Liesl Jobson

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

Lara Kirsten

Lara Kirsten is a pianist and performance poet. She balances the strict discipline of the art music with the writing and performance of her own poetry in Afrikaans and English. On occasion she combines her poetry with movement, visual art, photography and music.

In August 2007 she made her debut as a performance poet with the one-woman piece Ingrid Jonker Dans Weer. She performed her first extensive installation art and poetry piece, Frames, at the Fook Festival in Somerset-East in 2008. This work consisted of eight poems which were performed in eight different rooms with dialoguing installation art, costume and movement. In 2009 she made her debut in The Netherlands in the show Op het Punt van Aanraken (featuring music improvised by Francois le Roux, photography by Carmen Gonzalez and poems written and performed by Lara). In 2009 she was commissioned to write and perform poetry for the 60th Anniversary of the Voortrekker Monument Pretoria, taking a strong view on what it is to be an Afrikaner today. In September of 2010 and 2011 she had the privilege to perform as pianist and poet in the Baxter concert hall in Cape Town. In 2012 a highlight was performing in the Guy Butler theatre at The Settler’s Monument in Grahamstown. She has been invited to write and perform poetry for part of the opening ceremony for the International Aquarium Congress hosted at the CTICC (Cape Town International Convention Centre) in September 2012. From 2010 to 2012 Lara has conceived and performed one-woman poetry happenings at the annual AfrikaBurn festival hosted in the Tankwa Karoo in the Northern Cape.In 2014 she was invited to perform as pianist and poet at the McGregor Poetry Festival. Since 2009 Lara has performed as featured poet at the Off the Wall poetry sessions in Observatory, Cape Town.

Since 2007 Lara’s poetry has been published in various editions of the South African Literary Journal New Contrast. In 2008 she became part of the Eastern Cape poet-group, Ecca, who presents readings and publishes collectively each year.

For more on Lara’s music career, poetry, photos and creative projects please visit her blog at

Omo Faith Oshodin

Omo Faith Oshodin (I Am I) can only be described as The Renaissance Woman.

She is a Word-smith; a writer currently working on her first book, her work have been published locally and inter-nationally. She also performs her written works at the Free-dom Hall, Bogobiri, Ikoyi, in Lagos- Nigeria– where people from all over come to see her. One of her most popular poems RED SOIL has developed a cult like following.

She is an up-coming Jazz singer as well, who has performed to a standing ovation at the prestigious Terra Kulture during the Jazz forum which took place in the last quarter of 2010.

She has a blog called The Path of Faith which is fast gaining popularity. (

She is also quite the gifted artist who uses the medium of mixed media, oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas and water colour.

She has handled interior design projects for a number of high profile individuals.

When asked what she does, she simply says, “I am a Creator”.


Jumi who holds qualifications in Dental Surgery and Medical Informatics is the Creative Enthusiast behind IMOLE, Jumi’s Spoken Cabaret is an innovative compilation of ten inspirational tracks of ironic weaves of recitals, songs, poetry, word games, wit, metaphors and subtleties set to varying genres of music.

Jumi sees poetry as a fascinating tool that gives expression to a passionate and unorthodox voice. She clearly feels very much a part of her audience and believes that in listening incisively they will find twists, turns and whimsies of our collective destiny food for inspired thought.

A “proudly Nigerian” poet, vocalist and lyricist with a tender tough stripe of cultural louche and spiritual commentary, Jumi’s artistic style is bold and imaginative with a conversational voice that sounds almost reticent.

In Jumi’s Spoken Cabaret, she maximizes this compelling and inimitable style to ride hot currents for the pain and pleasure of swooping around spiritual, pure, social, maternal and fragile subjects. Whilst doing this, she clings to images of reality that are firmly embedded in what she perceives to be the public’s consciousness, acknowledging issues people feel they are familiar with or can relate to, offering a speculative but entirely plausible view.

Exposure to Yoruba griot sounds, classical forms of music plus a need for and hunger to express truth’s tale becomes tension released in distinct ways in each of the ten tracks on the CD. From deep sentiments to an indigenous groove set to a lush vocal background to epics of gratitude carrying a sensual earthiness, the entire production is a consolidation of international and traditional styles fused into a deeply personal approach.

Jumi is happily married to her friend Kola and has three daugthers.

