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’.

Mihret Kebede

Mihret Kebede was born in Dessie, Ethiopia and graduated from AAU School of Fine Arts and Design in painting with distinction, 2007. She then took a one-year photography course with Desta for Africa (DFA). She received a certificate award of recognition as the best practicing female artist in 2013 from Ministry of culture and tourism, Ethiopia.

Mihret is the founding director of Netsa Art Village, Artists collective, manager of Ethio Color band and founder and manager of the popular Tobiya Poetic Jazz monthly event.

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.

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.

Keziah Elaine Ayikoru

Keziah is a poet, singer fashion designer and graduate architect.

She has performed her poetry at different poetry platform: La Poetista, Open Mic, Lyricist Lounge, Nafasi Chap Chap Festival, Noisy Pen Recitals and Jeans and Tshirt in Tanzania and Poetry In Session in Uganda.

She is an organising member of La Poetista, a group dedicated to encouraging and growing poetry in Tanzania.

She also founded Noisy Pens [2010 – 2013] which was a forum for sharing and improving poetry through meetings and recitals.

She is the founder of ‘kea apparel’ and East African clothing brand that was started in January 2015.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2013 from Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam and currently works at Architectural Pioneering Consultants Limited in the same city. In addition, she has worked with Anza, an East African architectural magazine as sub editor from 2012 to date.


Sima is a 25 year old Tanzanian Artist and Entrprenuer with an enthusiasm for writing. Hip Hop Music is his first love, but has been influenced by all types of music from punk rock to RnB, Soul, Afro Jazz and Zilipendwa. He is also the founder of an ametuer events and decor company called MADEURBAN, that promotes creative artists’ work and provides event solutions for corporate and private individuals. He has a passion for visual art and is currently taking a course in Media and Film production at Tasuba, Bagamoyo.

Peter Esterhuysen

Peter Esterhuysen was born in 1963 and died in 2004. As a founding member of the StoryTeller Group, he scripted highly successful educational comics on environmental health, HIV/Aids treatment and gender relations in rural settings. He storyboarded short stories by three South African writers, Can Themba, Bessie Head and Alex la Guma. He scripted theatrical productions for the Handspring Puppet Company and anchored the writing team that produced the TV series Soul City, Gazlam and Yizo Yizo I and II. The latter won multiple local and international awards. In 2002 he co-wrote a feature film with Tebogo Mahlatsi titled Scar. The script was selected for the Sundance Writers Festival held in Utah, but he was too ill to attend. His short stories and poetry reviews were published in local literary journals. Five years after his death, a selection of his poems was published in Comeback: Poems in Conversation 1984-1989.

Azola Dayile

Azola Dayile is a spoken-word poetry artist, literature scholar and all-round lover of the word. He hails from the streets of KwaZakhele in the windy city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa where he was born and bred for the past 20-something-odd-years.

His passion for reading and writing emanated from a very young age, having been involved in spelling and reading groups and contests from the tender age of seven years. However, it is only in high school that he became conscious of his writing and that is when he formally began writing poetry, even though never sharing it beyond his immediate peers.

In 2012 he joined the Culture Consciousness Society, hoping to grow his craft and become better at what he had been doing for some time.

All thanks to the universal forces of attraction, Azola met with up two fellow artists in Sisonke Papu and Unathi Slasha, with whom he co-founded and launched the Resonance Poetry Movement society at NMMU in March 2013.

His has since performed both inside and outside the Eastern Cape, has been published in local journals (also due to be published in the June .issue of the New Coin) and has had his worked featured on Radio L2K, a community radio station based in Uitenhage.

Megan van der Nest

Megan van der Nest was born and raised in Johannesburg and currently lives in Grahamstown, where she is a postgraduate student at Rhodes University, working towards a PhD in English Literature. She holds two Masters Degrees, one in Philosophy and one in Creative Writing. She has worked as a Philosophy lecturer at the University of Fort Hare, and as a facilitator for the annual creative writing course offered by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa at Rhodes University. She studied music as an undergraduate and was a member of the East Cape Opera Company for two years. She now sings with the Rhodes University Chamber Choir. Her poetry has been published in New Coin, Aerial and ITCH Online, and her poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Rhino (after Wallace Stevens) was included in the 2012 anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World, edited by Harry Owen. The inspiration for her poetry is drawn from simple moments of family life and from the natural world.

