Introducing: Poetic Act- South-Africa’s 1st Spoken Word Booking Agency

Join us from 3-8 October 2014 for the 2014 Word N Sound International Youth Poetry Festival, in collaboration with our partners Connect ZA and Soweto Theatre. Not only will we be crowning a Queen/King of the Mic, celebrating another year of producing Spoken Word engagements, but we will also be launching the next chapter in the WNS saga.

The Word N Sound Live Literature company is proud to present Poetic Act, a Spoken Word Artist Booking Agency. The launch of this company marks another in a series of “firsts” for Word N Sound, as this is the first booking agency tailored for the needs of Spoken Word artists.

Poetic Act company logo to be revealed at launch

Poetic Act company logo to be revealed at launch

True to Word N Sound’s game changing nature, Poetic Act aims to increase the visibility of Spoken Word Artists in South Africa, while practicing and teaching business elements that are necessary to move this kind of art from hobby to career. This multi-phase strategy will see the launch of a Digital Store dedicated to the merchandising of Poetry/Spoken Word material, from audio visual content, to e-books etc; to follow toward the end of the year.

With the vision of a vibrant and economically sustainable industry, Word N Sound has gone from conceptualizing and promoting one showcase platform per month in 2010, to being the creators and producers of a Weekly Open-Mic Platform, 2 Monthly Showcase Platforms, SLAM FOR YOUR LIFE at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, and 3 Annual Spoken Word Festivals.

Recent studies value the South African Literary Industry at roughly R5bn and the South African Music Industry to be worth R2.09bn annually. The Word N Sound Live Literature Company is positioning itself in these two industries to forge a niche that makes artistic and financial sense.

So, what does it take to bring a vision from concept to realization? It’s one thing to have an idea around art, but how do you make it profitable? And more importantly, how do you make it sustainable?

It was in answering these questions, and the reality that Spoken Word Artists have to contend with paltry payments, that the Word N Sound Live Literature Company was established 4 years ago. The idea was to create revenue stream opportunities for Poets/Spoken Word Artists in an industry that undervalues the contribution of the Art form economically, intellectually and otherwise.

Despondent from the many tales of poets’ manuscripts being rejected by publishers because of a perceived lack of market for poetry, Word N Sound set out not only to show and prove that there is a market, but to start formalizing an Industry.

As part of South Africa’s multi-billion Rand Creative and Cultural Industries, the Word N Sound Live Literature Company has set out to make an indelible mark on the sector through the promotion and marketing of the Spoken Word sub-genre.

The Word N Sound Franchise has already altered the landscape of South African Performance Poetry. This was achieved with little to no traditional media support, hosting events to capacity audiences at every turn and by conceptualizing and producing such showcase platforms and events as:

The Word N Sound Series [est. 2010] – a monthly Spoken Word Showcase event that has been running successfully since 2012 and has become the home of the WNS Open-Mic League Slam; Episode 1 of the first Season of the Series opened as World Cup Fever was sweeping through the nation and only attracted 5 audience members. Today it is the premier Monthly Spoken Word Platform in the City of Johannesburg, often having to turn away audiences when the venue reaches capacity.

Poetry Corner [est. 2013] – a weekly Spoken Word open-mic platform;

The Spoken Freedom Festival [2014] – the new annual Spoken Word Festival in partnership with the Market Theater and The National Lotteries Board which sold out all four shows of its inaugural run at the Barney Simon Theater in July 2014;

Slam For Your Life [est. 2012] – an annual production at Grahamstown National Arts Festival;

Rise of the Underdogs [est. 2014] – a monthly showcase of the hottest live music bands/acts; and the

Word N Sound International Youth Festival [est. 2010] – an annual celebration of the Spoken Word Youth Sub Culture bringing in acts from all over the world.

WNS Fest 2014

With the launch of Poetic Act redefining the business of art in as far as performance poetry is concerned, the other elements of the Johannesburg leg of the festival schedule will be as follows:

Friday | 3 October |10:30 – 16:00 |Soweto Theatre | Free
Workshops Day: Facilitated by Lebo Mashile, Dean Atta, Khosi Xaba TJ Dema and featuring local and international poets and literature practitioners. The workshop sessions will focus on three main themes which are; Africa Unpublished, Branding Spoken Word and Poetry As Social Conscious.


Saturday | 4 October |12:00 – 19:00 |Soweto Theatre | R50
Open Mic Slam Finale:
After eight months of intense competition in the Word N Sound Open Mic Poetry League, 6 of Gauteng’s most exciting emerging spoken word talent, will vie for the coveted 2014 Word N Sound Open Mic Champion title. The top six contenders for this year are Carlos “NoLIFE” Ncube, Zewande BK Bengu, Bafentse Ntlokoa, Nkosinathi Gaar, Thando Buthelezi and Xabiso Vili. 

The second half of this day will also feature “A Live Literature Company”.  A multimedia performance by the Word N Sound company members who balance the difficult task of balancing being arts entrepreneurs and renowned poets. The 2 hour production features Afurakan, Mutle Mothibe, Andrew Manyika (Zimbabwe), Conelius Jones, Mandi Poefficient Vundla, Masai Dabula, Mutinta Bbenkele (Zambiaa), Elysium Garcia, Xongani Maluleka, Bonga Ndziweni; Lwazi Mthembu, Mpho Khosi and hosted by literary critic and Poet Ayob Vania.

Sunday | 5 October |12:00 – 19:00 |Soweto Theatre | R50
Poetry Is. Showcase performances by local and international poets featuring Lebo Mashile, Buddy Wakefield (US), Dean Atta (UK), TJ Dema (Botswana), Andrew Manyika (Zimbabwe), Makhosazana Xaba and Koleka Putuma.

wns partners logo

The 4th Annual Word N Sound International Youth Poetry + Live Music Festival is brought to you in partnership with: Soweto Theatres and British Council Connect ZA and forms part of the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa and the British Council.

For enquires, artist profiles and visuals contact:

Festival Director: Thabiso Mohare: | 073 549 2458

PR and Marketing: Andrew Manyika: | 072 350 6051

Soweto Theatre: Mambila Mageza: | (011) 930 7461

Key Links: 

Facebook: Word N Sound Poetry + Live Music Series

Twitter: @WordNSound


Connect ZA: 

Soweto Theatre:

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