Gabeba Baderoon

Gabeba is the author of the poetry collections The Dream in the Next Body (2005), The Museum of Ordinary Life (2005), and A hundred silences (2006). The Silence Before Speaking, a volume of her poetry translated into Swedish, is published by Tranan publishers. The Dream in the Next Body was named a Notable Book of 2005 by the Sunday Independent in South Africa and was a Sunday Times Recommended Book. A hundred silences was short-listed for the 2007 University of Johannesburg Prize and the 2007 Olive Schreiner Award.

In 2005, Gabeba received the DaimlerChrysler Award for South African Poetry and held the Guest Writer Fellowship at the Nordic Africa Institute, the second person after Ama Ata Aidoo to receive this honour. In 2008, Gabeba was the recipient of a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Italy and a Writer’s Residency at the University of Witwatersrand. Gabeba has read at international literary festivals such as Winternachten in the Netherlands, Poetry International in Rotterdam and London, the Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica, the Stockholm Poetry Festival, the Bristol Poetry Festival, the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Spier and Poetry Africa. Her fiction appears in Chimurenga, Twist (Oshun, 2006), Cape Town Calling (Tafelberg, 2007) and Art South Africa (6.2, Dec 2007). Gabeba is also a scholar, and writes for the media. Details of her academic writing and her articles in Newsday, the Sunday Independent, Mail & Guardian, Oprah and Real Simple magazines can also be found on

Genna Gardini

Genna Gardini is a writer based in Cape Town. She won the 2012 DALRO New Coin Poetry prize and was chosen as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans for 2013. Gardini has had two plays produced at the National Arts Festival, WinterSweet(2012) and Scrape (2013), both of which won Standard Bank Ovation awards. She was selected for the Royal Court Theatre’s South African Playwright 2013 – 2014 programme. Her work as a poet has been published widely, both locally and internationally. She works as an arts writer for various publications, including the Cape Times. Gardini is currently completing her MA in Theatre-making (Playwriting) at UCT.

Efe Paul Azino

Born and raised on the sub-urban streets of Lagos, Efe Paul Azino has evolved a poetry uniquely his own. His poems are welcomed in the realm of academia and acclaimed on the streets.

Widely regarded as one of Nigeria’s leading Spoken Word Poets, Efe Paul has been a headline performer in many of the nation’s premier performance poetry venues, including Anthill 2.0 and Taruwa. For over a decade, Efe has continued to deliver Spoken Word Poetry locally and internationally, gracing platforms at seminars, workshops, conferences, tertiary institutions, community development fora, as well as churches.

Reflecting the sufferings evident in numerous African societies and the hope that keeps them going, Efe Paul’s poems resonate with the high and the low, cutting across social and religious boundaries. His poems are centered on socio-economic and political themes and are enhanced by a strong voice, keeping his audiences entranced for the full length of his performances.

A one-time member of the Editorial Board of The Effective Manager Monthly, pioneer Editor of Mageuzi Magazine and Next Generation, a monthly Newspaper dedicated to raising youth awareness on socio-economic and political issues, Efe Paul is a vital contributor to national discourse and his essays are featured in national and international dailies and journals. A curious student of life, his readings and learning span various disciplines.

The voice of a generation, a seeker and speaker of truth, an entertaining poet and performer, Efe Paul leads a generation of poets in successfully lifting poetry off the printed page, out of the shadows of academia and making it accessible to the people.

Dr Menzi Duka

Dr Menzi Meshach Minsie Duka was born in Cradock on 11th November 1948.

In 1984, Dr Duka completed his first anthology of isiXhosa poetry IBETHO (a song of victory)

In 1996 he established Cradock Writers Association. The Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council funded the programmes of this association of which Dr Duka was the leader. Through such funding he produced books such as: Amavo Obuntu (essays), Ubusi (short stories), Imidlalwana Encasa (Three – one – act plays), Isihobe seAfrika Entsha 1 (Anthology of poems), Isihobe seAfrika 2 (Anthology of poems), Iingqwebo Zoluncwadi Lwanamhlanje (analysis of IsiXhosa literature) and Isihobe seAfrika Entsha 3 (An anthology of poems yet to be published).

Some of his poems are in various anthologies such as Intambanane, Umthombo, Vukani Kusile and others.

