8th -9th October Poetry Africa on Tour in Zimbabwe


Today 8th October Poetry Africa on Tour in Zimbabwe


Book Café / 139 Samora Machel Avenue cnr 6th Street


Celebrating the beauty and power of poetry, Poetry Africa in Zimbabwe is a satellite programme of the Poetry Africa festival hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) in Durban. Poetry Africa tour also travels to Cape Town, Botswana and Malawi, before culminating at the main festival in Durban between 15-20 October.

Poetry Africa tour poets and Mokoomba


Book Café / 139 Samora Machel Avenue cnr 6th Street



Pedro Espi-Sanchis (Spain/ South Africa)
Ewok (South Africa)
Philo Ikonya (Kenya)
Madosini (South Africa)
Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Ghana)
D’bi Young (Jamaica)
Madzitatiguru (Zimbabwe)
Flowchyld (Zimbabwe)

Poet bios .. http://www.cca.ukzn.ac.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=746&Itemid=79

8 OCT – $5
9 OCT – Showcase = $5 / Workshop = FREE
Contact: Pamberi Trust: 263 – (0)8644066015
263 – (0)8644066622 (email) newbookcafe.harare@gmail.com



Ordsprak Festival in Uppsala Poetry Africa 2012

Group Shot of Swedish and African Poets at Ordsprak Festival in Uppsala 2012

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Link to 16th Poetry Africa Programme PDF

Ok you asked for it here is the link to the 16th Poetry Africa Programme PDF




Full catalogue to come soon! @PoetryAfrica for updates



International Poetry Festival

Poetry Africa in Durban 15-20 October

Poetry Africa on Tour 6-13 October

The popularity of the spoken word is evident in the powerful performance arc that threads through the 16th edition of Poetry Africa. Music is also a prominent presence in this landmark festival organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and made possible through principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. Poetry Africa runs in Durban from 15 to 19 October at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, with the festival finale at BAT Centre on 20 October. Satellite events take place in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Cape Town before culminating at the main event in Durban.

Saul Williams

Sure to stir up a storm is Saul Williams, whose innovative work as an actor, poet and musician continues to break new ground on arts stages around the world. The proficiency and originality across different artforms which have established Williams at the cutting-edge of creativity provide a riveting fusion of voice and music artistry on matters of heart, mind and social conscience. Well-known for his breakout role in Slam, Williams has appeared in over ten films and starred in the Senegalese-shot film Tey, which showed at the recent Durban International Film Festival.

Performance Power

Local audiences will be introduced to the avant garde approach of dynamic Jamaican dub poet, prolific playwright, monodramatist and educator D’bi Young, fresh from a TED talk programme in India. Star of the South African hip-hop scene, well-known for imaginative collaborations with artists from a range of disciplines and genres, Tumi will showcase his distinctive individuality, this time without the Volume. There is Cameroon-born Werewere Liking, a legendary poet, musician, painter and cultural activist who established the Ki-Yi artist village in Ivory Coast and top Swedish hip-hop artist Henry Bowers who is also recognized as one of Europe’s leading slam-poets. Bowers is part of a contingent of performance poets coming from Ordsprak Festival in Uppsala, Sweden that includes Oskar HanskaSam Kessel, Solja Krapu and Laura Wihlbörg.

Another popular participant is Ewok, not only one of South Africa’s sharpest wordsmiths but also also one of the busiest, active as MC, playwright, actor, teacher, organizer with the LifeCheck movement, and part of hip-hop outfit Illuminating Shadows. The lineup also includes Poppy Seed, a singer and spoken word artist from the UK with a number of cds and poetry publications to her credit; Mbali Vilakazi, who won a gold medal at the recent Poetry Olympics; Gouslaye, a colourful performance poet from Reunion Island; Croc e Moses who combines a guitar and voice approach to his poetry; talented Durban poet Tumelo Khoza who is also organizer of the Cup O’ Thought poetry sessions; and the brilliant Niels Hav from Denmark, whose perceptive poetry is lined with delicious irony.

With a background in journalism Tolu Ogunlesi’s poetry offers a broad personal reflection on life in contemporary Nigeria and beyond, while Nii Ayikwei Parkes of Ghana, is a sought-after socio-cultural commentator whose poetry embraces themes of power, cultural conflicts, love, and the friction between capitalism and humanism.

Poet and novelist Philo Ikonya was President of the Kenyan chapter of PEN when she suffered brutal arrest for speaking out against corruption and the clampdowns on freedom of expression in Kenya, and is now based in Norway. A previous member of the Soweto Gospel Choir, the powerful voice of Jessica Mbangeni has significantly contributed to raising public interest in imbongi praise poetry, and from Cape Town comes Rustum Kozain, whose finely- crafted poetry has earned him accolades such as the Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize and the Olive Schreiner Award.


