Demere Kitunga

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ka Mau

Ka Mau is a multidisciplinary performance artist born and raised in San Francisco, California. For the last ten years Ka Mau has lived in Bali, Indonesia and traveled throughout Asia, using the art of poetry, rap and dance to connect cultures, inspire creative thought and action and motivate youth to use their creativity as a means of personal and collective empowerment.

Ka Mau was named Best Poet in the 2002 Oakland, California Slam Finals. He is the winner of the 2004 & 2005 Ubud Writers Festival International Poetry Slam where he has also been the host and featured performer in 2010 & 2013. Ka Mau was selected as Artist Ambassador to represent the San Francisco Bay Area and perform at the 2004 World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. He has also been invited three times as a guest artist, lecturer and workshop coordinator, to board the Japanese activist/educational cruise ship Peace Boat.

He currently hosts Bali’s longest running open mic and produces eclectic performance productions in Bali incorporating music, dance, poetry and visual arts.

Sindisiwe Getrude Mbombi

Sindisiwe Getrude Mbombi was born and bred in Mpumalanga province, residing under Nkomazi Municipality in the village called Masibekela. She started writing for fun way back in the early 1990’s, but this hobby soon turned into a great passion. Ligwalagwala FM, a local radio station in her province, has featured her poetry on numerous occasions. She recently published two books titled Tsatsa Umtsamo volume 1 & 2. She is currently in the process of completing volume 3 and 4.

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.

Bilkis Moola

Bilkis Moola is an Educator who works as a Head of Department in Languages at a school in Vukuzakhe, a township located in Volksrust, Mpumalanga province, South Africa. Her first anthology of poetry Wounds & Wings evolved as an introspective quest for recovery from her personal narrative of an abusive relationship. Bilkis presently divides her time between professional responsibilities and post-graduate studies in Education.


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.

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.

Marce Underwood

Marce is a poet and classically trained singer from Cape Town, South Africa. Some of her poetry has been published in Sugar and Spice,  a South African Anthology. She is aslo a member of a trio called Project Escape, which fuses poetry and music.

MP Mkhize Da Bee

MP Mkhize Da Bee is a poet based in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. This young poet has extensive writing and performance experience. Highlights of his career have been performing with veteran South African storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, performing at the Africa Cup of Nations and at the ANC’s 101 Years Celebration.


Born Tendekai Tati, Madzitatiguru is a Zimbabwean bi-lingual spoken word poet who recites poetry in the English and Shona. His Shona Poetry is recited in a style which he terms Urban-Ancient Poetry that consists of a mixture Conventional Shona and Modern Urban Street Language and focuses on local experiences. His English Poetry focuses on issues that affect the globe as a whole.

He debuted in 2011 at the House of Hunger poetry slam at the Book cafe in Harare where he was crowned the slam champion, he also performed at  the Afro Slam and  Poetry Slam that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2011.

In 2012, Madzitatiguru performed during the Shoko festival . A month later, in the same year, he performed during Poetry Africa in Harare. He has also been featured at the Spoken word and Hip Hop event Mashoko and has twice appeared on local radio, Star Fm’s Wednesday Poetry sessions.

The poems Skeletons, Speaker and Nhau dzePadare are found on collection of Performance poems titled NhauDzePadare that are part of his performance arsenal.

Nduta Kariuki

Nduta Kariuki is an artist working and studying in Nairobi, Kenya. She paints primarily, in a personal style that is derived from pop art, but dabbles extensively and has working knowledge of most art forms.

Nduta is currently a fourth year Fine Arts student at Kenyatta University. She is a freelance artist and has worked with Samsung and various high schools for the annual Music and Drama festivals. She enjoys writing, as it allows her to express her quirky sense of humor, and has performed at the Slam Africa, Word Up Live, St. Andrew’s Eve of Poetry and Wamathai events.