In 1999, Dr Duka obtained  his Masters Degree with distinction from the  University of South Africa (UNISA). His research was in ZS Qangule’s poetry. Three years later, he obtained a doctorate in Literature and Philosophy from the same university. In his thesis he interpreted and analysed Professor Ncedile Saule’s novels using formalism, structuralism and post – structuralism.

He is the chairperson of Vusubuntu Lodge and Cultural Village (Cradock) and the Cradock Socio-economic transformation Forum in Cradock.  He is also the Senior Pastor of Holy Trinity Ministries and is currently writing Christian books and another anthology of isiXhosa poems.
He also participated in the African Renaissance of South Africa from 2002 to 2010. He was the chairperson of Eastern Cape African Renascence Chapter and a board member of the South African Chapter of African Renaissance. He delivered speeches during some seminars of this movement.

He has also read a paper in the SEK Mqhayi conferenceof 2010. In July 2012 ISER (Rhodes university) summer seminar he also read a paper on the legacy of Matthew Goniwe as well as  many papers on James Arthur Calata and during other occasions organised by the Departments of Arts and Culture. During Grahamstown Wordfest he read some of his IsiXhosa poems and also launched his books.

Currently Dr Duka is an educationist, academic, author of books, community builder and a church leader. He is an inspector of schools, that is, a circuit manager in the Cradock district in the Eastern Cape South Africa.

Dolapo Ogunwale

Oluwadolapo meaning “The Lord has poured (things of) substance together” is an embodiment of her name. Her poetry speaks of her inner experiences, either thought out or lived through. She writes in the hope that her words connect with another’s inner self and begins a deep inner reflection that will cause lasting change from the individual to the entire world.

Dolapo’s spoken word delivery has been described as theatrical and deeply moving. Applying her background in music, dance and stage acting into her live performances, she does not resemble one who only began this genre of artistry in August, 2010.

Born to yoruba parents as Oluwadolapo Ebunoluwapo Ogunwale in the city of Lagos, she hopes to find listening ears and open hearts on the world stage.


Dikson has been performing spoken word since 2006 when his virgin outing saw him qualify as the youngest competitor in the semi-finals of the UK-wide BBC Radio 4 poetry slam. Now based in Zimbabwe the artist has organised festival events, worked with youth on varied projects and performed across Europe and Southern Africa. His poetry has been translated into German and Danish. Dikson has performed on numerous occasions in Zimbabwe and South Africa including a feature performance at the renowned Poetry Africa Festival. He has also performed in Germany, Norway and Denmark as part of two separate tours. He has collaborated with artists from the US, England, Norway and Botswana and has been a part of jazz-fusion acts, electronic and poetic fusions. He has conducted workshops for disadvantaged youth in Zimbabwe and in schools in South Africa, Norway and Denmark.

He is the workshops, conferences and exhibitions manager for Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival, Shoko. The focus of the festival is on empowering urban youth and culture by providing a platform for urban art forms and artists. Hip-hop and spoken word is at the nucleus of this festival where local artists collaborate with international artists from around the world. In the past they have had Natty (UK) perform and conduct workshops, Akala (UK) collaborate with local artists and share the similarities between hip-hop and Shakespeare in the workshop programme, Tumi and the Volume (SA) perform and conduct song-writing workshops, amongst many others from Germany, the US, Botswana and Kenya. This involves a close working relationship with international artists and ensuring that their needs are met: the practicalities of transport, accommodation, fees, budgeting and itinerary as well as providing them with ample information, being flexible when it comes to their creative wishes and reliable throughout the tour.

Zimbabwe’s most well known festival, HIFA has also recruited the artist and organiser for the last few years as both the Youth Zone consultant and the Workshops and Masterclasses consultant. As the latter he had to create and co-ordinate a programme that included 22 public workshops for adults and youth as well as a master class programme that involved over 30 international artists from Africa, Europe, the US and Australia that spanned the week of the festival. He was responsible for liaising with the artists and finalising the content of each workshop.

Dikson placed a heavy emphasis on cultural exchange and created an innovative selection of workshops that were collaboratively run by local and international artists. In this way they were able to fuse different styles and sounds.

Dikson is also the editor and creative director of the Zimbabwean youth platform, Kalabash. The website was launched in mid-May of 2013 and has become the country’s leading youth opinion site. His role has been to direct young writers from around the country to come up with content on arts, culture, society and politics. Either in the office or through online correspondence he has mentored and urged them to break the boundaries of archaic writing styles and approaches. Through workshops he has encouraged young contributors to explore different media such as film, audio and photography to capture their Zimbabwe. The site has also been selected as one of the eighteen winners of the World Summit Youth Awards out of over 400 applicants.

