Mhlobo Wabantwana Jadezweni

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.



Adidi S. Rugemalira

Adidi S. Rugemalira’s artistic alias is ‘Best Mwami’ which translates ‘from the elder who is patient, and wise’. He was born in the region of Kagera, the district of Misenye, in 1962 in Tanzania.

He started composing poems in 1984 and he has published many of his poems in various media outlets within and outside the country. He’s also been part of various poetry contests. In 1985 he was the country winner of a poetry contest, sponsored by the ruling party CCM. They had requested poetry entries in celebrating their 18 years. He won a national contest sponsored by the newspaper ‘Uhuru’ in 1991.

To date he has composed over 800 poems.

Xolisa Ngubelanga

Xolisa Ngubelanga born in Port Elizabeth is a playwright, actor and director responsible for the underground hit – Dinner with Bantu. He has a passion for availing the artistic experience for the marginalized from mainstream art outlets and is currently establishing a vibrant township theatre culture in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Founder of Mdali – a program to revive critical cultural activities among the youth in New Brighton. The program is to stimulate audience development for the arts through early exposure of the arts to the youth and empowers youth to become catalysts of community art experiences through creative and critical writing.

Anthony ‘Ty’ Ngachira

Anthony ‘Ty’ Ngachira is a 22 year old from Kenya. The budding lawyer took an interest in poetry while in high school but actively pursued it while at university. He has performed at Kenya Slam Africa, Kwani Open Mic,  Fatuma’s Voice and Poetry under Stars. He loves poetry because it allows him to be who he wants to be. His work mirrors the African society he has grown up in.

Wandile Ganya

Wandile Ganya grew up in Western Cape South Africa. He is currently a student at the University of Stellenbosch. He started writing poetry at a very young age, he enjoys both classic and contemporary poetry, and also has a keen interest in philosophy

His first collection of poems titled Divine Interspace is available as an ebook on Amazon, Kalahari, Exclusive books, and GoodBooks.

Khadijah Ibrahim

Khadijah Ibrahiim is of Jamaican parentage, born in the city of Leeds, England. Educated at the University of Leeds; she has a MA in Theatre Studies. She is the Artistic Director of Leeds Young Authors and the Producer of Leeds Youth poetry Slam festival. Peepal Tree press published her poetry collection Rootz Runnin in 2008 that same year she toured the USA with the Fwords Creative Freedom writers. As a delegate for the Art Council England (Yorkshire) she attended Calabash International Literature Festival in Jamaica. She became one of the first international writers to attend the El Gouna Writers Residency in Egypt, 2010.

She was a member the advisory group that organized some of the events, which marked the visit of Dr Nelson Mandela to the City of Leeds. Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s ‘most prolific’ poets by BBC Radio, she continues to make various stage appearances across Britain, the USA, the Caribbean and Africa. Peepal Tree Press will publish her latest collection of poems later this year

Kenneth Ibegwam

Kenneth Ibegwam was born in Owerri, Nigeria, and grew up in Lagos Nigeria. A graduate of Imo State University, he generally considers himself a “reader of books” still trying to understand the rudiments of graduate school. He lives in Maryland.

Kaie Kellough

Kaie Kellough is a Montréal writer, performer, and general word-sound systemizer. He is the author of Lettricity (Cumulus Press 2004), and Maple Leaf Rag (Arbeiter Ring Publishing 2010), which was nominated for the Manuela Dias award for book design. Kaie is the voice of one sound recording, Vox:Versus, a suite of conversations between voice and instrument.

Kaie’s print and sound work are underwritten by rhythm and by a desire to dis-and re-assemble language and meaning. Kaie’s work emerges where voice, language, music, and text intersect. He blends word-games with sound poetry, dub, and jazzoetry. He has performed and published internationally, and has led sound poetry workshops at the Banff Center for the Arts. Kaie is presently working on short fiction and on poems that say goodbye.

Kerry Hammerton

Kerry Hammerton has published poetry in various South African and UK literary journals. Some of her poems were included in the anthology Difficult to Explain (Finuala Dowling ed.) and Africa, My Africa (Patricia Schonstein ed.). These are the lies I told you, her debut poetry collection, was published by Modjaji Books in 2010.

Loftus Marais

The work of Paarl born poet and publicist, Loftus Marais is visual and ironic, rebelling against a traditional Afrikaans poetry, while also acknowledging the handed-down Afrikaans belief in the poet as craftsman, in the importance of formal, structural and musical elements. This makes his poetry a complex modulation of a voice that is both lyrical and bitter, sombre and comical, nostalgic and ultra-contemporary. After being published in several anthologies, his debut collection of poems, Staan in die algemeen nader aan vensters, was published to high acclaim.

