WNS Awards: “Maybe I am a poet after all” – Bafentse Ntlokoa


“I just wanted to share and I spilled out of myself in the most delicately unpolished and raw manner.”

Where did you find out about the Word N Sound platform?
From some girlfriends of mine who are patrons of the arts.

What has been your highlight of the year?
My very first performance on the Word n Sound stage after having not performed poetry in over 5years. It was such a raw and vulnerable thing to share and I was amazed at how well received it was. It inspired me to want to share more of my writing. Winning the May round of the Open Mic Slam was more than I could have ever expected when I first decided to perform.

What has been the biggest challenge you faced in the Open Mic Poetry League?
When I ran out of writing that I had some faith in, the pressure to keep presenting new material monthly was horrible. I don’t do very well with writing on demand in a very limited time frame.

What has this year on the Word N Sound stage taught you about;

  1. Poetry: That it is an incredibly profound art medium that is so vast.
  2. Slams: That they are very unpredictable and that it isn’t wise to get cocky.
  3. The audience: The audience can affect so much for your energy and presence on stage, work with it but don’t depend on it.
  4. Yourself: That perhaps I am a poet after all and that I can get quite competitive and corky.

Which of your performances did you enjoy the most and why?
My very first performance, because it carried the least ideas and concepts about the “how to’s” of slam poetry, it had tons of nerves but no pressure or any sense competition, I just wanted to share and I spilled out of myself in the most delicately unpolished and raw manner.

Will you be returning to the slam next year?
If I have poems I may but I will not write specifically for the slam.

Any advice for those who plan to slam next year?
Art is so very subjective, don’t let the competition tamper too much with your spirit.

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