Nametso Dorothy Phonchi

Born 1990, Nametso Dorothy Phonchi, affectionately known to her audience as “Poetess Phopho’’, was born and raised in Lobatse, Botswana. She is a BA Sociology and Environmental Science graduate from the University of Botswana. She is currently a Barclays- F.G Mogae 2014 scholar, pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Economics stream at the University of Botswana. Because of her diverse nature, she is currently an intermediate level student at the Confucius Institute at the University of Botswana studying Mandarin Chinese, also pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma in French Language through the AMITY UNIVERSITY e-network learning programme.
As part of giving back to the society, she has volunteered with organizations such as Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA), Humana People to People Botswana and Bird Life International Botswana.
She is a spoken word artist and a published poet, a Christian woman, a mentor, and a multilingual African child. She is the current Publicity Manager of Poetry Society-University of Botswana. Her writing and work emanates from the need to shouting the inner voice, speaking untold stories and voicing out stories of the gospel. She started performing poetry at the age of 16, at social celebrations. Her devotion to pen and paper elevated her to new platforms by later reciting weekly at the UB writer’s workshop, Poetry Society Wednesdays, and monthly at ‘Soul Poetry’ and ‘Poets Passport’ at Gaborone National Museum.
She has since then performed in poetry events such as the International Women’s day poetry event 2012, hosted by Alliance Francaise, the 1st and 2nd annual Multilingual Poetry Festival in November 2012 and 2013, gracing both events with multilingual poems and a Chinese song. She was a team member in the Tshwetso Poetry and Photography project, a joint project by the Botswana Society for the Arts and South East Entertainment to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in December 2013 to February 2014. She also performed at the Poetry against Poverty 2014, a charity event by Botswana artists and Angelous Society. She performed at the 1st Word live 2014 Gaborone hosted by Drea Chuma. The Poet has joined hands with other spoken word poets and Ann Gollifer, for a painting and poetry project themed ‘OMANG’ at Sophi Lalonde Art gallery in February 2015. She recently, she graced the Maitisong Festival 2015 at Thapong Visual arts Center and at the closing ceremony in Molapo Piazza.
Her writings kills were recognized in November 2013, scooping the first prize in a Chinese Poetry competition organized by the Confucius Institute at University of Botswana. She was awarded 4th world-wide prize in the WINDOWS TO CHINA & WINDOW OF SHANGHAI WRITING CONTEST 2012 (Shanghai get together 2012). In June 2015 three of her Poems where published on The Kalahari Review, an international online journal where African stories are told by African writers.
A performance she made at the Youth Arts and Aids festival open mic in recognition of the Month of Youth against AIDS March 2013 was later described in a local newspaper (Mmegi) column as rather ‘profound’. She has also been published in local News- Papers such as Mmegi Monitor and The Global Post.
Whether hated or loved, her poems will always be remembered for drawing inspiration for the old and young, black and white, rich or poor. She is mostly passionate about God, love, music, women and children and society which is where most of her poems draw from. Her poetry is inspired by rather seeing and hearing on a daily basis. With her book and pens, she aspires to lead future generations with poetry before her journey of lives comes to an end.
Often times she gets questions of why and how she writes and she has answered in her poem…

Livhuwani Mashao

Livhuwani Mashao was born Livhuwani Takalani Mashao on March 8, 1993, in Vosloorus, Gauteng. As a young boy he was exposed to Edgar Allen’s anthology and he grew up with a great passion for poetry and music. At the age of 15 he was introduced to Nasir Oludara Jones’, Nas, music and he fell in love with his writing style, fashion sense and demeanor.

Livhuwani began to write poems and raps, performing at school and church as he was being inspired by the divine life of Jesus Christ. Still growing and studying theology, Livhuwani hopes to reach out to his peers in style using witty rhyme schemes and word play. Livhuwani is currently taking theatre classes at Johannesburg theatre with the well known Souht African film director, Mr. Duma Ndlovu, being his lecturer. “Stage presence is a good trait to an all-round performer” Livhuwani alludes in most of his interviews.