Poetry Africa is enriched with an intertwining of music and poetry that sees the participation of people whose reputations are well established in music circles. Apart from the afore-mentioned artists, many of whom straddle a variety of disciplines and genres, the programme also includes Madosini, the foremost exponent of the various bow instruments that form part of Xhosa culture – she is a crucial custodian of these traditions. Originally from Spain, Pedro Espi-Sanchis has become a local (and international) legend for his African story-telling and expertise on indigenous music instruments, especially the Lekgodilo pipe-flute. Very special guest is the legendary Zimbabwean Oliver Mtukudzi – “Tuku” turns 60 this year, which is matched by his incredible output of no less than 60 albums.

The festival finale will feature the mesmeric groove of Vavangèr(s), a music project led by Sergio Grondin with Maya Pounia and Alex Soress, honouring the legendary Reunion Island musician Alain Peters. There are also special cameo performances by Madala Kunene with Zos Kunene, Guy Buttery and Nibs van der Spuy, and Zimbabwean mbira duo of Isaac Machafa and Praise Zinhuku.

South Africa versus Sweden SlamJam

High-paced action is assured in this year’s SlamJam. Now in its 11th year this popular event will see a crossing of word-swords as teams from South Africa and Sweden square off at Bat Centre on 20th October. The Swedish team is represented by Henry Bowers, Oskar Hanska and Laura Wihlbörg ; South Africa by Ewok and Dashen Naicker (both previous SlamJam winners), and PAGE, who won the Cup O’Thought slam-off to earn a place on the team.

The Swedish contingent is coordinated by the Ordsprak Festival in Uppsala, with whom Poetry Africa has had a relationship since 2006. In this year’s exchange Lebo MashileLefifi TladiTumelo KhozaDashen Naicker and Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (Kenya) will represent Poetry Africa at Ordsprak in late September.

Letters to Dennis

Since the passing of enigmatic Dennis Brutus in 2009, Poetry Africa has each year invited a poet who reflects similar passion for human rights and activism as Dennis. Referencing his famous poem Letters to Martha, written while Dennis was in prison, the participation of the invited poet will include a poetry presentation under the title of Letters to Dennis. This year’s Brutus poet is the highly deserving local activist Ewok who is also a Brutus Scholar at the the Centre for Civil Society, UKZN.

Poetry Africa Regional Tour

Following Poetry Africa’s participation in Sweden a series of performance showcases take place in Blantyre (6th October), Harare (8th and 9th), Gaborone (11th) and Cape Town (13th) with workshops, panel discussions and schools programmes in some of the centres. The core tour group includes Pedro Espi-SanchisEwokPhilo IkonyaMadosiniNii Ayikwei Parkes, with D’bi Young also participating in Malawi and Zimbabwe, Lebo Mashile in Botswana and Cape Town, and Saul Williams in Cape Town.

Book Launches

Festival book launches include Rustum Kozain’s new release “Groundwork” (Kwela Books/ SnailPress), two books by Allan Kolski Horwitz “Two Birds at My Window” and “Meditations of a Non-White” (both Dye Hard Press), the long due Zulu version of Oswald Mtshali’s “Sounds of a Cowhide Drum”, “Imisindo Yesighubu Sesikhumba Senkomo” (Jacana), and the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Anthology Volume 2 (Jacana). Book launches take place at the Wellington Tavern Deck, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, from 18h45-19h15, prior to the evening showcases. The Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award will be presented on Thursday 18 October – the finalists are Vonani Bila and Siddiq Khan.

Day activities

Poetry Africa provides a space for intercultural exchange and dialogue in wide-reaching day activities that include seminars, workshops and poetry performances at tertiary institutions and community centres, engagement with local poetry groups, open mic opportunities and visits by the poets to thirty schools in Durban and surrounding areas to exchange poetry and ideas about poetry with young learners.

Visit www.cca.ukzn.ac.za for the full programme of activities, biographies, and photos of participants or contact the Centre for Creative Arts for more information on 031 260 2506/1816 or e-mail cca@ukzn.ac.za. Follow the festival on Twitter @PoetryAfrica.

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 16th Poetry Africa International Poetry Festival is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS), Swedish Arts Council, France South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013, and the City of Durban.



Sharlene Versfeld

Versfeld & Associates: The Communication Works

031 811 5628

083 326 3235


Twitter @sharlvers

Skype: sharlene.versfeld


Phone: +27 (0)31 260 2506/1816

Fax: +27 (0)31 260 3074

Email: cca@ukzn.ac.za

Website: www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

Twitter: @PoetryAfrica

Facebook: Poetry Africa


16th Poetry Africa on Tour and Durban Banner

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16th POETRY AFRICA 2012 – International Poetry Festival

15 – 20 October 2012




The Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), with principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust fund, will host the 16th POETRY AFRICA, International Poetry Festival from 15 to 20 October 2012. With its long-standing commitment towards nurturing a culture of reading and writing poetry, especially amongst the youth, Poetry Africa invites learners to take up the exciting opportunity of submitting material for the poetry competition which is held in conjunction with the festival.


