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.

Leungo Frank

Leungo Frank is a poet based in Gaborone Botswana.

Nompendulo Shabangu

Nompendulo Shabangu, a.k.a. Nomps, recalls writing poems for her mother for Mothers’ Day from the time that she was in primary school. She has been blessed with phenomenal English teachers all the way from pre-school. Nomps is a writer of short stories, poetry, and she also has her own blog.

Nomps is a Motswana, yet she was raised in South Africa. All of her works are inspired by God. Her writings are about God, love, and justice; three topics that are inseparable. She believes that through her writings, poems, and performances, she gets to be an advocate, a voice for the voiceless and to also offer up hope to the hopeless. She aims to raise awareness about the social ills and current affairs, and in turn mobilize her audience to proaction. She also aims to spread love, and to help instill purpose.

Nomps is a member of Poetavango Spoken Word poetry, and she performs at their events. She has performed at the 2014 Maun International Arts Festival, and the Barona Gratitude Gala in Maun in May 2015. Even though Nomps performs in English, she also writes Zulu and Xhosa pieces.

Mangaliso Buzani

Mangaliso Buzani was born in New Brighton in 1978. He is a versatile artist who excels in the creative world of art as a whole, be it painting, installation, jeweller design and manufacturing and writing. He has just finished his Masters of Art in Creative Writing with a distinction at Rhodes University.

Buzani is an award winner of Dalro Prize (2014) and a finalist of Plat Africa (2007), and Anglo Gold Riches of Africa (2004). He teaches Martial art (Judo), art, creative writing in local schools when ever time presents itself. Buzani has exhibited his work across the country. He was first encouraged to experiment with poetry writing when he joined Uncwadi Writers Association in the late 90s and he has not turned back since then.

Leshie Lovesong

Leshie Lovesong, recently resident in Cincinnati, Ohio, (USA) is a Motswana poet, singer and song writer. Her stage journey began in 2007 as a member of ExodusLivePoetry!, a pioneering poetry movement in Botswana.

Her first studio recorded EP, Sunflowers and Strawberries was launched and released at the Queen City Poetry Slam in Cincinnati, Ohio where Leshie was a feature artist. The release of S&S follows Leshie’s second solo event, BREATHE: A Night of Poetry and Music, which was staged in Gaborone, Botswana in August 2014. BREATHE is the second part of a 3 part “Love Letters”, written, directed, produced and performed by Leshie, accompanied by other artists. The first part, FALLING: A Night of Poetry and Music, was staged in Gaborone, at Moving Space Theatre, Maru-A-Pula School on March 7th 2014. The show sold out, and got extensive media coverage. The last installment is expected to be staged in 2015. The trilogy follows a lover, on her journey towards finding herself, exploring the luminal spaces, very rarely confronted, including the impact of past experiences, and how they shape one. Leshie has also performed adaptations of the trilogy in the Maitisong Festival 2014 and 2015, held in Gaborone.

In 2013, Leshie performed at the INTWASA KoBulawayo Festival in September, and at the Maun International Poetry Festival in October. Her EP, released recently, was recorded in 2013, by Heaven Sent Productions.

2012 saw Leshie co-write a workshopped poetry play, “The Bedspread”, which was launched in Gaborone, and later performed at the annual “Sex Actually” festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a social and environmental activist, Leshie travelled to Luanda, Angola and Rundu, Namibia in mid 2012, workshopping scripts and performing plays aimed raising awareness on the importance of the sustainable development of the Okavango River. As a poet, Leshie’s poetry was inevitably featured in the plays.

Between 2012 and 2013, Leshie acted in various other theatre productions, including pantomimes of Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast, in both of which she played lead roles; and Passion Plays I and II, where she explored even more challenging and provocative roles which explored the range of her capacity as an artist, and taught her discipline.

Her work has been featured in ‘Dreaming is a Gift for Me’, an audio anthology, produced by SAUTI Artist Administration; as well as in ‘Awakening’, a compilation of affirmations.

Leshie’s written work has been featured in the Womb edition of Prairie Schooner.

Lesego Nswahu Nchunga (Leshie Lovesong)/ @leshielovesong/

Karabo Mosimanegape

Raised in a musical family, the poet grew up singing in a traditional Setswana choral choir where the inspiration to perform for the masses was natured and harnessed through leading some songs and doing the poetry to fuse with the music as is part of dikwaere.

He then evolved through the inspiration from his mum and listening to different types of music like reggae, rock & roll, kwaito, hip hop and for the most part the ability to appreciate different art forms.

The artist first performed solo at the age of eleven at a kgotla gathering in Tutume village in Botswana doing a welcoming piece for the dignitaries at the gathering. He then evolved to take part in different shows all the way through to high school.

And in 2005 he started documenting his written work in a compilation called Smoking Poetree volume 1 with a collection of more than a hundred poems and short stories to be published. The artist also works as a freelance copywriter for marketing and design agencies and he does special performances on corporate and social events.