Aside from this Dikson is also a staff writer for the US-based travel and culture site, Matador. He has held 2 exhibitions of his photographic work and is a general lover of all things art.

Deena Padayachee

MB Ch B(Natal)

Winner: Olive Schreiner Prize for prose (1994)

Winner: Nadine Gordimer Prize for a short story (1991).

Winner of the Fay Goldie Award (three times) and a prize from the Grahamstown Eisteddfod for prose writing.

Short stories and poems broadcast on SAFM and LotusFM, again in 2013, and published in literary journals in India, the UK, USA, Canada and Australia and translated into Tamil and Hindi.

Short stories published in over 12 literary anthologies including  A century of South African short stories, the University of Cambridge’s New Writing from South Africa, Penguin’s contemporary short stories and Reader’s Digest’s Best South African short stories.

Prescribed author for KZN matrics in 2004/2005.

Monthly Columnist for the Sunday Times Extra till 2008.

Invited author at the university of Copenhagen (1999), university of Tuebingen (1999), Teacher’s college of Mauritius (2007), State university of Louisiana (2008), University of Zululand (2012)

Poems and prose published in 2011/2012 by Rhodes university, Wits university and the university of Oklahoma as well as in other literary anthologies.

Dk Osei Yaw

DK Osei-Yaw is an artist who romanticizes everyday life experiences and extrapolates their melodies into a multiplicity of art forms including poetry, theatre and music.

He is a Liberian born Ghanaian who uses his artistic self expression in a variety of ways to project everyday African life, especially taking inspiration from the life and influences of his early upbringing and education in West Africa.

DK Osei-Yaw’s personality always desires to express the rhythm of the soul, which is portrayed through his performances and the West African artist’s distinctive taste of identity.

Cynthia “Flowchyld” Marangwanda

Cynthia Marangwanda is a Zimbabwean spoken-word poet who identifies herself as a feminist and a creative activist. Her art is rooted in Harare’s vibrant urban culture scene and fueled by the protest sounds of hip-hop and reggae. Her poetry is mainly concerned with themes of identity, emancipation, the deconstruction of oppressive structures, socio-political commentary, individual power, as well as in transformation, all seen through the lens of a twenty-something African feminist.

Cynthia started performing spoken-word in 2008 at Sistaz Open Mic, a show held monthly at the Book Café. She has performed at many other events at the Book Café including the House of Hunger Poetry Slam, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and the Afro-Slam Poetry Express. Other places she has performed her poetry include the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), the International Images Film Festival (IIFF), International Women’s Day events as well as appearances in Namibia and Lesotho. Cynthia also co-founded Chimoto! – a platform for fellow emerging performance-artists and urban creative-outreach project in 2010 and she has also worked with Zimbabwe Poets for Human Rights.

Charlie Bobus

Charlie Bobus takes performance poetry to a new level, he has been described as being “the hardest working Dub Poet” and sheds a positive light on the Roots Reggae music scene. Bringing a new genre of poetry called Motivational Dub Poetry to the world.

From Grantspen Kingston Jamaica, this poet, left 8 years of office experience behind and now plays the role of activist, producer, publisher, events coordinator, actor, workshop facilitator, and motivational speaker for over a decade and as been bringing a positive and welcome change to the dub poetry industry in Jamaica. Doing all the projects required to bring dub poetry to its rightful international status Charlie Bobus keeps events, publishes books, produces CDs and videos and runs workshops across Jamaica the Caribbean and Canada. Described as being a “cut between Motivational speaker and a Bob Marley” with “a unique style of his own”; “hailed as the leading Dub poet of this new generation”, Charlie Bobus‘s original Dub Poetry combines with any rhythm crossing genres to embrace Reggae, Hip Hop, R&B, African Roots, Rock and souls influences which enhance the motivational themes of his poetry.

With extensive experience on the stage show and live poetry gig circuit, and keeping some of the major poetry events that keep the poetry scene alive in Jamaica, Charlie Bobus in 2007 released his Creative Energy Collection – Book, single & Video, and recently launched his first Dub Poetry Album in 2011 at Lula Lounge in Toronto Canada which is a selection from his wide repertoire. Creative Energy solidified his presence and made an official Charlie Bobus imprint into the wider public arena and music industry. With its unique new Poetic style, Motivational dub poetry mixed with Roots Reggae and Culture, the Charlie Bobus sound is versatile, well crafted, positive, motivational, and healing!