There is no particular topic for the poems and they can be written in English, Zulu or Afrikaans. No more than two poems per learner will be accepted, with a maximum length of one A4 page per poem – illegible entries will not be considered. Poems must be submitted to Centre for Creative Arts or faxed to 031-2603074 by 20 September. Winners will read their poems on the main stage of the Poetry Africa festival on the evening of 19 October. Prizes will be awarded by Adams Booksellers, with the Masizi Kunene Foundation awarding the prizes for the Zulu winners.


Facebook: PoetryAfrica or call 031-2602506.


Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts, (University of KwaZulu-Natal) the 16th Poetry Africa is funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), HIVOS, City of Durban.


For Media Queries Contact: Sharlene Versfeld / Kwazi Ngubane

Tel: 031-8115628 / 083 326 3235

Fax: 0866827334

Email:  sharlene@versfeld.co.za

Twitter: sharlvers

16th Poetry Africa 2012 / 15 – 20 October – Tour Dates 6-13 Oct

16th Poetry Africa 2012 / 15 - 20 October  The  Poetry Africa international poetry festival takes place in Durban in early October, predominantly featuring poets from South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. The seven-day programme includes performances, music, book-launches, the Durban SlamJam, seminars, workshops, open mic sessions, and school programmes. Poetry Africa satellite events take place in other cities and countries. Poetry Africa is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN).


16th Poetry Africa 2012 / 15 – 20 October

 The  Poetry Africa international poetry festival takes place in Durban in early October, predominantly featuring poets from South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. The seven-day programme includes performances, music, book-launches, the Durban SlamJam, seminars, workshops, open mic sessions, and school programmes. Poetry Africa satellite events take place in other cities and countries. Poetry Africa is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN).

15th Poetry AFrica Video Flyer


Didier Awadi to rap at Poetry Africa

Didier Awadi to rap at Poetry Africa

Poetry and music fit together like hand and glove, and as usual the Poetry Africa festival includes artists who are better known as musicians. One such person is Senegalese Didier Awadi, one of the most prominent artists to have emerged from Africa’s Francophone rap scene. Awadi is one of the featured artists performing both on the Poetry Africa tour events in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well in the main festival in Durban, which is principally supported by National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.

Bitten by the hip-hop bug in his early teens, Awadi launched a career as a rapper and DJ in the mid-80s and soon began to make a name for himself on the burgeoning local scene with his first group, Syndicate. Awadi then partnered with Amadou Barry (aka Doug E Tee), to form Positive Black Soul, a duo whose ultra-modern approach to their performances incorporated sound borrowed from western aesthetics, accompanied by Senegalese percussion, kora, and balafon and deeply infused with the artists’ cultural roots and African identity. Hugely popular in Senegal, their fame spread further afield through live performances, albums and tours (including in Southern Africa).

Awadi’s first solo album, Kaddu Gor (Word of Honour) received the Radio France Internationale (RFI) World Music Award in 2003, and was followed in 2004, by Un Autre Monde Est Possible (Another World is Possible), in which he calls for the emergence of a society based on equity, fairness, justice and freedom. He won Best African rapper at the Tamani Awards in 2004, the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (France and Senegal) in 2005, and issued his third solo cd Sunugaal (Our Canoe) in 2006. In 2010 he released Presidents D’Afrique (Presidents of Africa), a multimedia project that celebrates the history of Africa and the independences to date using the speeches of the founding fathers of Black Consciousness such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, among others. Awadi named his label, recording studio, and rehearsal space Studio Sankara, after the Burkinabé revolutionary president Thomas Sankara, and draws motivation and inspiration from Sankara’s phrase: “Let’s dare invent our future!”

Awadi performs on the Poetry Africa tour in Johannesburg (11 October), Cape Town (15 October) as well as in Malwai and Zimbabwe prior to the main festival in Durban (17-22 October). Other participants with a musical perspective in this year’s Poetry Africa lineup include UK-based singer and djembe player Khadijatou, Uzinzo who has recently released a reggae-styled cd, the Zimbabwean slammer Dikson, and the enigmatic poet Patrice Treuthardt who was a founder member of one of Reunion’s most popular bands, Ziskakaan. For more information on the Poetry Africa programmes visit http://www.cca.ukzn.ac.za

Organized by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 15th Poetry Africa International Poetry Festival is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS), Mimeta, French Institute of South Africa and the City of Durban.


100000 Poets for Change Video

100000 Poets for Change Video