He continues to rock stages with his simple and straight forward and easily palatable to all yet thought provoking and highly entertaining poems. His work is mostly aligned towards activism, awareness and Africanism. With an excellent standing ovation record of 11 consecutive shows and counting he has been pointed as a favorite poet by many poetry lovers locally and internationally.

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.

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.

Zelalem Mehretu

Zelalem was born in Ethiopia, in the town Dessie in 1987. He began writing poetry and stories when he was 12.

Zelalem has a BA degree in business management and a master’s degree in finance.
His hobby is reading, writing and playing chess. He was a gold medalist in chess championship at university’s sport festival in 2008 and 2009.
In his professional life Zelalem has been working in the areas of communication, marketing and promotion.

Zelalem published two Amharic poetry books with other collogue writers.
Currently Zelalem is a communication manager and part time writer for different blogs and magazines.

Rediet Terefe

Born in 1989 and raised in Addis Ababa Rediet Terefe earned her bachelor in Plant Science and then pursued her interest in bachelor theatrical art degree from Addis Ababa University. Ever since 2009 Rediet was actively participating and presenting her poems at different cultural, poetic and book inaugural events. In 2015 Rediet published her first book along with 4 other poets titled Meskel Adebabay.



Michael Minase

Michael Minase was born in 1988 Addis Ababa after pursuing his higher education diploma in Information Technology. During his high school days Michael was active member of student art clubs and this helped him to start his theatrical study while presenting his poems at different events.

Elsa Mugeta

Elsa Mugeta was born on the 15th of April in 1990 in a city called Debre Birhan, Ethiopia. Elsa started writing poetry to help better navigate through and adapt to a new environment when she had to study at Gondar University.

For Elsa poetry is a shadow of emotion, with poetry she can better reflect her joys as well as her sorrows.

Demeke Kebede

Demeke Kebede,aka, Felanemunemunim, a young Poet and Journalist, was born in 1985 at Gojjam – Motta Keraniyo, Ethiopia.

He graduated at the Bahir Dar University in Journalism and Communication with distinction. He is currently completing his Masters Degree at Addis Ababa University Graduate School of Journalism and Communication.

Demeke, as a journalist, has worked in various national and international media from Junior to Editor-In-Chief level and correspondent too. He has received numerous certificates for his performances and achievements in Journalism.

He has written lots of poems and literary works. He loves writing novels especially poems and features. Demeke published his very first collection of poem, YERAS TILLA, which means Self Shadow, when he was a university student. His second poetry collection, Annd Kinf – Mono Wing, was published in 2011. And, now, he is currently compiling another collection for publication.

He is a Deputy Manager of National Eye Bank of Ethiopia. He is also an active social media writer.

Fikir Kiflu Adane

Fikir Kiflu Adane is a 30-year-old Ethiopian professional with multiple college degrees.

After more than 10 years of being a devoted writer, in 2011 he finally felt confident enough to start submitting his poetry for publication. Since then, he’s had about 23 poems published in print and online journals.

Fikur is a passionate poet who works very hard at honing his craft.

Kibrom Habtu

Kibrom Habtu is a poet based in Mekelle Ethiopia.

Thato Ntshabele

Thato is a poet, currently working as a copywriter at an ad agency. He is also co-founder and current leader of the Poets Passport Organization in Botswana, a literary arts movement aimed at promoting literacy among the youth.

Thato started writing poetry when he was 10 years old, but started performing publicly and competing in slams when he was 18. He was active during his university years having won the Kuala Lumpor Slam Championship several times and lastly becoming the AsiaPac Champion in 2012 before returning to Botswana. In Botswana he has performed at 100,000 Poets for Change Event, and at the Poetavango Maun International Arts Festival.

One of Thato’s poems, Asphyxia was published in the inaugural edition of Readings at Readings, an anthology of Malaysian writers.

Thato is passionate about developing young writers and helping writers find their voice in their mother tongue.

Priscah Katlholo

Priscah Katlholo joined Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry in the early months of 2010. This dynamic and groundbreaking move was sparked by her friends who saw ‘the dirt I made on every paper I laid my hands on’. These raw squiggles translated as poetry to Priscah’s friends, who urged her to nurture and develop the art form. Thus, Priscah joined the Botswana’s biggest poetry movement and adopted the nom de plume Priskath.

She was born and raised in Maun, under the wings of her grandparents. Together with her cousins at the cattle post, they would gather around the fire and listen to her grandmother‘s great stories. Her grandfather used to poetically praise virtually everything on which their cultural sustenance depended, from rain to cattle. Though unbeknownst to her, those were the first seeds to be planted on her fertile literary farm.