Charlie Bobus has been featured on BET performing on Spring Break 2009, Opened for Roots Underground in the Jungle, opening for I Octane My life tour in Canada Shared Stage with yellow Man and appeared @ Sunset on the beach in Negril, Sting, Capleton’s St. Mary Mi Come From and a number of large scale reggae concerts. Featured on BETJ word sound Power performing and doing an interview and Creative Energy and was a featured track on a compilation CD Word Sound Power Volume 1 which contained audio from the BETJ series. The rhythm Creative Energy produced by Inspirator international was also used as a sound track for When Walls Talk a featured program with sizzla on BETJ. Bobus sees dub poetry as a way to empower minds and uplift youths and works for the betterment of mankind. In this way, he believes that Motivational Dub poetry can empower people’s mind and become a valuable medium for change.

In recent years Charlie Bobus has impacted on regional festivals (Graduating from the Internationally acclaimed Calabash Poetry Festival Workshop scholarship), performing island wide in high profile Corporate Arenas, clubs, Hotels, appearing in music videos recently featuring as lead actor in Mr. Vegas – I am Blessed and plays and conducting countless Social Campaigns in Jamaica and abroad including running workshops and representing Jamaica in Canada as an ambassador for Dub Poetry at the Fall 2007 International Dub Poetry Festival in Hamilton, Canada.

Anis Mojgani

Anis Mojgani is a two time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. A TEDx Speaker and former resident of the Oregon Literary Arts Writers-In-The-Schools program, Anis has performed at numerous universities, festivals, and venues around the globe and has performed for audiences as varied as the House of Blues and the United Nations. His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in the pages of such journals as Rattle, Forklift Ohio, Used Furniture Review, and Thrush.

A founding member of the touring Poetry Revival, Anis is also the author of three poetry collections, all published by Write Bloody Publishing: Songs From Under the River (2013)The Feather Room (2011), and Over the Anvil We Stretch (2008). A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, he still tries to make tiny spaces for visual art, doing the covers for his own books, and occasionally providing work for others, be it illustrations, the random poster, or whatever else may spark up. Originally from New Orleans, Anis currently lives in Austin TX in a little house with his wife and their dog, Trudy.

Aziz Mola

Azziz is a poet, music lover, blogger, computer scientist, accountant and entrepreneur. His life purpose is to make the world a better place. He is passionate about inspiring others and mentors the youth in attempt to make them better individuals. In his spare time he is a football fanatic, rugby player and wanna-be singer.

Finuala Dowling

Finuala Dowling was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1962. Her first volume of poetry, I Flying, won the Ingrid Jonker Prize and her second collection, Doo-Wop Girls of the Universe, was joint winner of the SANLAM award. Her third volume of poetry, Notes from the dementia ward won the Olive Schreiner Prize. She has appeared as a guest poet at the Aldeburgh festival and at Snape Maltings in the UK, and at all of South Africa’s major literary festivals. In May-June of 2012 she appeared with other South African poets at the Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne in Paris.

Finuala is the author of three novels, the most recent of which — Homemaking for the Down-at-Heart — won the 2012 MNet prize for fiction.

Finuala has a Masters and doctorate in English literature. She writes textbooks, runs poetry workshops and occasionally gives lectures.

Pearl Sanelisiwe Ndlovu

Pearl Sanelisiwe Ndlovu sought solace in words and poetry at the age of 15 when her beloved grandmother passed away.

Commonly known as Le Soulful Poet Gatsheni, Pearl is a young poet from Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Her work delves into varied topics but she mainly uses her words as way to make sense of life’s challenges. She improves her writing and reciting skills by performing as much as she can in her hometown.

Pearl has an insatiable passion for art, she believes poetry is her calling and not a mere hobby. “We are the prophets of the past, present and future” she says.


Babalwa RedSeed Ngcivana was born a muted soul, unable to express feeling, so she screams through scripted thoughts. She hails from Eastern Cape, South Africa.

She is a creative soul who believes that we are all sent with a message to deliver on this earth, everyone we meet has something to transfer unto us whether it’s good or bad. At the end it is all about how we react to the message that will determine if we rise.