Lolani Kalu

Lolani Kalu is a veteran Kenyan journalists, multi-linguist, musician, actor and comedian and Swahili poet. As a Journalist he has had a rare opportunity of interacting with Kenya’s diverse and rich arts and culture.

Lolani is the founder of, which was established as a way to identify, nurture and develop raw talent identified in 47 counties of Kenya.

Liesl Jobson

Liesl Jobson is a Cape Town writer, musician and photographer. Her poetry and prose has appeared in various journals and anthologies in South Africa and internationally. She edits Poetry International, South Africa and teaches poetry online at the SA Writers College. She works for BOOK SA, as a literary journalist, where she also blogs periodically. She is the author of 100 Papers, a collection of prose poems and flash fiction, and View from an Escalator, a book of poems, both published by Botsotso.

Odia Ofeimun

Odia Ofeimun, poet, polemicist and polymath was born in Iruekpen-Ekuma, Edo State, Nigeria, on March 16th 1950. The author of ten significant volumes of poetry, Mr. Ofeimun has also published two books of political essays, four books on cultural politics as well as editing two anthologies of Nigerian poetry.

Widely anthologized and translated into many world languages, Mr. Ofeimun has read and performed his poetry in several countries of the world including Ghana, South Africa, Ethiopia, India, South Korea, Columbia, Germany, Israel, Great Britain, China, the United States of America, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Sweden, Italy and Cuba.

At home in Nigeria, Mr. Ofeimun’s practice of journalism, spanning the years of military tyranny, has inspired a whole generation of journalists in print and electronic media. The principled stand of Mr. Ofeimun came at the price of random invasion of his residence, seizure of his manuscripts, computer discs and Nigerian Passport to deny him freedom of movement. Undeterred, and while practicing probably the most dangerous vocation of all at the time, Mr. Ofeimun served the Association of Nigerian Authors as General Secretary and President respectively. He has been designated advisor to PEN Nigeria Centre and is a founding member of the Pan African Writers Association.

Mr. Ofeimun is the recipient of many awards the latest of which is the prestigious Fonlon-Nichols Award for literary excellence and propagation of Human Rights which was conferred on him by the African Literature Association in 2010. In a literary career spanning four decades, Mr. Ofeimun has distinguished himself with poetry and essays which challenge both the imagination and the intellect, crossing cultural borders and establishing new benchmarks in the articulation of the African narrative. His essays are valued both for knowledge and analysis, for what to know and for how to think about what is known.

Though only 62, Mr. Ofeimun is fondly called ‘Baba’ by the post-civil war generation of Nigerian writers many of whom have found touchstones in his works or have been individually mentored in writing by Mr. Ofeimun. For his copious literary output while engaged with anti-military rule struggle in Nigeria, Mr. Ofeimun has been called an exemplar of conscionable and consistent writing and the writerly life.


A Marketing Communications specialist, Obanya has worked and managed advertising strategy for several global brands in Africa. He is a novelist and a poet with published and unpublished works. His published works are, Him Bone Poetree and Sickles Raised from Dust.

He is in the process of publishing a new novel titled, Ijambody and a new book of poems titled, Ambient Noon and other poems.

He currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria or Accra, Ghana.

Gloria D. Gonsalves

Gloria D. Gonsalves is a creative writer and founder of World Children’s Poetry Day (WoChiPoDa), an initiative aimed at instilling the love of poetry in young people. Her work has appeared in various literary magazines, platforms and journals. Occasionally, she writes opinion pieces for newspapers.

Her literary works aim at supporting humanitarian related projects and creativity in others, especially children, by having them participate through drawings or stories. Her aspiration is to see more writers give back as profiled at Read A Book, Make A Difference (RABMAD).

Gloria’s mission as a writer is in paving the way for those seeking creativity in writing without paying attention to societal expectations. You might find her in unexpected spaces because she sees it as her job to show aspiring writers that possibilities exist. She does not procrastinate or allow man-made excuses such as it is not African. Even if it is not, she will be the African in it.

She holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Sciences, a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Tourism Marketing and a Diploma (S.A.C Dip) in Professional Proofreading and Editing.

Gloria is from Tanzania, has lived in Ireland and currently resides in Germany.

You can find her online at

croc E moses

Clever fooligan has made all the right mistakes and has self-realised his irrelevance.