Dumisane Magagula

Dumisane Magagula is an accomplished poet based in Mpumalanga, South Africa. His debut poetry recital was in 1981 at a funeral, he has since then performed his work at innumerable stages including at government events. His new poetry album is titled Ngitawuvela. He gets immense gratification from mentoring young writers.

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva is the founder of Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award and Babishai Niwe Literary Foundation which means Creating with You, in a mixture languages. It Babishai Niwe has been coordinating annual poetry awards for Ugandan women since 2008 targeting hundreds of women country-wide over the past 5 years, being the only award o its kind in the country. In 2014, the award will extend to the entire continent, targeting both men and women. In 2013, the foundation will publish an anthology of poetry from poets of Africa. Beverley Nambozo is also the author of Unjumping, a chapbook collection of poetry which was published by erbacce-press in 2010 after she emerged a joint first runner-up in their annual poetry competition. She has a Masters Degree from Lancaster University and devotes a lot of time to being a stay-at-home mum. Beverley currently lives in Kampala and looks forward to travelling far corners of the world with her husband and children.

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.

Elizabeth “Zaza” Muchemwa

Elizabeth is a dynamic and energetic performance poet, short story writer and theatre director. From 2006 to present day Elizabeth has performed her poetry on various stages and at various events in and out of Harare, Zimbabwe. Elizabeth’s short story Positive Death was published in The Zimbabwe Women Writers’ Magazine in 2006.

She also wrote an article entitled Telling our Stories and Perspectives in early 2010 which was on Pepeta blog and was later on published in a MISA-Zimbabwe Magazine called Women Speak. Her short story Radio Culture Is Dead was short listed in the Intwasa Short story competition for the year 2011.

In march 2008 Elizabeth got an opportunity to be part of the cast for a HIFA-DIRECT production Silent Words and from then on the theatre bug had caught, seeing Elizabeth assisting on a production in 2009 and directing two productions in 2010 namely Just Papers and Wedding Day. In 2011 she also took part in the HIFA-DIRECT program as an assistant director for Colours of Dreams. She went on to co-direct a play Miss Julie in June 2012 and also assist in the direction of The Father as part of the August Strindberg project which is carried out by Global Arts Trust and Complete Arts Project.

Elizabeth believes that it is important to know one self, to accept one’s history, the past and the present in this quest for shaping the future.

Rantoloko Molokoane

Rantoloko ‘The Truth’ Molokoane is a writer from the unknown township of Tumahole in the Free State, South Africa. He went to Primary School at Botjhabatsatsi Intermediate until grade 4, and then changed schools to Hendrik van der Bijl in Vanderbijl Park where he completed his grade 7. He matriculated in 2003 from Suiderlig High School. He has an S4 in Chemical engineering and is currently studying for his BA with Unisa.