Sandhya Mathura

Sandhya was born on the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 1987. She grew up in the quaint village of Seatides which is situated along the sugar-cane belt of the Tongaat district. As a child her irrepressible curiosity often resulted in painful consequences. She was not content with the banal knowledge that the switch turns on the light. No. She had to know how hot the bulb actually burnt. Fortunately this precocious, mischievous mind was soon harnessed by the creative outlets of poetry and short story writing. She matriculated from Seatides Combined School at the age of 16. After working an assortment of part-time jobs she moved to Cape Town to complete a diploma in Audio Engineering at the Cape Audio College. Since then Sandhya has completed a B.A. (Hons) degree in English Language and Literature Studies at the University of Cape Town.

She has always written poetry, sometimes in secret, sometimes for the amusement of friends and family. Most often her cautious, quiet scribblings were the cathartic, emotional outpourings borne of personal trauma or victory. Now she writes outside of herself. Some of these latest poems form a triptych of sorts which probe and subvert idiosyncratic aspects of diasporic Indian culture. Persistent themes in these pieces include: the patriarchal appropriation of Hindu scriptural teachings, the conflation of fear and respect by young ones” towards “their elders”, and finally the preoccupation with masking familial discord and domestic abuse in order to keep up appearances within one’s community.

Sandhya currently plans to forge links with local NGOs that share her vision for equitable access to tertiary education across the nation’s polarised socio-economic landscape.

Samantha Thornhill

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

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

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

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

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

She is a native of Trinidad & Tobago.

Sakhi Dongadala Sogcwe

Sakhi Sogcwe, also known as Dongadala, is a traditional poet based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a Imbongi Yethongo meaning he receives his poems in dreams. He performs at weddings, traditional ceremonies, and other shows within his community.

Sakhi has won numerous awards and competitions. He is also performance co-ordinator and he mentors people to write and recite poetry.

Sindiwe Magona

A native of the Transkei, she grew up in a township near Cape Town, where she worked as a domestic and completed her secondary education by correspondence. Magona later graduated from the University of South Africa and earned a graduate degree from Columbia University. She retired from the United Nations in 2003 and currently lives in South Africa.

She published her autobiography To My Children’s Children in 1990. In 1998, she published Mother to Mother, a fictionalized account of the Amy Biehl killing, which she adapted to a play. This was performed at the Baxter Theatre complex in late 2009 and the film rights to the novel were acquired by Type A Films in 2003. She has also written autobiographies and short story collections. Her novel Beauty’s Gift was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book, Africa Region. In 2009, Please, Take Photographs, her first collection of poems, was published.

Quentin Lindsay

Quentin “Vercetty” Lindsay is an artist who cares for and knows no boundaries when it comes to his artistic expression. His work includes painting, illustrations, mural works, photography, graphic design and spoken word poetry.
Thus far Quentin has had the opportunity to have his work viewed by well-known and respectable people, including international recording artist K’naan, Melanie Fiona, Kardinal Offishall, The Honorable Jean Augustine and Her Excellency the Right and Honorable Michaëlle Jean.
Believing that art can cause and influence social change Quentin’s artwork and poetry is mainly about uplifting and empowerment through progress and constructive change. Some of Quentin Vercetty’s aspirations are to travel and share his work with different cultures globally, which is how he believes the most artistic growth happens.

Queen Lariuskus

Queen Lariuskus, aka, Lara Mondlane is a Mozambican born poet, photographer and film professional. She moulded herself and her passions in the course of her travels around the world, particularly whilst living in London, and Cape Town. In Cape Town, Queen Lariuskus formed the group LAGAMA, together with Gabriela and Marina, two close friends. They performed live in various spots in Cape Town and brought the project to Maputo.

Now back in Maputo for an indefinite time, Queen has been involved in promoting various artists and cultural events. Recently, she worked as a continuity supervisor in prize winning Short Films produced by Mahla Filmes for Nweti-Communication for Health (an affiliate of SOUL CITY INSTITITUTE). Queen has chosen cinema and photography to express what she often would say in words and is enjoying the ride.

Troydon Wainwright

Troydon Wainwright started writing in his late teens to compensate for his dyslexia. Since words were his weakness, he figured, he would work on them until they became his strength.

He’s written a novel that he is currently seeking publication for and a bunch of short stories. He hopes in time to become a professional writer. At present, he works as a facilitator to a disabled student.
He also reads his own poems at various open mic poetry events around Cape Town.