Her work has been shown in the following venues: The Michael Joseph Centre, Kenya Railways Museum Gallery, the National Museum, Paa ya Paa Gallery, The Kenyatta University’s Culture and Career weeks, International School of Kenya.

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.

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.

Karyl Huggees

good little children are seen and not heard; so HUGGEES spent early performing years more focused on looking pretty and less on speaking up. with a background in folk dance and steelpan, there were many opportunities to glitter across various stages in north america. HUGGEES left a chorus of primary schoolmates in trinidad and tobago to perform with a family band throughout canada and then later spent a year with a touring performing arts company based in seattle. during that transient time HUGGEES soon looked to thoughts for companionship. after winning a few speech art competitions, a personal relationship with poetry began; organizing spoken word events and performing spoken word quickly followed. HUGGEES now cohosts on community radio in both spoken word and caribbean music programming.
this for HUGGEES is the return from a much needed break from the spotlight. while working with under-served families, HUGGEES uses art as a therapeutic recreation tool. the motivation to engage audiences once more, stems from the continual exposure to communal secrets and the commitment to be more open in order to continue needed conversations around healing. there is power in performance.
HUGGEES is determined to be a carton voice, playwright, dohl player and other artistic ventures as breath allows.

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, (, edited by the late Dr. Roi Kwabena.

Kemba King

kemba king is an artist. healer. storyteller.

she has been writing and sharing her art for over 10 years. in 2009 and 2010 she was a part of the anitafrika dub theatre playwrights-in-residence program where she wrote and co-produced the biomyth monodrama where the stories are told. during the same year, she participated and culminated from the sacred leaders mentorship program from sacred women centres international. she hosted and co-produced a radio show entitled womyn’s words for over 10 years. she also co-directed and co-facilitated the medina collective – an organisation committed to informing and engaging young women of colour in media literacy primarily via hip hop.

Onokemi Onojobi

Onokemi Onojobi (a.k.a Qono) is an artistic, avant-garde persona, a perspicacious lover of words, writing and all things aesthetic. A performance poet and a musician. Onokemi is also an advocate against Child Sexual Abuse amongst other things.


Omnyama (the black one), birth name Asanda Vokwana was born and buttered in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Her provocative voice has graced numerous stages in South African. Traces of her Past her debut album – working alongside Bongani Tulwana – is a recollection of the realities of being young, black and female.

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.

Jesse Jojo Johnson

Jesse writes under the pseudonym William Saint George. He is  a Computer Science major at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with an avid interest in the arts and global issues, history, and diplomacy. He is also am an amateur photographer and a blogger.

Jamala Safari

Jamala Safari is a writer and a poet based in Cape Town. This DRC native has been writing since the age of 12. He is the author of a collection of poems called Tam-Tam Sings. His debut novel The Great Agony and Pure Laughter of the Gods is a story about 15 year-old Ristro and his journey through the war-stricken Congo.

Esther Karin Mngodo

Known by her stage name Es Taa, Esther Karin Mngodo is a Tanzanian poet based in Dar Es Salaam. At the age of 10 she was encouraged by her mother to join the choir, which she did. As the youngest member at the time, Es Taa started off as a Saprano and later on as an Alto. She recently discovered her Tenor voice in a band that ahe has been part of since 2006. Not only is the 26 year old a poet and a musician, but a journalist, a storyteller, a playwright, a social worker, a song composer and a woman passionate about her faith in God.

In 2011 she co-wrote a Musical Move: The Time is Now that was staged at The National Museum Theatre in Dar Es Salaam. She recently performed her original poems at The Smart Partnership Dialogue Meeting held in Dar es Salaam that was attended by Commonwealth Heads of States and different dignitaries.

Using her own life experience, Es Taa’s passion is to unearth matters that people would rather not talk about openly, to bring healing through authentic lyrics that have been birthed through her own pain, mistakes and the quest of life’s purpose. She also seeks to use art as a tool of social change by addressing issues of human rights and social justice in a way that people can relate to.