Crystal Warren

Crystal Warren grew up in Port Elizabeth but now lives in Grahamstown where she works at the National English Literary Museum. She has edited New Coin poetry magazine and taught a creative writing course. In-between she manages to occasionally do some writing of her own.

Tina Abena Oforiwa

Tina Abena Oforiwa is a London-based, Ghanaian-born creative writer.

Although she has lived in the UK almost all her life, for her Ghana will always be home. She uses poetry as a means to communicate the experience of growing-up outside of her homeland, the feeling of displacement and nostalgia which naturally manifest in varying ways.

For Tina, poetry remains as the ultimate liberating tool. It allows her to speak of things she wouldn’t ordinarily engage with others about on a day to day, and feel no reproach.

Tapiwa Mugabe

Tapiwa Mugabe is a writer who was born in Zimbabwe and raised in England, UK. As a writer and poet he has recently published his first collection of poetry titled Zimbabwe. Tapiwa’s poetry introduces a fresh and bold voice into the rich current that is emerging from young African millennial artists.

Myesha Jenkins

Myesha Jenkins writes and performs poetry. Her second collection, Dreams of Flight, was launched in 2011 at UKZN’s prestigious, international festival, Poetry Africa, where she also performed. Her first collection, Breaking the surface was published by Timbila in 2005. Her work can also be found in We Are (Penguin, 2010) and Isis X (Botsotso, 2006). Myesha has been interviewed in the print media and on radio and TV.

For the last three years, she has produced Poetry in the Air to celebrate Women’s Month on SAfm. She also co-hosts the Jozi House of Poetry, a non-competitive, woman-friendly monthly poetry session.

In 2013 , Myesha won the Mbokodo Award for Women in the Arts in the Poetry category

She also runs writing workshops for women and girls, stimulating creativity and imagination. Myesha is currently co-editing South Africa’s first erotic poetry anthology. Also, a CD is in the pipeline.

Feminist, immigrant, activist, she generously shares her life, reflections and vision. She has been on stages with Napo Masheane, Lebo Mashile, Ntsiki Mazwai, Natalia Molebatsi, Gabeba Baderoon, Antonio Lyons, Phillippa DeVillers, Vonani Bila, Khosi Xaba and Khethi Ntshangase

She has lived and worked in Johannesburg since 1993 when she relocated from California.


Codey Young

Codey Young is a graduate of Ursinus College, class of 2014. He was recently selected as a 2014-15 Watson Fellow by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, for a year of international travel to pursue an independent creative project on art, activism, and Black masculinity in the African Diaspora while also performing his poetry. Codey has also launched a website, the Black M.A.R.S. Project, to highlight the work of Black male artists throughout the Diaspora. He has been writing poetry since the age of 12 and performed his work throughout college, at Ted Perkiomen Valley High School, as well as One World Poetry in Berlin, Germany.

Dorothea Smartt

Dubbed ‘Brit-born Bajan international’ by Caribbean literary icon Kamau Braithwaite, Dorothea Smartt is a poet and live artist. Her poetry braids together standard and Caribbean English; poetic form and speech rhythms; myth, history, observation and reflection. Her first collection Connecting Medium (2001, Peepal Tree Press) was highly praised and features poems from her outstanding performance works Medusa and From You To Me To You (An ICA Live Art commission). Her latest publication Ship Shape is a rich collection of poems, connecting past and present, presence and absence.

Her recent poetry video installation Landfall was part of an international exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands and featured new works exploring the Atlantic Ocean as a natural phenomenon and transporter of dreams and peoples. Dorothea Smartt performs, and exhibits internationally, and regularly works with schools. She is SABLE LitMag’s poetry editor, and Co-Director of Inscribe, a Black & Asian writer’s development program.

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.

Jacob Sam-La Rose

Jacob Sam-La Rose is a published poet who devises and facilitates projects for schools and other institutions, emerging poets, teachers, literature professionals and other creatives. His work is grounded in a belief that poetry can be a powerful force within a community, and that it’s possible to combine the immediacy of poetry in performance with formal rigour and innovation on the page. His work has been featured in a range of journals and anthologies. Breaking Silence (2012) is his first book length collection of poetry.