1st in Easter Province Inter Schools Sign Writing Contest 1995
3rd SFSA’s Nova Short Story Contest 2009
Runner up in ZigZag’s Surf Magazine’s Reader’s Story 2011

Bethel C. Simeon

Born and bred in Nigeria, Bethel .C. Simeon, a singer, a songwriter, and a preacher, describes himself as “an amalgamation of divers treasures that will retain the stamp of immortality until the call of purpose has been fully answered”.

He earnestly strives to pull down the heinous walls of unacceptable manifestations while entrenching the pillars that aid the actualization of destiny.
B.C. Simeon, a trained journalist and a law student at the University of South Africa, presently resides in Cape Town. He has performed on the church platform to an audience peopled mainly by the youth. He is compiling his first anthology.

Thea Ntombebhongo Siqoko

Thea Ntombebhongo Siqoko was born on 21 June 1966 in Tarkastad. She grew up in the Eastern Cape and finished her matric there in 1985. In 1988 she qualified as a teacher at Masibulele Teachers College. It was while studying at Masibulele that an interest in writing started, the very first poem she wrote got published in the college magazine. She continues to write poetry to this day.

Thea holds a B.Ed. Honours Degree from University of Pretoria.

Vincent Nwilo

Vincent Nwilo who writes under the pseudonym Nwilo Bura-Bari, Vincent was born on the 15th day of September 1987 in Rivers State, Nigeria. He had his formative education in the city of Port Harcourt under harsh conditions – from dilapidated facilities to subhuman living spaces like the violence-ridden Mile 3 and Ogbunabali. He chose poetry and the short-story as mediums for the expression of his anger. Stories from Bori and other Poems, is his first collection of poems. He is the founder of Words Not Swords. He is a screenwriter.

Vangile Gantsho

Vangi began performing seriously in 2005 but has been writing most of her life. She had her first real break performing at Rhyme Alive at the Moonbox Theatre in Pretoria (2005), where she shared a stage with (amongst others) Lebo Mashile.

Since then she has been privileged enough to perform alongside Makhosazana Xaba, Natalia Molebatsi, SALA Poetry recipient Phillippa Yaa De Villiers and Def Poetry poet Saddi Khali to name a few.

Winslow Schalkwyk

Artist, Model and Facilitator, Winslow Schalkwyk, a self-described “Artist in motion, currently parked at Poetry Station,” is a Cape Town gypsy, living and working in the shadow of Table Mountain. Born in 1980, as South Africa was beginning to experience of a slow waning of the apartheid regime. It comes as no surprise that at the crux of his work is always a prevailing theme of FREEDOM. At age 6 he began his love affair with the stage at a pre-school graduation play and the two have been inseparable ever since. After cutting his teeth the Ikhaya Soul Sessions in 2005, he has been a growing force on the local Spoken Word Circuit.

Adopting the stage persona, Winslow7Star, he has been a featured performer at the Local Goes Vocal stage of the 2007 Cape Town Festival, the PANSA We All Benefit concert held at the Baxter Theatre to raise awareness and funds for the refugees affected by the xenophobia attacks in South Africa during 2008. He was also chosen as one of the emerging poets to participate in the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) Songs Worth Singing/Words Worth Saying project.

Winslow has been the host, stage manager and organiser for Verses Spoken Word and Soul Hop Sessions in Cape Town. He performed, as part of the Verses Project at the 2009 Jazzathon in January 2009. In the same year, he was the face featured on the 2009 Pep bus, taxi and train campaign. In his capacity as a facilitator, Africa Day 2009 saw him facilitating workshops aimed at encouraging young writers to explore what makes them African with The Alliance for Refugees in South Africa (AFRISA). Chosen as a participant in the inaugural Joke Whaller-Hunter Environmental Pilot Programme, he worked with learners from Eben Donges High School in Kraaifontein and Observatory. The project culminated in an Anthology of Poetry entitled Water, Cycles and Cyphers. Upon meeting singer/songwriter/guitarist, Julian Karrsen, the Free Flow Experiment was born, a live poetic, soul rock outfit with Winslow as lead vocalist. He has shared stages with, Khoi Khonnexion, Primrose Mrwebi, Trevor Sampson, Claire Philips, Mbali Vilakazi and Khadija Heeger.