Monthly Archives: October 2012

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Believe in your dreams…I dare you

The Word N Sound Festival was by far one of the most fulfilling weekends of my life. When panning the Festival, Joshua Bennett was just a dream, a little something we (kinda jokingly) threw out to the universe. And if there is one thing this movement has taught me is simply to dare to believe in all your dreams.

Each time an artist agreed to be a part of the line up we were incredibly humbled and equally frightened by how big the Festival was getting. Could we pull it off? That question literally kept me up at night. But we did it. We had a phenomenal Festival and the entire Word N Sound fam (and boy is that fam HUGE) came out to show love and support.

The Open Mic Finale was a perfect indication of what the year has been, nothing but petrol bomb poems and poets ready to fill body bags. Madd madd love and congratulations must go out to Queen Mandi you fought hard all year for that title and your poem was so honest and real that it nearly made me cry (and we all know that that is Afurkan’s job).

The ‘Poetry Is’ segment was quite a trip. I am unashamedly a Mutle Mothibe groupie for days, he never disappoints. The gorgeous Napo Masheane brought sheer grace and finesse to the Word N Sound stage. When I grow up I want to be FLAMES like this woman. Q Malewezi was the last poet to be added on the bill (2 nights before the show – yes, I panicked a little…then got MADD excited) but wow, it was amazing to hear what Malawi had to offer. Wow Y’rsa Daley-Ward accepted our invite with such excitement I couldn’t believe it. And then she stepped onto the stage and blew us all away with such ease it was actually quite funny to see and experience. Now at our events, I’m always running around, but for Joshua set I was seated in the front row and I could not care less if there was a crisis of any kind. The power in his words is alluring that man could spark a revolution with just one poem I tell you.

All in all I thought I was a major success and it was an amazing experience to have shared with you all. – by QHAKAZA MTHEMBU

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Qabaniso ‘Q’ Malewezi at the Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival.

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Some issues were sidelined

There aren’t enough words in the dictionary or in our modern day vocabulary that can describe this year’s Word N Sound experience. When I attended the festival I knew it would be an amazing event but I didn’t expect to be such a life changing moment of my life.

Being in a room full of established and young poets can be very inspiring. It was amazing to see the young poets bringing the fire and upping their game to the point where you saw the established poets sort of feel the pressure. We need more spaces like Word N Sound to carry the message through and to get young people engaging and sharing once again. The word has always been there, even before us and so it’s important to keep the fire burning.

The only bad thing that really left a bitter taste in my mouth was the fact that the event failed to take a moment and recognise the Gay Pride. They covered a lot of issues from racism, love, heartbreak, gender equality, unemployment but this was the only issue that was sidelined. It was sad to see only two females in the top ten poets proving that there is still a long way to go regarding gender equality within slam poetry.

Overall Word N Sound Festival was an amazing and life changing experience. – by THANDUXOLO THANDZ BUTI

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The Word N Sound Fam

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Simply Amazing…

The Word N Sound Festival Twenty12 was a huge success and was bigger and better than the twenty11 Festival even though last year there where more people on the line-up, quality and not so much quantity I guess.

To the Word N Sound Team, I just want to give a big “Thank You”. You guys are the dopest. None of this would have been possible without y’all, keep the fire burning.

Joshua Bennett…WHAT!?

An absolute pleasure to have had the opportunity not only to see him live, or meet him but even got to race him on top of that…I let him win though cause otherwise what kind of host would I have been *folds arms and looks to the side*.

Yrsa Daley-Ward is a delight. We had normal people conversations with her, which was cool, but also a wonderful poet

Q. Malewezi…a very cultured man, it was a humbling experience just to talk to him.

Mutle was CRAZY, Andrew was INSANE, KB and Don belonged in an institution somewhere, just sheer dopeness all round, and all the other acts as well, simply amazing, all in all it’s a thumps up for WnS 2012. – by BONGA NDZIWENI

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Yrsa Daley-Ward at the 2012 Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival in Newtown.

FESTIVAL REVIEW: The premiere poetry showcase in the country

In the run-up to the Word N Sound Festival 2012, I did a slate of promo interviews. A recurring question was “What is your opinion of Word N Sound?”. My answer has always been the same: “Word N Sound is the premiere poetry showcase in the country”. I think anybody who attended the Festival (or even just read the line-up) would call that assertion justified.

It began with the showcases of numbers 6 to 10 in the Open Mic, then numbers 5 to 1 who were in the finale. The biggest testament to how riveting this competition was, is the extremely vocal audience response to the announcement of the ultimate order of the Top 5. Afurakan had to step in to clarify the points system and the crowd was quelled.

Then came a feel-good musical performance by LoveGlori.

