Monthly Archives: February 2013


1. You are often described as an artistic jack of all trades, how challenging has it been balancing being a musician, poet, writer, filmmaker, actor and producer over the years?
it really hasn’t been an effort. It is part of who i am. my work defines me. inside myself the roles are not separated. it is just life to me.
2. How were you introduced to poetry?
by a very talented lady who is a poet. she introduced me to not just poetry but to writing and literature in general. it totally saved my life.
3. Do poets make good songwriters?
 they do, but it is a separate skill. sometimes poets tend to overwrite simple concepts for a song. but when a song needs depth, poets are perfect for making songs.
4. How many poems have you turned into songs and why?
none. by process for writing poems is so different to making songs. it’s like i am a different person. the paths rarely meet.
5. What do you think of the standard of songwriting in SA? Who is getting it right? Who is not?

RJ Benjamin, Maleh, Samthing Soweto, Pebbles, Zubz get it perfectly.

6. When you spoke of performing at Word N Sound, you were quite adamant that you wanted to perform poems. Have you missed the poetry scene?

i have missed reading my poems to an appreciative audience. i haven’t missed the scene though.

7. Who are your all time favourite poets (locally and internationally) and why them?
Keorapetse Kgositsile, Lesego Rampolokeng, jessica care moore, amiri baraka
8. You have performed on the Word N Sound stage before. How was that experience and how did the audience receive you?
it was beautiful. such a loving, open-hearted audience. i am looking forward to seeing them again.
9. What advice do you have for the current generation of active poets?
find your own unique voice. be honest. be fearless.
10. What would you like the audience to take away from your performance?
that i write my poems as a testimony of my flawed but equally loved life. that the beauty comes from both the dark and light corners of my life.

Kabomo & Kojo Baffoe return to the poetry stage

Word N Sound Poetry & Live Music Series: Season 3, Episode 2
Featuring: Kabomo, Kojo Baffoe & Conelius Jones + Open Mic challenge

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

02 March 2013
The Market Lab, 2 President Street Newtown (Inside JDA Bus Factory)
12pm – 6pm
R40 at the door

Metro FM Music Awards finalist and nominee, Kabomo, will return to his poetic roots with his upcoming performance at the Word N Sound Poetry & Live Music Series. Having mainly focused on his music career in the last few years, the multi-disciplined artist was only eager to accept the invitation to perform a poetry set.

“I am super excited to be performing poetry again. It will be challenging but I look forward to having an amazing performance” – Kabomo

Also returning to the poetry stage after a short spell of absence is Destiny Man editor, communications specialist and writer – Kojo Baffoe. An author of 2 poetry collections titled “Voices in my head” & “And they say black men don’t write love poetry”, Kojo has been involved extensively in the poetry movement in Southern Africa and was an instrumental performer and organiser in its growth.

“I am anxious about this coming performance. I have changed my set 3 times. It all feels like back then when I started mumbling words on stage into a microphone.” – Kojo

Read an exclusive interview with Kojo Baffoe ahead of his performance at Word N Sound.

Conelius Jones AKA Sibusiso Simelane, an extraodianry rising star in the poetry scene, will complete the afternoon’s poetry feast with his velvet voice and inspirational ramblings. The 23 year old word-smith is a graduate of the Word N Sound poetry development project and has since made strides in establishing his name and gaining the respect of poetry enthusiasts and both young and seasoned writers.

Read Conelius Jones’ interview here.

Kicking off the wordful event is the hottest open mic league in town where the 15 young writers will compete and the best poem on the day will win R500 courtesy of Blackcouch Sofserv.

Word N Sound Poetry and Music Series is a platform for the expression of spoken word, not so much a commercial venture as an attempt to make a positive impact on youth in the city. The Word N Sound platforms bring together older practitioners of literature with young people in their teens and early twenties, to encourage and inspire them and to give them a sense of the trajectory of a literary career.

Tagged , ,

Interview: Conelius Jones


1. When you changed your stage name to Conelius Jones, it was more than just the name that changed; you re-invented your styleand walked away with the King of the Mic titletwice. What inspired the change and what effect has it had on you as a poet?
I started off by trying to sound like all the poets that I admired, and so I felt that it was time for me to find my own voice. This has made me realise that it’s important to tell your own story in your own unique way.

2. How is Conelius Jones different from Sbu Simelane?
Conelius Jones is a more daring individual, he lives beyond all the fears that sometimes confine Sbu.

3. What challenges do you face as a full time artist and what keeps you motivated even in those times?
There’s obviously the challenge of trying to make a comfortable living from your craft. What keeps me motivated to write is remembering why I started writing and also just the passion and love I have for words.

4. Do you feel that poetry can be a sustainable industry?
Yes, it begins with us, we must start treating it like a business and not something that we just do because we are good at it, we must be willing to educate the public as well in order for certain perceptions around poetry to change.

5. What inspired your poem titled, “Never Meant To Stay”
I wanted this poem to be my last love poem, it then evolved into a story about a soldier whose only purpose is to serve his people, and now he had to explain to the woman that he fell in love with that he was never meant to stay.

