WNS Awards: “Resist the urge to people-please” – Nkosinathi Gaar


“Speak with your own voice before you
speak with anyone else’s.”


Where did you find out about the Word N Sound platform?
I heard about Word and Sound through other poetry events I participated in in Gauteng, particularly Jozi House of Poetry.

What has been your highlight of the year?
Featuring in the top six of this year’s Open Mic League Slam finale at the 4th Annual Word N Sound Festival at the Soweto Theatre.

What has been the biggest challenge you faced in the Open Mic Poetry League?
Trying to reconcile my own taste with what makes an impact in the Word and Sound Open Mic League.

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

a. Poetry: I’ve learned to create pieces that are denser and less predictable than many of the pieces I was writing before
b. Slams: It is important to stick to what you believe in
c. The audience: The impression you make is not always immediately evident to you.
d. Yourself: That I create best when I can get over the urge to people-please.

Which of your performances did you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoyed performing ‘Attrition’. The piece asks a lot of the audience but it felt like it managed to communicate despite this.

Will you be returning to the slam next year?
If the other projects I am involved in allow it I will come back

Any advice for those who plan to slam next year?
Speak with your own voice before you speak with anyone else’s.

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