. She lives in Johannesburg together with her husband, pets, a law library, and a collection of ballet, dance, classical, and Rock ‘n Roll CDs and DVDs.

Eric Otieno

Born in Nairobi, KENYA, in the late 1980s, Eric begun writing at 16 after being expelled from school. His first piece, A Letter To The Grave, was dedicated to his five-month-old sister who had died suddenly. He has not stopped writing and reciting his work ever since, he believes poetry is his destiny.

Dr Menzi Duka

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.

Dolapo Ogunwale

Oluwadolapo meaning “The Lord has poured (things of) substance together” is an embodiment of her name. Her poetry speaks of her inner experiences, either thought out or lived through. She writes in the hope that her words connect with another’s inner self and begins a deep inner reflection that will cause lasting change from the individual to the entire world.

Dolapo’s spoken word delivery has been described as theatrical and deeply moving. Applying her background in music, dance and stage acting into her live performances, she does not resemble one who only began this genre of artistry in August, 2010.

Born to yoruba parents as Oluwadolapo Ebunoluwapo Ogunwale in the city of Lagos, she hopes to find listening ears and open hearts on the world stage.

Dejavu Tafari

Dejavu Tafari has been involved in the performing arts since her high school days. Having discovered her abilities as a writer at an early age, she has honed her skills in creative writing and used them as a means of social commentary, making a name for herself in the slam poetry scene as a writer and performer of note.

Having completed a Live Performance course at Cape Town’s A.M.A.C in 2004 and gone on to further her studies in Theatre Performance at UCT, her work fuses elements of physical theatre, contemporary live performance, music and story-telling to deliver impactful social commentary on issues such as spirituality, cultural heritage, child abuse, peer pressure, love and various other issues which affect the youth.

She currently co- owns NTUTOPIA PRODUCTIONS- a township-based production company and uses this platform to generate theatre and television productions which focus on telling stories that empower the black youth demographic by reinforcing positive values. She has gained popularity within the Slam Poetry scene as a result of her consistent performances at events such as UNCUT (Cape Tech); AFRO (UCT); Kopano (Langa); All N.YZ (Guguletu); GOEMARATTI (Cape Town) and various other youth- orientated initiatives around the Western Cape. She has recently collaborated with an acoustic ensemble called the Umthwakazi Band; adding indigenous Xhosa music to her witty lyrics to create a kaleidoscope of experimental word-sound-power that has been well received by her widening audience base.

Other performances include the Speak The Mind Poetry Extravaganza (Artscape Theatre Sept. 2009); Poetry on Long (New Space Theatre Jan. 2010); Verses (Feb. 2010); Badilisha Poetry’s 100 000 Poets for Change( 2011) and Woman To Woman( 2012). Dejavu is currently working on her debut album.

D’bi Young

born in kingston jamaica, raised in whitfield town
birthed from the womb of dub
by anita (poets iin unity) stewart
who raised her child
at orality’s hub
storyteller d’bi.young takes performance live
is celebrated by the people on her way
including receiving two doras for blood.claat
first of the sankofa trio of plays
the second and third are benu and word! sound! powah!
onewomban biomyth monodramas
d’bi. is dubpoet, educator, soul-searching wombanist
also aspiring rawfoodist
played staceyann in da kink in my hair
founded anitafrika! dub theatre
recorded six dub disks
with two collections of poetry published
new album set to blossom late 2010
watching her two sons grow
while currently touring the world

Charlie Bobus

Charlie Bobus takes performance poetry to a new level, he has been described as being “the hardest working Dub Poet” and sheds a positive light on the Roots Reggae music scene. Bringing a new genre of poetry called Motivational Dub Poetry to the world.

From Grantspen Kingston Jamaica, this poet, left 8 years of office experience behind and now plays the role of activist, producer, publisher, events coordinator, actor, workshop facilitator, and motivational speaker for over a decade and as been bringing a positive and welcome change to the dub poetry industry in Jamaica. Doing all the projects required to bring dub poetry to its rightful international status Charlie Bobus keeps events, publishes books, produces CDs and videos and runs workshops across Jamaica the Caribbean and Canada. Described as being a “cut between Motivational speaker and a Bob Marley” with “a unique style of his own”; “hailed as the leading Dub poet of this new generation”, Charlie Bobus‘s original Dub Poetry combines with any rhythm crossing genres to embrace Reggae, Hip Hop, R&B, African Roots, Rock and souls influences which enhance the motivational themes of his poetry.

With extensive experience on the stage show and live poetry gig circuit, and keeping some of the major poetry events that keep the poetry scene alive in Jamaica, Charlie Bobus in 2007 released his Creative Energy Collection – Book, single & Video, and recently launched his first Dub Poetry Album in 2011 at Lula Lounge in Toronto Canada which is a selection from his wide repertoire. Creative Energy solidified his presence and made an official Charlie Bobus imprint into the wider public arena and music industry. With its unique new Poetic style, Motivational dub poetry mixed with Roots Reggae and Culture, the Charlie Bobus sound is versatile, well crafted, positive, motivational, and healing!