When Priskath started school she was already polished. Needless to say, she excelled in compositions and literature. Her writings are inspired by God and His art. She mostly writes about gender based issues but also touches on other critical life themes depending on what inspires her at that particular moment. As a young woman who adores the music and the power of the lyrics within, Priskath also gets her inspiration from well written Reggae and Country music lyrics.

Her poetry expedition turned into a joyful adventure as she performed in every event that was organized by Poetavango. Being given the platform to perform in international events was indeed an honour and reinforcement of her talent. She performed in all the editions of the Maun International Arts Festival (MIAF) and in the Hundred Thousand Poets for Change (100TPC).

Priskath yearns for the growth of poetry in Botswana. Unless and until poetry has reached the apex of its progression, she will not retire from the written and spoken word.
She says in her own words; ‘The word is of utmost importance. It was there at the very beginning and promised to be there at the very end, who then can deny the importance of the word. We poets and other writers need to ensure that the word reaches the masses in every way possible. It’s our God given duty.’

Priscah Katlholo holds an Associate Degree in Public Relations from Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

Mandisa Mabuthoe

Mandisa Mabuthoe is a poet, play writer and vocalist from Gaborone, Botswana. Her work has been featured in Voiceworks Magazine, Prairie Schooner Online Journal, and Dreaming is a Gift for Me, an audio collection of Botswana poets.

In 2014 she released her first EP, I Used to Be a Dragonfly.

She has performed on several international stages including Federation Square in Melbourne, Shoko Festival in Harare, Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), and Maun International Festival of the Arts. She also facilitates creative writing workshops in Gaborone.

She is currently a member of a six piece band, The Contrabanditz.

Kgotla Molefe

Kgotla Molefe is a poet, dramatic artist and Philanthropist. In 2010 he co-founded Art of the Soul Organization, which is a youth based Arts NGO. In his career as an artist he has diligently crossed platforms from theatre to poetry stage working with organizations like Maitisong arts festival, Debswana, The US Embassy to Botswana and Aldo Brincat Productions to build communities through Art.

In future he intends to strategically develop the arts using his business savvy and artistic inclination to build both the Arts industry in Botswana and the people that live within it. Currently he is director at a local business consultancy and balances this with his arts career to develop himself as an all round artist and social entrepreneur.

Issa Amiri Kilimo

Issa Amiri Kilimo was born on the 12th December 1988, in the Tanga region of Tanzania.

He only went school until 3rd year in ‘O’ levels, he couldn’t go further due to life hardships. It was during this time he decided join different art groups that were anchored in Traditional Dance (Ngoma), Theatre, and Poetry.

Through these groups, he has been fortunate to participate in various workshops and ‘Swahili Slam Poetry’ competitions.

He has been featured in films, and various radio adverts.

Maalim Omari Bakari Kichapwi

Maalim Omari Bakari Kichapwi’s artistic alias is Wimbi Kuu, which means ‘the big wave’. He was born in 1945, at Uteta Rufiki in Kibambo village, in the region of Pwani in Tanzania.

He has loved poetry since he was a teenager. He used to relish reading poems from other Swahili poets.

He’s been writing in 1963.

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.

Thato Angela Chuma

Thato Angela Chuma is a Motswana singer, poet and writer. Her poetry has featured in literary magazines such as Saraba Magazine, Brittle Paper, Strange Horizons, The Stare’s Nest and The Kalahari Review.

Justine Kakoko

Justine Kakoko, known to many as Brother GSP, is a passionate poet and Pan-Africanist living in Southern part of Tanzania. This 23 year old is a student at the University of Dodoma pursuing Bachelor of Arts and Public Administration.

He was inspired to start writing poetry by likes of Amiri Baraka, Last Poets, Mutabaruka, Alicia Walker, Saul Williams, his Comrade George Kyomushula and other many more.

Although, he does not get many opportunities to perform his work due to the lack of poetry events in his town he is determined to continue writing.

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…

Gomolemo Motsamai

Gomomlemo Motsamai is a Botswana based poet part of the thriving literary scene emerging in the influence of the Exodus Live Poets generation.

A regular fixture at Thapong Visual Arts Centre’s Motswrapoetry & Poets Passport: both poetry events that celebrate the growing spoken word culture in the city of Gaborone. This newly minted “upcoming” poet has performed at: the 2014 Maitisong Poetry Festival Slam; to which he was a finalist; and at the United Café III Poetry and Soul Slam Up to which he was Slam Champion.

Gomolemo Motsamai is also a resident contributor at the : a pan-africanist website aimed at the empowerment and progressive discussion of the African narrative and dissolution.

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.


Vladmir Peter is a poet based in Dar es Salaaam Tanzania.

Kopanang Tito

Kopanang Tito lives in Kweneng District, Botswana. He is the author of several Setswana poetry collection published by Macmillan. He usually performs at community events, weddings, funerals and cooperative shows. He has been the Thamaga constituency regional champion poetry for the past three years. He is also the 2015 national champion for the poetry category.

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.