Wrapping the evening up neatly were the works of Mutle Mothibe; Napo Masheane; Yrsa Daley-Ward and Joshua Bennett as the headliners. It says something about what the audience thinks of a performer when they give a standing ovation before their set begins. It’s kinda like being on the set of Oprah.

Seriously though, to have that calibre of performer gracing the stage, all on the same day convinces me that Word N Sound will soon be a globally recognised force in poetry…in my biased opinion. – by ANDREW MANYIKA

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LoveGlori at the 2012 Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival in Newtown.

FESTIVAL REVIEW: It was too epic

The this Season Finale of Word N Sound was too Epic, most definitely a reflection of what SA is about and I’m happy Joshua Bennett was there to witness this, most importantly, the finalists were really exceptionally good, they put their hearts and souls into their performances and the Fans we awesome, their support is ever so humbling! – by KB KILOBYTE AKA THE SPARTAN

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Joshua Bennett at the 2012 Word N Sound Festival in Newtown.

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Creativity, words and sounds we trust

To Queen Mandi Poefficient, I’ve been blessed with the honour to have witnessed thy rise.

Creativity, words and sounds that we trusted. All these aspects were entwined with a raw atmosphere. Since the calendar commenced, the stage was set ablaze and maintained and the WNS festival wasn’t an exception to be categorized as a triumph for art, manifesting a culture where dedication and love shown for poetry has never been so evident in young minds, truthfully teaching that words are certainly a battle cry.

To all writers from unified corners of the world who graced the stage, warm audience, Word N Sound team, this is an objective feeling of joy after such a historical event.

A lot of knowledge has been dearly acquired by I as a writer and by Forgotten Planet…Peace salutes!!! – by AHIMSA SEBATAGANE

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Napo Masheane at the 2012 Word N Sound Festival in Newtown.

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Word N Sound is growing

Words often fail me when I have to speak, especially on subject that has brought joy and were/are amazing. This is the same when it comes to he Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival over the weekend of the 06/10/2012.

The Festival provided an opportunity to showcase the growth that Word N Sound as a stage has undergone in a space of two years, and the growth that the same stage, has allowed poets to undergo.

From the Queen of the mic, Mandi, who last year didn’t make it to the Top 10, to the rest of the guys who were part of the top ten and the poets who blessed the stage, Joshua Bennett, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Qabaniso “Q” Malewezi, Mutle Mothibe, Napo Masheane, Love Glori Afurakan Mohare and a whole lot of others who partook in the breathtaking and amazing event that was the Word n Sound Festival.

The Festival had one sitting on the edge of one’s seat throughout, anticipating and partaking in each and every word, gesture and expression shared on the stage. This means that come 2013, bigger and better things will come, especially looking at the rate Word n Sound is growing, and finally we will not have a period where our poetry goes into hibernation.

As the MC would say, “in WordNSound we trust”…till next year…  – by MPHO KHOSI

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Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Series host and co-founder, Thabiso Afurakan Mohare.

WNS At The Melville Poetry Festival

Fresh from our annual Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival we head off to the Melville Poetry Festival this weekend.

The Melville Poetry Festival is a Festival of the Poetic that takes place from 12 to 14 October, and will include everything that is poetic about our lives, from readings to art works with words, and music of all sorts.

ALL IN SEVENTH STREET, THE PLACE TO BE TO GET YOUR CULTURAL FIX.

Catch our recently crowned Queen of the Mic Mandi Poefficient Vundla alongside Masai Dabula, Conelius Jones, Andrew Manyika, Mpho Khosi, Vuyelwa Maluleke and the Spartan from PTA KB Kilobyte. The show will be hosted by Afurakan and DjDuce will be on the 1s and 2s.

Entrance is free so tell a friend to tell another.

13 Oct | 3pm | Sophiatown Restaurant | 7th Str Melville
Get the full festival programme here

Yrsa Daley-Ward, Afurakan, Philippa Yaa Develiers, KingNova, Lesego Rampholokeng, Allan Kolski Horwitz and many more…

2012 Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival

Word N Sound Festival Programme
12:00 – Doors open
13:00 – Open Mic Finale → feat: Kedibone Mulaudzi, Mandi Poefficient, Conelius Jones, Andrew Manyika, Forgotten Planet, Masai Dabula, Mpho Khosi, Bonga Ndziweni, Kb Kilobyte, Vuyelwa Maluleke, Diema-dika
16:00 – Loveglori
17:00 – Poetry Is → feat: Afurakan, Mutle Mothibe, Napo Masheane, Yrsa Daley-Ward (UK), Qabaniso Malewezi (Malawi) and Joshua Bennett (US)
20:00 Afterparty → feat: DjDuce, Dj 1D, MF Benzo, Dj BlaqT, DJ Kwasa, truejOnes, Pilzy Lee

INTERVIEW: NAPO MASHEANE

Word N Sound is honoured to be hosting Napo Masheasne at our upcoming Word N Sound Poetry And Live Music Festival. She is a writer, director, producer, poet and acclaimed performer on both international and national stages. We caught up with her to find out about her passion for words, the politics on gender in writing and of course the Festival.