Makosha Valencia Dimo

Born and breed in the South African province of Limpopo, Mmakosha is a multi-talented artist who practices various art forms including singing, acting, and writing and reciting poetry. She has performed across numerous stages around the country. She is also the admin officer for The Polokwane-based, Timbila Poetry Project, alongside renowned South African poet Vonani Bila.


Blackheat is a young, multi-talented and passionate poetess, singer and percussionist from Zimbabwe. She exploded onto the poetry scene in 2006 after being discovered by renowned poet, Chirikure Chirikure who introduced her to the Book Cafe in Harare.

Her talents are far-reaching and amazing to say the least. In the short space spanning her performance career, she has performed at the echelons of performance poetry in Zimbabwe. She has also spread her wings and delved into radio broadcasting, acting, publishing, advocacy and cultural activism.

Her poetry is pregnant with abstract and surreal imagery, chronicling the social goings-on of contemporary Africa flawlessly on the traditional African beats of Zimbabwe and beyond. Speaking passionately on consciousness, love, revolution, individuality, freedom, culture and the delicate, critical balance of the mind and soul, her poetry appeals to people of color and light.

Not surprisingly, she is inspired by the Malinke jelis of West Africa, the nomadic Wolof and the Tuareg people of Senegal and Niger, who have kept their heritage intact through the spoken word and music. This inspiration led her to form the band, Blackheat in 2011. She felt the need to preserve the traditions of her Shona people through the fusion of folk music, poetry, dance and thought-provoking lyrical content.

With Samson Gohwa (percussion, vocals), Prince Zhuwao (mbira, balafon, vocals) and Itai Karuza (djembe, percussion), and herself on hwamanda-a traditional Zimbabwean horn, she started a journey that has given birth to a different understanding of spoken word, African music and dance.

Bernedette Muthien

Bernedette Muthien co-founded and directs an NGO, Engender, which works in the intersectional areas of genders & sexualities, human rights, justice & peace. Her community activism is integrally related to her work with continental and international organisations, and her research necessarily reflects the values of equity, societal transformation and justice.
She has published widely, written for diverse audiences, and believes in accessible research and writing.
Bernedette started reading poetry at political mass meetings and other public spaces while at high school during the 1980s. Her poetry has, among others, been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, and published in the Americas, Europe and the UK, as well as across Africa. She is a core member of the Cape Cultural Collective, a progressive performance arts group with its roots in anti-Apartheid struggles of the 1980s. For Bernedette the poetic is not merely personal, but profoundly political and spiritual too.
Amongst others, she co-convenes the Global Political Economy Commission of the International Peace Research Association, is a member of Amanitare, the African network of gender activists, and serves on various international advisory boards, including of the international journal Human Security Studies.
She is co-founder of an indigenous scholar-activist network, the KhoeSan Women’s Circle, in addition to convenor of an international listserv of Native scholar-activists, Gender Egalitarian.
Muthien was the first Fullbright-Amy Biehl fellow at Stanford University (1994-1995), and holds postgraduate degrees from the University of Cape Town (Dean’s Merit List), and Stellenbosch University (Andrew W Mellon Fellow, 2006-2007) in South Africa.
Her current research centres on the Egalitarian KhoeSan – Beyond Patriarchal Violence, in other words, how social and gender egalitarianism are coterminous with nonviolence, as well as showing that nonviolent and egalitarian societies have existed throughout time and continue to exist at present.

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 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.


Jesu Robert Crentsil aka Mr.rE is a passionate poet from Ghana. He is the founder of mzOne (mOrality zOne), a poetic group/movement in his hometown.

Mariska Taylor-Darko

Mariska Taylor-Darko is a widow with two sons. She is a writer, poet and motivational speaker. She is one of the Directors of Ghana Organisation for Learning and Development, (GOLD) a registered Charity in the U.K. aiming to assist women and children in the rural areas of Ghana. She is the founder of Yes Group Ghana, a motivational group involved in empowering the youth.

