Thandokuhle S. Mngqibisa

Dr. Thandokuhle S. Mngqibisa is a performing poet, medical doctor and an activist for womyn’s issues born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1984. She studied medicine, completing her MBBCh early in 2011. The time & emotional commitment required for this, however, would never see her second-guessing her place in the performance poetry zeitgeist. The major themes of her written work centre around the issues of womyn in the setting of modern South Africa. She works intimately with womyn on a daily basis as a medical officer in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She discovered stage poetry in 2005 when she met and joined a 7 member poetry collective and inspiration, T.O…T! Together they introduced poetry to different audiences and challenged the status quo by performing fluid collaborative pieces that matched different styles of poetry and used the physical movement of 7 poets to tell a single story.

She has performed poetry for international movement to stop violence against womyn, One Billion Rising (2013, 2014). She was part of the cast of a workshopped theatrical poetry performance called Secret With the Moon; part of the Arts Alive festival (2013) and was invited to perform at the Melville poetry festival (2012).

She has judged various poetry slams like Word n Sound (2014), Drama For Life, Lover and Another (2013) and has helped in preparing prolific, talented poets for the stage for Drama for Life (2014) by conducting workshops to observe and guide their performance technique and discuss and impart knowledge on the subject matter–sex and sexuality.

She has a collection of published poems called One Big Word and has been published in an online magazine and in the Saturday Star lifestyle segment (2008?). She has performed her poems on various radio stations (VOW, ukhozi) and TV shows (etv sunrise, shiz niz, creations).

She has opened for Simphiwe Dana and shared stages with various successful artists like Lebo Mashile, Tu Nokwe, Myesha Jenkins, award-winning poets Phillippa Yaa de Villiers and Vus’muzi ‘Romeo the Poet’ Phakathi. She planned and hosted a poetry and discussion seminar called SPEAK for 16 days of activism.

She is a few months from completing her second collection of poems.