Tag Archives: conelius jones

WNS Awards: “I’m grateful that my work is appreciated.” – Conelius Jones


1. What is the story behind your poem? What inspired you to write it?
‘Seven Moons’ is basically about seven women that I have been in relationships with in the past. The poem was inspired by Jeannan Verlee’s “40 Love Letters”.

2. If your poem had the power to change just one thing, what would it be?
It would change people’s perceptions of past experiences. We often look back at our lives with regret or guilt. I would want my poem to challenge the notion of “mistakes”, and to make people realise that the unfortunate situations we sometimes find ourselves in are also part of the human journey.

3. Which poem would you like to win…besides your own of course?
Well Masai Dabula completely surprised me with his poem “Do You Remember Me”. I love everything about that poem. I especially love how he challenged himself to write something different from what people expect from him, so I would very much like to see “Do you Remember Me” take the award.

4. How do you feel about it being nominated in the Perfect Poem Category?
It is an absolute honor, I’m sincerely grateful that my work is noticed and appreciated.

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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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Kabomo & Kojo Baffoe return to the poetry stage

Word N Sound Poetry & Live Music Series: Season 3, Episode 2
Featuring: Kabomo, Kojo Baffoe & Conelius Jones + Open Mic challenge

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02 March 2013
The Market Lab, 2 President Street Newtown (Inside JDA Bus Factory)
12pm – 6pm
R40 at the door

Metro FM Music Awards finalist and nominee, Kabomo, will return to his poetic roots with his upcoming performance at the Word N Sound Poetry & Live Music Series. Having mainly focused on his music career in the last few years, the multi-disciplined artist was only eager to accept the invitation to perform a poetry set.

“I am super excited to be performing poetry again. It will be challenging but I look forward to having an amazing performance” – Kabomo

Also returning to the poetry stage after a short spell of absence is Destiny Man editor, communications specialist and writer – Kojo Baffoe. An author of 2 poetry collections titled “Voices in my head” & “And they say black men don’t write love poetry”, Kojo has been involved extensively in the poetry movement in Southern Africa and was an instrumental performer and organiser in its growth.

“I am anxious about this coming performance. I have changed my set 3 times. It all feels like back then when I started mumbling words on stage into a microphone.” – Kojo

Read an exclusive interview with Kojo Baffoe ahead of his performance at Word N Sound.

Conelius Jones AKA Sibusiso Simelane, an extraodianry rising star in the poetry scene, will complete the afternoon’s poetry feast with his velvet voice and inspirational ramblings. The 23 year old word-smith is a graduate of the Word N Sound poetry development project and has since made strides in establishing his name and gaining the respect of poetry enthusiasts and both young and seasoned writers.

Read Conelius Jones’ interview here.

Kicking off the wordful event is the hottest open mic league in town where the 15 young writers will compete and the best poem on the day will win R500 courtesy of Blackcouch Sofserv.

Word N Sound Poetry and Music Series is a platform for the expression of spoken word, not so much a commercial venture as an attempt to make a positive impact on youth in the city. The Word N Sound platforms bring together older practitioners of literature with young people in their teens and early twenties, to encourage and inspire them and to give them a sense of the trajectory of a literary career.

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Interview: Conelius Jones


1. When you changed your stage name to Conelius Jones, it was more than just the name that changed; you re-invented your styleand walked away with the King of the Mic titletwice. What inspired the change and what effect has it had on you as a poet?
I started off by trying to sound like all the poets that I admired, and so I felt that it was time for me to find my own voice. This has made me realise that it’s important to tell your own story in your own unique way.

2. How is Conelius Jones different from Sbu Simelane?
Conelius Jones is a more daring individual, he lives beyond all the fears that sometimes confine Sbu.

3. What challenges do you face as a full time artist and what keeps you motivated even in those times?
There’s obviously the challenge of trying to make a comfortable living from your craft. What keeps me motivated to write is remembering why I started writing and also just the passion and love I have for words.

4. Do you feel that poetry can be a sustainable industry?
Yes, it begins with us, we must start treating it like a business and not something that we just do because we are good at it, we must be willing to educate the public as well in order for certain perceptions around poetry to change.

5. What inspired your poem titled, “Never Meant To Stay”
I wanted this poem to be my last love poem, it then evolved into a story about a soldier whose only purpose is to serve his people, and now he had to explain to the woman that he fell in love with that he was never meant to stay.

6. What misconception do you find people have of you?
I like keeping to myself and I’m not really talkative, that has often lead people to believe that I’m an arrogant person.

7. Why do you hate being referred to as a ‘pretty boy’?
I’m mostly opposed to the stereotypes that come with being labelled as “pretty boy”, and such labels are also the reason for a lot of misconceptions about a person.

8. What do you think of competitive poetry?
Competitive poetry has helped me understand my self better as an artist, like how to use the pressure to my advantage. There’s no denying that we are inherently competetive as human beings, the thought of being the best intrigues us all but the art obviously becomes tainted when the love isn’t there anymore.

9. Who would you go up against in your ultimate slam and why would you win it?
Wow…I would go against Mak Manaka, I’m an absolute fan of his work. Why would I win? I really don’t know how to answer that without sounding disrespectful, all I can say is I wouldn’t allow myself to lose.

10. This is your first showcase on the Word N Sound stage, what can people expect from you?
A captivating performance, thought provoking poetry, and a full on Conelius Jones experience.

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Word N Sound Experience – Slaghuis | Diepkloof

Word N Sound Experience - Slaghuis | Diepkloof

Word N Sound Experience – Slaghuis | Diepkloof featuring Afurakan, KingNova, Masai Dabula, Mandi Poefficient Vundla, Conelius Jones and Vuyelwa Maluleke.

Sunday 27 Jan | Danish Lounge Zone 3 Diepkloof | 2-8pm | R25

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The Perfect Poem Award | Conelius Jones

Conelius Jones‘ poem ‘Never Meant To Stay’ has been nominated for the first ever Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award. Find out how to vote for this poem below.

When writing the poem, what did you hope the audience would take/experience/learn from it?
Well, firstly I wanted people to understand Conelius Jones better as a character. The one lesson I hoped people would take from the poem is that it’s really important for all of us to be committed to our different and individual purposes.

How did the Word N Sound fam receive the poem? Was the feedback positive or negative?

The feedback was really positive, it was a really humbling experience to see how much people enjoy and appreciate my work.

If you could perform this piece to anyone in the world (one person or a group) who would it be and why?
I would perform it to my mother. My mother has never seen me on stage.

If someone were to hear only one line of your poem, which line would you chose to say?
“We must march until the sky learns how to kneel”

How does it feel being nominated for the first ever ‘Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award’?
I’m quite honored, especially because there are so many other brilliant writers at Word n Sound and it just feels amazing knowing that all those hours we put into mastering this craft don’t go unnoticed.

. . . . . . . . . .


It’s so simple to show support for your favourite poem nominated for a Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award. All you have to do is;
1. Like our Facebook page,
2. Find your favourite poem on the page
3. Watch it and
4. Like it!

The video with the most likes + views wins. So get watching and liking, share with your friends all over the world. Voting closes: 7 Dec 12pm


Conelius Jones – Never Meant To Stay
Mandi Poefficient Vundla – The Starving Preface
Mpho Khosi – Where Did It All Go Wrong
Purple Jupiter – Every 17 Seconds
Masai Dabula – What Do You Know About Freedom
King Nova – The House That We Built
Andrew Manyika – Make-Up (Your Mind)
KB Kilobyte – Joburg Let My People Go

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