Mariska’s poems have been featured on, which is an online poetry site several times and she has also been published, in Jambo, an East African magazine. She has also been featured on radio chat shows on Yfm and Citi fm and on TV with Viasat 1 on the One Show and has read her poetry in London at the Find your Voice motivational event. She has published her first motivational book, The Secret to Detoxifying your life and love , a collection of poems in a book called Rhythms of Poetry in Motion and is in the process of writing one film script, one novel and a collection of children’s stories. Recently she gave a reading of her book which is soon to be published called A Widow must not Speak at the Goethe Institute organised by the Writers Project of Ghana.

Native Son

Marvin Trimm aka (Native Son) is a writer, poet, spoken word artist, motivational speaker and musician. He has been engaged in the world of literary and performance art for 20 years. It is this passion for the arts that has led him to be showcased globally in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean.

A native of the small island of Bermuda, it was there that he honed and developed his craft his craft. In the late 80’s he was able to write, produce and direct his 1st one man show entitled “Life Signs on Planet Earth” a collection of monologues depicting real life characters in social situations.

Today, he continues in the capacity as a writer of performance poetry/spoken word, which he performs at various venues such as spoken word series, poetry slams, music festivals, community events, conferences, universities and prisons. Marvin describes his poetic literary speech as spontaneously truthful. A self pro-claimed “Empowerment Poet”, he often writes about self development, self awareness and self improvement. Marvin is a charismatic storyteller that combines history , social, political issues to enlighten and bring new perspectives about the world we live in.

Nana Nyarko Boateng

Ghana based Nana Nyarko Boateng feels gratifyingly functional when she writes. Essentially, she doesn’t know any other way to live. The greatest influence on her poetry and writing career is her heartbeat. She admires and feels indebted to many more poets than five but if she has to name five; Kamaria Muntu, Jacqui Johnson, Kofi Anyidoho, Alice Walker and Audre Lorde.

Naledi Raba

Naledi Raba is a 21 year old poet from Nyanga, a township in Cape Town, South Africa.

She first performed in New York in 2008 and has since been performing in various places in Cape Town. Naledi won the Slam Poetry Competition at University of Cape Town in 2012 and in 2013 she won the national DFL Lover + Another Poetry Challenge in 2013.

Natasha Tafari

Natasha Tafari considers herself a Hip Hop poet and is driven by her observance of life. She feels that artists serve as a medium of expressing the spiritual essence of life through various creative mediums. Poets express with Words, Expression and Resonance. Natasha Tafari is also a singer, songwriter, scriptwriter, emcee and events manager.

Natasha has organized her own events including Wordsworthsaying (2010), Hip hop custodians and Community jam. She has facilitated workshops at the Grahamstown festival, Artscape theatre in Cape Town and the Language commission. She has performed across venues in Cape Town including the Sparkling Women’s Gathering, WordsWorthSaying Raga’zzi, Verses and the former Badilisha’s Fireword Fridays.

Nana Korantema Hanson

Nana Korantema Hanson is an actress, a writer (poetry, anecdotal essays, and novel), blogger, television presenter, and an entertainment journalist based in Ghana.

Naima Mclean

Naima is an enormously talented writer, poet and vocalist born in New York City and raised in numerous cities across South Africa.

She has earned a degree in theatre and performing arts from the University of Capetown, performed, acted and sang in South Africa and Europe.

Naima performs as a poet in her personal capacity as well as with the collective Rite 2 Speak, a group of young South African theatre practitioners, who felt that the voices of their generation were not represented in theatre. The collective fuses the performance of poetry, music and theatrical aspects as a vehicle to encourage physical engagement with the audience.

Naima’s current TV roles include cameo features on one of South Africa’s most watched TV dramas Generations, presenting for South African Coca Cola game shows as well as a feature character in the internationally renowned UK TV series Wild AT Heart.

Kayo Chingonyi

Kayo Chingonyi has performed his poetry in countless live venues across the UK. His work has been broadcast on Radio Five Live and Sheffield Live and is anthologized in The Shuffle Anthology 2009 and City Lighthouse (tall-lighthouse, 2009) as well as appearing in print and online magazines including Pomegranate, Tate Etc and Wasafiri.

He has completed commissions for organisations such as Louis Vuitton and The Poetry Society and was a contributor to Asking a Shadow to Dance a DVD anthology, produced by Oxfam, launched in December 2009.