Mr. Moses has attempted integrating his infinite personality and has even taken it to the stage! He fancies himself a bit of a nectar connector, talking songist,rhythm driven wordsmith, wordle doodle is heart headed hartist at heart, borderline magician dubious flowtician. For the last 9 nine years croc E moses has been planting word seed. With an activated sense of scooberty this poem ranger has been inciting da in sight, transposing consciousness,returning words to their source.

His works are serious, sensitive, deep, sometimes profound, equally flippant and possibly humorous. He takes many risks in content and in imagination. He draws upon exposure to extremes. His word strings are tasty tangents – His accent, soothing moon root liquorice, sub-dub dollop delicious, treating you to a little bit of everything you like. His performance is mysterious dragonfly capoeira!

Surprisingly and unsurprisingly he has appeared at festivals, conferences, schools, open mics, fund raisers, dinner party’s, exhibition openings and solo gigs mainly in South Africa, but also as far as New York, Dublin, Copenhagen, England, Mozambique, and Swaziland! Highlights include the Support act for Linton Kwesi Johnson, Cape Town, South Africa(2009) Poet On Strike Tour, Southern Africa (2009) Kgotla Youth Conference, South Africa(2009) Bushfire International Arts Festival, Swaziland (2008) Latitude Festival, UK (2007) The Aldeburgh Music Festival Fringe, UK (2007) The Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, New York City, USA (2003) The Herman Charles Bosman Literary Festival, South Africa (2002) and the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, SOUTH AFRICA (2001).

Azila Talit Reisenberger

Azila Talit Reisenberger is an award winning author who has had poetry, short stories and a novel published in Israel, the USA, UK, Germany and South Africa.

Two of her plays: Adam’s Apple and The loving father, were staged at the Grahamstown Festival.

She heads the Hebrew section in the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Cape Town, and renowned for her passionate lectures and articles on gender issues and feminist theology in the Bible. Since 1990 she has served as the Rabbi of Temple Hillel, a progressive Jewish community in East London. She lives in Cape Town with her husband and three children.

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.

African Noise Foundation

The African Noise Foundation is a shape-shifting collective of post-everything: poets, musicians and artists’ will include:

  • Zim Ngqawana – virtuoso flute, tenor and soprano sax improviser. Founder of the Zimology Institute for Higher Learning. The South African composer who best exemplifies the Blue Note tradition.
  • Mantombi Matotiyana – one of the last living exponents of the Uhadi. She received acclaim for her contribution to the Amampondo Ensemble and was recently on tour throughout South Africa with The Bow Project.
  • Warrick Sony – Kalahari Surfer – a one man avant-garde crusader, he has been subverting the status quo since the early eighties. Best known for his eclectic electronica, the Surfer embellishes the Foundation’s sound with acoustic instruments only.
  • David Mayekane – a vocal improviser in the tradition of Bobby McFerrin, David’s sweet voice can only be described as ‘angelic’. Previous gigs include harmonies with Ringo.
  • Aryan Kaganof – dada bin ubu poetry and werewolf vocals. Rumours of his death were somewhat exaggerated. His books include Drive-Thru Funeral, Tombstone Dues, Post-Mortemist Poems, as well as the much funnier Ballad Of Sugar Moon And Coffin Deadly. Best known for inventing the “feelbad” movie genre with such audience pleasers as SMS Sugar Man.

Anelisa Mbotyana “Dizadala”

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.


Razaq Ivori is a prolific writer who began his career in writing as a ghost pen for the rich and famous. He wrote their auto biographies for a fee until his last book Elevating the Women for Mrs Titi Atiku. He moved on to the institute of journalism where he studied multimedia techniques and began working for an Abuja firm soon after his HND in journalism.

His literary works include blood and kin a Sci-Fi African drama piece and the adventures of illinick slyed a radio drama written for the BBC but was never submitted.

His current literary scheme is to bring back the art of the quintessential Town Crier poetic semantics: he dubs narrative news. A system where actual news content is infused in free flow prose rendition though in English but not without the characteristic melodic chant of the past.

For six months Ivori premiered this art at the Bogobiri lounge in ikoyi, where some say the uproar it generated prompted the proprietors to establish a full scale stage house next door for performance poetry.
Today the poet, writer, journalist has put all away to make his theatric experiment a reality. The full content like he humbly puts it will give birth to SAO [THE STANDERD AFRICAN OPERA].

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.

