Free workshops at the #WNSFest


Join us for  our annual #WNSFest workshops at the Soweto Theatre on Friday 3 Oct.

On Friday October 3rd Word n Sound kicks off its international Festival
with an open invite to a full day workshop at the Soweto Theater, from
10:00am – 16:00 pm.

The Workshops will cover 3 themes affecting poetry today
– Afrika Unpublished
– Branding Spoken Word
– Using Literature as a social voice

Each theme will be facilitated by literature practitioners and poets who have been influential
in their contribution towards Spoken Word, locally and internationally.

SESSION 1: Afrika Unpublished

Afrika Unpublished will include an overview on Afrikan Publishing, detailing the Past, Present  and the future.
It will also tackle the pros and cons of independent publishing.

About the Facilitators:
Xaba joined the RESON project on a Writing Fellowship collaborating on a book with Prof. Laetitia Rispel. The working title of the book is: Igniting dreams, confronting realities: a history of nursing in South Africa, 1960 until 2010. She has experience as a Programme Executive at Atlantic Philanthropies where she was responsible for a multimillion rand nursing programme supporting many tertiary institutions and organisations in South Africa. Before that she set up the Ipas South Africa office as its first Country Director and led the support of the implementation of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act. Before that she worked at Women’s Health Project in health systems research, policy and advocacy and was a Deputy Director for Training and Capacity Building. Initially trained as a nurse and midwife she more recently did a Master in Creative Writing and has published poetry, personal essays, creative non-fiction, short stories, profiles and is working a biography project.

Duduzile Zamantungwa Mabaso is the founder of Poetry Potion, an online poetry journal, in 2007. This is a free platform for all poets and poetry lovers to share in the best of world poetry with the focus being South Africa. In 2013, Poetry Potion went into print. Now we have the print quarterly so we can bring some of favourite poets and poems to you in print. In 2011 she founded Black Letter Media, a full service print and digital publishing and bookselling company. Black Letter Media focusses on publishing new African storytellers who have a unique, powerful and alternative vision of Africa. Readers can enjoy beautifully designed books in print or as ebooks.

SESSION 2: Branding Spoken Word

Branding Spoken Word
The Branding spoken word session will address branding from an organizational and digital perspective


Adrian van Wyk |Slipnet | Stellenbosch
Qhakaza Mthembu |The Word N Sound Live Literature Company | Johannesburg
T.J Dema | Sauti Arts | Botswana

About the Facilitators:

Adrian van Wyk is a writer and performer from Kuilsrivier, Cape Town. He has been a regular performer on various spoken word and hip hop platforms in the Cape since 2005. In 2006 at the age of 17 he became the youngest poet to win the Verses Poetry Slam. As the monthly host and organiser of the InZync Poetry Sessions and events organiser for the Stellenbosch Literary Project, Different is at the forefront of urban literary culture in Stellenbosch, helping to build a much-needed platform in the Cape Winelands region. He also acts as a monthly facilitator for the InZync Poetry workshops, focused on helping school children between the ages of 16 and 18 years to become poets and tell their story.

TJ Dema is a poet who favours reading her work out loud and has done so in countries including but not limited to Germany, Zimbabwe, India, USA, Scotland and France. She participated in Lancaster University’s Crossing Borders program and later mentored the all female team of national champions for the British Council’s 7 country Power in the Voice initiative.
She is an honorary fellow of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (2012), former chairperson of the Writers Association of Botswana and runs Sauti A&PM – a Botswana based arts administration organization.

For her work within Botswana’s literary community she was named an Arise Magazine African Changemaker (2013) and a St Louis Top 40 under 40 catalyst (2014). Her chapbook Mandible (2014) was published by Slapering Hol Press for the African Poetry Book Fund as part of the Seven New Generation African Poets box set.

Qhakaza Mthembu is a multi talented and multi tasking journalist, multimedia producer, writer, events organiser, arts enthusiast, education activist and a true reflection of the new energy propelling South African youth. She is currently a Digital Content Creator at Don’t Look Down and the Managing Director and co-founder of The Word N Sound Live Literature Company. She has worked as City Press’ Web Editor and Multimedia Editor. She is also the founding member of an education intervention NPO called Miyela. She studied Journalism and Media Studies along with Political and International Studies at Rhodes University where she was an active member of the poetry society, wrote for the student publication and hosted popular shows on Rhodes Music Radio.

SESSION 3: Using Literature as a social voice

Using literature as a social voice
This session will highlight the importance of using poetry as a social voice.
We will delve into the subject of poetry being utilized as a form of activism

Dean Atta is a writer and performance poet. He has been commissioned to write poems for the Damilola Taylor Trust, Keats House Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Atta won the 2012 London Poetry Award and was named as one of the most influential LGBT people by the Independent on Sunday Pink List 2012. An ambassador for the Spirit of London Awards, he lives in London and teaches writing workshops across the UK.

Koleka Putuma

Performance Poet Koleka Putuma is based in Cape Town and currently pursuing a degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town. She is a performer and theatre maker in training. She also shares her craft facilitating and hosting writing and dialogue workshops at schools, community projects and interfaith programs in and around Cape Town.

She has headlined at SliPnet’s Inzync Poetry Sessions, JamThatSession and at Off The Wall. She is a resident poet of the collective Lingua Franca. In 2012 she took second place in the Cape Town leg of the Drama for Life Lover + Another National Performance Poetry Slam Competition and represented the city at the national finals. Her work has travelled to Scotland and New York.

Between drama school rehearsals and writing she manages to smuggle in some sleep, and spend quality time with loved ones. Putuma is also South Africa’s 1st National Slam Champ



10:00 – 10:30 – Registration
10:30 – 12:00 – Afrika Unpublished
12:00 – 12:30 – Break
12:30 – 14:00 – Branding Spoken Word
14:00 – 14:30 – Break
14:30 – 16:00 – Using Literature as a social voice

To join us for a FREE full day workshop. Please RSVP with your name to
Please states which session you wish to attend.

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