Category Archives: Spoken Freedom Festival

‘Forget everything you were taught about poetry’ – Afurakan

This week, Word N Sound, The Market Theatre and The National Lottery will launch the first ever Spoken Freedom Festival. We caught up with Word N Sound founder, Thabiso Afurakan Mohare, to find out more.

1. What is the Spoken Freedom Festival? How did it come about?
The 1st Annual Spoken Freedom Festival is an exciting and energetic showcase of the best youth Spoken Word voices in South Africa. Through words, music and visuals, the four day experience will capture audiences imaginations with stories of being young woven with the challenges and the victories of living in a free South Africa 20 years of on. The festival is a joint initiative by The Word N Sound Live Literature Company and The Market Theatre and supported by the National Lottery Foundation.

2. How did Word N Sound decide on the line up?
It was very difficult as there are so many new and exciting voices on the spoken word scene. Ultimately we looked at experience, relevance in the current scene and just general performance. We also tried to achieve a balance between poets who have been active for more than 5 years and the new rising stars.

3. What does 20 years of spoken freedom mean for you as an artist?
It’s a time to reflect and asked if art has had the kind of impact on South Africa now as it did during the struggle days? Where will art take our country and what is it’s central role?

4. Which day are you most looking forward to and why?
The whole festival. I have to say that …LOL!

5. Please gives us 3 reasons why one should attend this Festival, especially if they aren’t familiar with the current SA poetry scene?
A) Forget everything you were taught about poetry in High School. This will be a spiritual experience.
B) You will laugh, cry, cheer and totally get inspired. Poetry speaks to the human condition and it will be impossible for any one person to experience the festival without something inside them changing forever.
C) Have you seen what poets do on stage now? That’s all I’m saying …

Get the full Line Up here


Spoken Freedom Festival Line Up Announced

In a rapidly changing socio-economic landscape, art takes the role of noting where we’ve been and, plots the path to where we’re going. Enter: The Spoken Freedom Festival. This Annual Festival is an exciting showcase of the best Spoken Word voices in South Africa, and takes place from the 3rd of July at the Market Theatre.

The Spoken Freedom Festival is first and foremost an exciting showcase. It provides both audiences and artists an opportunity to witness and partake of engaging artwork through the media of words, music and visuals. It’s a chance to collectively look at how far South Africa has come over the past two decades, and to position Spoken Word as a medium to both chronicle and shape the South African journey in the years to come.

This first edition of what will become an annual festival was born out of the shared visions of both the Word N Sound Live Literature Company, which seeks to provide an accessible platform for poets and poetry lovers to engage issues and enjoy art; and the Market Theatre, which provides a space for high quality theatrical productions to be staged and enjoyed.

“We are excited about partnering with the Market Theatre to host this ground-breaking festival. We look forward to seeing Spoken Word take a more prominent role in recording our collective journey as South Africans .” says Qhakaza Mthembu, Festival Director.

The Spoken Freedom Festival will feature screenings of pioneering poetry videos, an open mic slam and of course, performances by some of the leading lights among the spoken word voices in South Africa.

On Thursday 3 July, and Friday doors open at 19:30 with the Thursday shows featuring Conelius Jones, Makhafula Vilakazi & Napo Masheane; and the Friday show having performances by Vuyelwa Maluleke, Natalia Molebatsi and Multe Mothibe.

The weekend shows begin earlier with the Saturday show starting at 14:30 and featuring Andrew Manyika, Richard Quaz Roodt and Vangi Gantsho. The Final show will start at 15:00 and will see Tereska Muishond, Masai Dabula, Mandi Poeffecient Vundla and Modise Sekgothe taking to the stage.

Shows will be interspersed with an Open Mic Slam, Video screenings, and the four-
day programme will be hosted by the crown prince of Johannesburg Spoken Word- Afurakan Mohare.

The Spoken Freedom Festival will run from 3 – 6 July 2014 at the Barney Simon Theatre, Market Theatre Complex, Newtown. All shows cost R50 and the tickets will be available at the theatre’s Box Office.

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