Pieter Odendaal

Pieter Odendaal started out as a boerseun in Bloemfontein and has a BA and half of an abandoned BSc-degree. He is the co-founder and project manager of SLiP, the Stellenbosch Literary Project, which creates and nourishes analogue and digital platforms of creative engagements with words. The project’s website focuses on contemporary South African books, “poetries”, cultures and initiatives around multilingualism and translation. He also co-coordinates the popular InZync Poetry Sessions and high school poetry workshops with his partner in rhyme, Adrian Different.

He hopes to publish his debut poetry collection sometime soon. A handful of his Afrikaans poems appeared in Nuwe Stemme 5 (2013). In 2015, he’ll be studying things about sustainable development and how to save the world.

Roger Bonair-Agard

Roger Bonair-Agard is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, a Cave Canem fellow and author of two collections of poetry, tarnish & masquerade (Cypher Books, 2006) and GULLY (Cypher Books, Peepal Tree Press, 2010).

He is co-author of a third collection, Burning Down the House (Soft Skull Press, 2000). An MFA candidate at the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast program, Roger is also a 2-time National Poetry Slam Champion and the co-founder and Artistic Director of the louderARTS Project. He is poet-in-residence at Young Chicago Authors and teaches at the Cook County Juvenile detention Center. He lives mostly in Chicago.

Sydney Sam

Sydney Fiifi Sam is a Ghanaian undergrad studying Human Resource Management at the University of Ghana, Legon.

He is the co-founder of Trademarkers Inc.; a network that develops business concepts designed to uplift talent and entrepreneurship. He is also the program co-ordinator for Moonlight Cafe, a poetry,comedy and live music show that runs in University campuses around the country.

Simric Yarrow

Simric Yarrow is a performance poet, award-winning actor, musician and teacher based in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Recent performances have included collaborations with musicians Jamie Jupiter and Chris Tokalon, and visual artists Claire Homewood and Mike van Rooyen, as well as featuring at Badilisha’s Fire Word Fridays and Poetry on Long. His first collection of poetry, Flying on the Lucid Fringe was published in 2009. He is also known for the poetic house he built with his wife Carey – a unique double-storey mud and straw affair proving that you can be eco-friendly in the suburbs.

Sandile Dikeni

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).

Samantha Thornhill

Samantha Thornhill travels the globe performing poetry, delivering lectures, and facilitating writing workshops. Both a poet and published author, Samantha is a rising voice in the world of words. Her performance poem, Little Odetta, inspired by the late folk legend, is forthcoming from Scholastic Press in the form of a picture book. Also, her young adult novel Seventeen Seasons is soon to be published by Penguin Books.

Samantha earned her Master of Fine Arts in poetry from the University of Virginia while coaching the VA slam team. A sought-after educator, Samantha believes that inside each person exists a lover of words.

In New York City she fulfills her position as poetry professor at the Juilliard School. She also serves as writer in residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters where she teaches creative writing and journalism courses to middle and high school youth.

She presents her work in schools, universities, festivals, conferences, museums, places of worship, and poetry venues.

Raw and refined, diverse in subject matter and style, Samantha relates to a wide spectrum of audiences.

She is a native of Trinidad & Tobago.

Suné Ashlulita van Rooyen

Suné Ashlulita van Rooyen was born in the small town of Brandvlei in the heart of the Northern Cape. In 2010 she started her BA degree in Afrikaans and Nederlands and Psychology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), which she completed in 2013. Currently she doing her Honours in Afrikaans and Nederlands also at UWC.

Suné aspires to be a teacher with the option of becoming a paediatric psychologist.

Sitawa Namwalie

Sitawa Namwalie is a poet, writer and performer interested in how Africans are defining themselves in today’s world. In writing she finds her expression. In 2008 her first dramatised poetry show by the name Cut Off My Tongue was successfully performed in different venues in Nairobi. In 2009, her first book of poetry, Cut Off My Tongue was published. Later the same year, the show was performed at the prestigious Hay Festival in the UK. And in 2012 it was performed in Uganda. She was nominated for the Freedom to Create Prize in 2010 for the courage and positive social influence of her poetry.

In 2011, her second show of dramatised poetry called Homecoming was performed in Nairobi to rave reviews. In April 2012 Cut off my Tongue was selected by TED Talks on a global search for the new and undiscovered as a performance worth spreading.

Sitawa has worked in the development sector for many years with NGOs and with UNDP, USAID and IUCN. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany and Zoology from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Arts degree in Environment, Society and Technology from Clark University in Massachusetts, USA. She works as a development consultant in the areas of environment, gender and governance.

Sitawa has achieved excellence in many areas of life, including representing Kenya in tennis and hockey in her youth. She is a mother of three gorgeous children and is married to a man of rare generosity.