Charlie Bobus has been featured on BET performing on Spring Break 2009, Opened for Roots Underground in the Jungle, opening for I Octane My life tour in Canada Shared Stage with yellow Man and appeared @ Sunset on the beach in Negril, Sting, Capleton’s St. Mary Mi Come From and a number of large scale reggae concerts. Featured on BETJ word sound Power performing and doing an interview and Creative Energy and was a featured track on a compilation CD Word Sound Power Volume 1 which contained audio from the BETJ series. The rhythm Creative Energy produced by Inspirator international was also used as a sound track for When Walls Talk a featured program with sizzla on BETJ. Bobus sees dub poetry as a way to empower minds and uplift youths and works for the betterment of mankind. In this way, he believes that Motivational Dub poetry can empower people’s mind and become a valuable medium for change.

In recent years Charlie Bobus has impacted on regional festivals (Graduating from the Internationally acclaimed Calabash Poetry Festival Workshop scholarship), performing island wide in high profile Corporate Arenas, clubs, Hotels, appearing in music videos recently featuring as lead actor in Mr. Vegas – I am Blessed and plays and conducting countless Social Campaigns in Jamaica and abroad including running workshops and representing Jamaica in Canada as an ambassador for Dub Poetry at the Fall 2007 International Dub Poetry Festival in Hamilton, Canada.

Koleka Putuma

Performance poet,  Koleka Putuma, is based in Cape Town and currently pursuing a degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town. She  facilitates and hosta writing and dialogue workshops at schools, community projects and interfaith programs in and around Cape Town.

She has headlined at SliPnet’s Inzync Poetry Sessions, JamThat Session and at Off The Wall. She is a resident poet of the collective Lingua Franca. In 2012 she took second place in the Cape Town leg of the Drama for Life Lover + Another National Performance Poetry Slam Competition and represented the city at the national finals.

Her work has travelled to Scotland and New York.


Chief Moomen

Chief Moomen is currently a teaching assistant at the Theatre Arts Department of the University of Ghana where he studied Creative Writing in English and Play writing in Theatre Arts for his undergraduate degree.

His interest in poetry was ignited when he saw a performance of the American poet, Maya Angelou, in Ghana in the early nineties. Chief Moomen has been doing spoken word for the past five years. He has performed on various platforms including KSM’s Thank God It’s Friday and also makes regular appearances in the poetry section of Metro TV’s The Citizen Comedy Show. Chief Moomen’s poems are vivid with imagery and he transports his audience through a mosaic of experiences and leaves them excited, contemplative, refreshed or simply awed.

His collection of poems dubbed Village Fresh is a favourite amongst many as it takes them back to village life and its little pleasures. Chief Moomen intends to publish an anthology of his poems next year. He enjoys reading, listening to inspirational music and watching adventure and drama movies. He is very sociable and enjoys meeting new people. Chief Moomen intends to continue writing poetry for as long as the fountain of his creativity is nourished with the stream of inspiration.

Hakim Bellamy

As the inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico.

His poetry has been published in Albuquerque inner-city buses and various anthologies. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist and was recently bestowed the populist honor of “Best Poet” by Local iQ (“Smart List” 2010, 2011 & 2012) and Alibi (“Best of Burque” 2010, 2011 & 2012). He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.

Hakim is currently finishing his MA in Communications and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the proud father of a 4 year-old miracle and works as the Strategic Communication Director at Media Literacy Project.

Hakim’s journey as a poet has come full circle as of late, wearing the hat of musician. A product of the Hip Hop generation and influenced by his parents extensive wax collection (which included the likes of Janis Joplin, Sly and The Family Stone, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles, The Grateful Dead, Gil Scott Heron, The Temptations, Teddy Pendergrass & The Last Poets), Bellamy is equal parts musical artist, archivist and archeologist. He digs music. Piano lessons, recitals and many years singing in the church choir prepared him for the funk-infused, experimental yet melodic brand of Hip Hop that he produces today with creative partner Colin “Diles” Hazelbaker. He’s shared the musical stage with Zion-I, The Wailers, The Last Poets, Amiri Baraka, Cecil Taylor & Blacklisted Individuals.

As an actor, Hakim has grown his talent on both the screen and the stage. He made a cameo in the independent film Romeo & Juliet Vs. The Living Dead (2009) and has made multiple appearances in local commercials (Television and Radio). He has done voice work for television and radio, worked for two years as a radio journalist at KUNM 89.9FM in Albuquerque, NM and has been cast as an extra in such films/tv shows as Gamer (2009), Swing Vote (2009) & Crash the Television Series, Season II (2010). On the stage Hakim was cast in a major role in the 2009 Albuquerque production of The Exonerated, produced by NMRepeal.org. In the summer of 2011, Hakim secured a major role as the Friar in the Vortex Theater’s Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Romeo & Juliet for a 14 show run. He has since co-written and starred in Urban Verbs: Hip Hop Conservatory & Theater with his creative partner Carlos Contreras.