He is the author of Read, Write Dreams Into Life published in August 2011. Read, Write Dreams Into Life is Rantoloko Molokoane’s debut literary text. It is the culmination of a decade of writing. The book is a collection of poems and prose writing that carry his signature view of the world in which reality is not only viewed at face value, but holistically. This view is the foundation of his philosophy that reality isn’t as rigid as it is deemed, as most of what we experience is the creation of men. The book deals with reality in its creation paradigm and not its existent paradigm, so as to provide the reader with the confidence to face their realities however diverse.
For a decade now he has been practicing his craft, nurturing it and learning ways to better tell the Afrikan story. In two thousand and one he turned his mind away from academics and began to observe human behavior in all its absurdity and from there the writing began. In 2008 he quit his job after finding himself immersed in unending depression because of a lack of utilization of his mind which led to extreme drinking. Since then he has been working tirelessly at his writing. Now with only a few years passed he has expanded from merely just writing poetry to even fiction novel (still being written). His work has been featured on One-2’s album ‘Microphone blank cheqk and on Inaudible poetry’s ‘Comprehension’ compilation. Besides writing he has horned in on his experience of performing poetry for seven years to produce edgy performances that shatter limitations with their fusion of enactment and poetry so as to bring life to poetry. He has performed around Gauteng tertiary institutions like VUT where he was exposed to the world of performing; TUT, NWU, UJ and at venues like Cramers coffee at Balladry composition’s poetry shows. He has also had the pleasure of performing at the Word N Sound Series hosted by Afurakan at the Bassline coming second on two occasions and at the KPN session held at Market Theatre Lab hosted by Jefferson Tshabalala. He has performed alongside some of the greatest poets like Romeo the poet, Inaudible poetry, and Quaz, and musical talents such as The Soil and Travellin Blak.
His writing is driven by the rich spiritual heritage of Afrika and the immense creativity that lies in the depth of its heritage. Driven by that he has found ways of writing material that awakens all to the realization that what we deem to be reality is but a mere fragment of a bigger reality that exists where creation moulds what we finally see. Adamant that imagination is the key to breaking the bondages that anchor us in a reality that seeks to diminish us into the confines of a reality of those who have learnt to use creation to their bidding, he writes awe-inspiring image centred writing that challenges the reality that Afrikans are faced with by exposing the hidden boundaries of what is. A strong believer in the quest to findings ways of celebrating Afrikan indigenous knowledge systems so as to once again instil pride in the Afrikan, especially the one battling with a township reality that instils despair in the minds of the Afrikan.
‘More than a writer I am a mere township boy who read to the point of seeing beyond the blinding surface of all.’

Rachael Kainyu Njeri

Rachael Kainyu Njeri is a Kenyan poet who began writing, as most do, in high school to help her through adolescence. With time it became more than just venting and now she has a blog where she posts her work. She is quite young in the performance scene but has performed with the Sanaa Fusion. Her work has been featured on a couple of sites including and B-Gina Reviews.


Samo is a poet based in Nairobi Kenya. He frequents the Slam Africa competition held in Nairobi. He is publicly known as “rabid dog in a suit” because he is one who is not big on photos and bios.

Tinashe Tafirenyika

Tinashe Tafirenyika is currently a student at the University of Zimbabwe studying Medical Laboratory Sciences.  She is one of the newest spoken word artists in Zimbabwe having stepped onto the scene less than a year ago.  A regular at the House of Hunger Poetry Slam and Sistaz Open Mic sessions at the Book Café. She has already been the “Luckiest Poet” five times in a row a feat that saw her performing at the Shoko Slam in September, 2013.  In November Tinashe travelled to perform at the Word N Sound Festival in Johannesburg.


Brought up in the city of Nairobi in Kenya, David Chungi had a memorable and happy childhood. In January 2012 Wordbenda won the poetry competition Slam Africa. Later in the year he completed his studies at Penya Africa’s Sauti Academy artist development program, and ventured out into the Kenyan music industry. In 2013 Wordbenda performed in the U.S.A at various open mic gigs and churches.  He has also been featured as a co-host and performing artiste on local Kenyan T.V.

Jamaican Patois, heavy imagery, metaphorical flow with deep story telling content performed with electrifying energy is a sign that Wordbenda is in the house.

Prayforce Mashilane

Prayforce Mashilane resides in Bushbuckbridge in Mpumalanga, South Africa. His work was recently featured in Bantu Letter, an anthology edited by Goodenough Mashego. His work has also been published in the Daily Sun, on Bushbuckbridge News, and Ziwaphi Investigative Newspaper.
In 2013 Prayforce released his first 18-track Hip Hop album titled A Kgokologa Moholoholo, which has subsequently sold out.

He has shared stages with national icons such as Zahara, Pro, Character, Professor, Kwesta, and Bucie.