“I always wanted to be the first black Ninja girl.” – Napo Masheane

1. How did your love and passion for poetry come about?
– My father was a teacher, a visual artist and lover of African literature. My mother was a good storyteller; she shared with me all Sotho folklore, fairy tales and the richness of our Sesotho language (idioms, riddles and proverbs). All this fascinated me and allowed me to create a world in me that I knew little of. These childhood made it natural for me to place the world I knew between the pages of my journals. And later those stories inspired poems.. which made me a poet.

2. Do you ever find it daunting to balance being a writer, director, producer and poet all at the same time
– I am one of the most privileged young South African women, and I keep taking a leap of faith in telling stories that are true reflections of my community and life. The fact that I often have to produce, write and direct my own projects is a huge challenge. And lack of funds and resources can sometimes be a huge pull back. But I have not had a chance to make excuses… besides Bell Hooks says it better “… Speaking for me becomes both a way to engage in an active self-transformation and self- identification…a rite of passage where one moves from being an object to being a subject. Only as subjects can we speak. As objects, we remain voiceless – our being defined and interpreted by others.”

3. Do you think there is enough female writers and performers in this country
– I have always been a writer (with or without being paid for it). I took interest in being a poet, director or producer at the drama school when I realized that there was more to theatre making than just being an actor and or a performer. But also there were no female playwrights and directors in the whole drama department, so on my third year I decided to major in both genres. To answer you… there are enough performers in our industry. But what I know is that we don’t have enough female initiators, writers, storytellers and directors who can tell our stories with passion, discipline and dedication.

4. You are one of the guest performers at this year’s Word N Sound Festival, how do you feel about coming back to share your work on this stage
– It’s a privilege and always a good opportunity to be with a different kind of an audience. I am grateful to WNSF for allowing me to share more of my work this time again.

5. You’ve performed on plenty international stages, have you found any major differences between the poetry in this country and other countries.
– The outside world appreciates you if you bring to their stage a unique voice, which is not a replica of what they already have. Here at home the competition is tight, but pushes one to constantly innovate and reconstruct the work of words, especially if you want to appeal and attract new audiences and clients. Also if you are a writer and you travel,  you get to appreciate the world you are born in more and to appreciate the different cultures around the world for what they are, both worlds can make your voice bigger and firmer.

6. You’ve published a poetry and essay anthology “Caves Speak In Metaphors”, what was the inspiration behind the book and what is your advice to young writers who want to publish their work
– My first anthology was more about Identity and Spirituality. But I used it also as a way of measuring my growth as a writer. Sometimes it’s good to put your work in a book, to go through it and to pin point mistakes from it so that your next work of words can be better.

7. What inspires you to keep writing and performing.
– I have been a cultural activist for more than ten years, during which I have worked my self from being an actor and poet into being a playwright and a director. I have allowed my self to engage in writing and directing programs and use different avenues to grow confidence in the world that does not make it easy for women to own/tell their stories. I have branded myself as one of the few black female directors/poets in South Africa. I create poems, breathe life into them until they reach the stage. There are stories untold by us… stories that we share when we plait each other’s hair or when we cook and gossip during family gatherings… stories that seem hard to leave at our kitchen tables. And both poetry and theatre have allowed me to give these stories names and voices.

8. Who are some of the poets that still have an influence on you and your work…
– Many things inspire me… many writes and ordinary people push me to become a better writer. But most of all my own life and the experiences that I face make me to want to tell my story and share it with the world.
– To name one will be unfair… a poem can come out of me because of a song I hear from a foreign musician… or after watching a movie by a Ghanaian film maker. A poem can come out of me because Marikana incident provoked me or after I read a painful story… or after I see another poet describing love or painting pictures in my mind.

9. What do you think of competitive poetry
– I hate it and totally despise it. I believe we each have our unique individual “Poetic Voice” that can contribute hugely in the poetry movement or in this genre or craft. It is and it will be sad for one to measure her self or him self against the other, instead of working together towards developing the culture of writing, reading and performing poetry in this country.

10. Are there any projects that you’re working on or involved in currently that we should look forward to…
– I am slowly… but in a big way moving towards TV and Film work (both infront and behind the scenes)…

You can catch Napo Masheane alongside Joshua Bennett (US), Mutle Mothibe, LoveGlori, Afurakan and Yrsa Daley-Ward (UK) at the Word N Sound Festival, 6 Oct, at Emonti Diner on Bree, Newtown.