6. What misconception do you find people have of you?
I like keeping to myself and I’m not really talkative, that has often lead people to believe that I’m an arrogant person.

7. Why do you hate being referred to as a ‘pretty boy’?
I’m mostly opposed to the stereotypes that come with being labelled as “pretty boy”, and such labels are also the reason for a lot of misconceptions about a person.

8. What do you think of competitive poetry?
Competitive poetry has helped me understand my self better as an artist, like how to use the pressure to my advantage. There’s no denying that we are inherently competetive as human beings, the thought of being the best intrigues us all but the art obviously becomes tainted when the love isn’t there anymore.

9. Who would you go up against in your ultimate slam and why would you win it?
Wow…I would go against Mak Manaka, I’m an absolute fan of his work. Why would I win? I really don’t know how to answer that without sounding disrespectful, all I can say is I wouldn’t allow myself to lose.

10. This is your first showcase on the Word N Sound stage, what can people expect from you?
A captivating performance, thought provoking poetry, and a full on Conelius Jones experience.

Tagged , , ,


“There is always a piece of me in my creative writing and my reference points are what anchor, and these include the spaces I live in, the cultures that birthed me” – Kojo Baffoe


WORD N SOUND: You have an interesting history when it comes to geography. How have your links with Ghana, Lesotho, Germany and South Africa influenced you as an artist?
KOJO BAFFOE: Every aspect of my journey and my life influences me as an artist because what I create is a reflection of me. There is always a piece of me in my creative writing and my reference points are what anchor, and these include the spaces I live in, the cultures that birthed me, the knowledge and experiences I gain daily.

Having been involved in the spoken word scene for over 10 years, what do you feel is the current state of poetry in SA and how do you feel about it?
To be honest, I don’t really know what the current state of poetry in SA is. I haven’t been involved in a couple of years.

It has been a while since we last saw you on stage. What have you been busy with?
Living life. I’ve always believed that, in addition to reading and writing regularly, the poet should also live. I guess one could say I’ve been living and creating new reference points, experiences, etc. This has included raising my children, working for a magazine and focusing on other styles of writing.

What has made you want to get back on the performance poetry stage?
I don’t know if it is about wanting to get back on performance poetry stage. I was always more comfortable with the idea of writing and being read than jumping onto a stage. I consider myself a reluctant performer. I had to learn nuances and techniques like rhythm, tone, volume, mic control, etc. Would generally prefer for others to read my work although I do understand that some poems are for the page and some for the stage. Can I say that Afura bullied me into performing? I’ll decide whether to start doing it more often after Word N Sound.

What do you miss most about the Horror Café/Cool Runnings days of poetry?
I miss walking into Jungle Connection and discovering that you could get up on stage, mumble some poetry and there’d be an audience. Other than that, time passes, we evolved, priorities change. I am grateful for having been a part of things like Deja Funk, Bassline (originally in Melville), Cool Runnings, Horror Cafe, Shivava, and other venues around the city but I don’t miss much. They were for that time.

And what don’t you miss at all?
See previous question. I will say, though, I don’t miss waiting 3 hours to get on stage at open mics.

You have a very strong digital presence and are active on social media platforms. How is this important for you as a writer and artist?
For me, they are other platforms for communicating and for writing. My blogs were an opportunity to write regularly and share content. Social media is great for understanding people and society, for story ideas, for debate and engagement, for the sharing of thoughts, etc.

What do you think the role of poetry is in our society?
I used to think I had the answer to this. I don’t know anymore. I do think the arts, in general, tap into the collective soul of society. They are a reflection, a discussion, a debate, a provocation, an activation, etc.

What advice do you have for the current generation of active poets?
Write, read and recognise that there is no end destination. Experience. Kabomo once said, poetry does not lend itself to celebrity. I believe this. Don’t do it for fame. Respect the craft. Revel in it. Set yourself a high standard. Don’t take shortcuts. Good luck.

What can we expect from your showcase?
This question assumes I am ready, which I’m not. 🙂 Expect to join me in reflecting on my previous life as a poet and the poems that I lived.


Poetry League Standings | 2 Feb

The 2013 Word N Sound Open Mic Poetry League got off to a brilliant start at our last show (2 Feb 2013).

It was good to see some old faces like Assassin, Pilgrim and Isah return to the stage in the new year. Open Mic veteran and WNS Showcase Poet of the Year (2012) returned with a chilling piece that landed him in the number 2 spot. And it’s always exciting to see new faces, hear new styles and experience new performers.

Our Top 5 for the month represent an interesting mix of performance and writing styles. Congrats to No Life, Gratitude Fisher, Roach, KB Kilobyte and our latest Queen of the Mic Mapule.


The current Top 10 standings are:

1 Mmapule 205
2 KB 194
3 Roach 191
4 Gratitude Fischer 182,5
5 No Life 177
6 Pilgrim 176
7 Nubian Queen 162,5
8 CT Martin 160
9 Isah 156
10 Chipo 144

See you on 2 March when we host Kojo Baffoe, Kabomo Vilakazi and Conelius Jones. Best poem on the open mic walks away with the title of King/Queen of the Mic and R500 cash.

Come out and play

…in #WordNSound we trust…