Anne Moraa

Anne Moraa is first and foremost a writer. A powerful spoken word artist, she has won several competions (Slam Africa, Kwani Open Mic) and has performed pieces at major festivals (Kwani Litfest, StoryMoja Hay Festival).

Her strong feminist perspective and willingness to challenge norms led to commissioned performances on gender and sexuality, including the 2013 “Festivale CulturElles” at Alliance Francaise. A law graduate, she writes fiction prose as well as scripts, social commentary and basically anything she can get her hands on.

Anis Mojgani

Anis Mojgani is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. A TEDx Speaker and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writers-In-The-Schools program, Anis has performed at numerous universities, festivals, and venues around the globe and has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues and the United Nations. His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Forklift Ohio, Used Furniture Review, and Thrush.

A founding member of the touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of three poetry collections, all published by Write Bloody Publishing: Songs From Under the River (2013)The Feather Room (2011), and Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008). A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, he still tries to make tiny spaces for visual art, doing the covers for his own books, and occasionally providing work for others, be it illustrations, the random poster, or whatever else may spark up. Originally from New Orleans, Anis currently lives in Austin TX in a little house with his wife and their dog, Trudy.

Ameera Patel

Ameera Patel is a Jo’burg born actress, writer and poet. She completed her degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town in 2005, where she was on the Dean’s Merit list and became part of the Golden Key Society. Her professional theatre performance record includes The Suit (2006), The Bonfire Theatre Company (2006), Victory (2007), Romeo and Juliet (2008), The Insatiables (2008), On Cue Theatre Company (2009), Hot Seat Confessions (2009), Ma Lindi and the Sex Strike (2010).

She is one of the founding members of the Rite 2 Speak poetry collective. Rite 2 Speak started in 2004 and has performed at various corporate events, festivals, bars and events with some of the highlights including National Women’s Day (2008), Urban Voices (2009), The Grahamstown Festival (2009) and Heritage day in Portugal (2008).

Her current projects include Rite 2 Speak gigs, Hamlet with the Framework team and facilitating writing workshops for the Jozi Book Fair.

Poetic Pilgrimage

Poetic Pilgrimage are an exciting female Hip Hop and spoken word duo from the UK who are set to take the world by storm with their unique sound, intelligent lyrics and unparalleled charisma. They are a rare act, being one of the few Muslim female outfits around and are unafraid to express themselves through the art of rhyme.

Poetic Pilgrimage brings a refreshing perspective on issues of identity, immigration, and global politics and as one of the very few Muslim, female Hip Hop acts in the world, their music reflects this unique experience. The world has much to learn from the lyrics of these two women.

Muneera Rashida and Sukina Abdul Noor were both born in Bristol to Jamaican parents, and have been performing together as Poetic Pilgrimage for 6 years. The early part of their career saw them as favorites on the London poetry circuit where they performed alongside some of the biggest names, placing them at the forefront of the fast-growing International Muslim Hip Hop scene. They use their music to unite their community with the greater hip-hop and music scene.

Their musical goals are to make progressive Hip Hop music that fuses their African and Caribbean roots with their musical tastes such as Jazz, Afrobeat, Soul and beyond, providing a creatively comparable backdrop to their message of peace, unity and freedom.

The group has toured all over Europe and the United States and have performed alongside artists such as Talib Kweli from the USA, K’naan from Somalia and Mutabaruka from Jamaica. They have received critical acclaim and press coverage from many of Europe’s most notable publications.

Whether helping youth learn to write heartfelt poetry, or rapping at the most male-dominated Hip Hop venues, Poetic Pilgrimage has become one of the most well-known and well-respected Muslim hip-hop crews in the world.

Pitika Ntuli

Pitika Ntuli is an internationally renowned poet, fine artist and academic. He is widely sought-after as a public speaker and commentator on arts and culture, indigenous knowledge systems and African scholarship. As an acclaimed poet, his poetry has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Ntuli holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in New York, USA. He spent his exile years in the U.K. where he helped establish one of Europe’s leading poetry circuits, Apples & Snakes in London. While in London, Ntuli also lectured in Fine Art and English Literature and he worked closely with Amnesty International and Index-on-Censorship.

Ntuli returned to South Africa at the end of 1994 and lectured at the former University of the Witwatersrand before joining the staff of the former University of Durban-Westville in 1995 as Head of the Fine Art Department.

Pitika Ntuli has held several portfolios on boards including the BAT Centre Trust, Universal Creative Arts and Artists for Human Rights. Ntuli was also co-director of the Awesome Africa Music Festival. He is currently Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Pitika Ntuli has performed his poetry with leading musicians like the late Dudu Pukwana, Mervin Africa, Julian Bahula, Lucky Ranku and Eugene Skeef and has toured Europe several times with his poetry. His poetry has received critical acclaim around the world. In 2004, Ntuli performed at the inauguration of former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Also a sculptor, Ntuli recently held a solo exhibition Scent of Invisible Footprints in Moments of Complexity at Museum Africa in Johannesburg. His book Scent of Invisible Footprints: The Sculpture of Pitika Ntuli is also an exploration of his art form.