Tag Archives: connect za

Word N Sound crowns a new Queen of the Mic

Saturday 4th October saw the 2014 WordNSound Open Mic Finals take place during the at the 4th Annual Word N Sound International Youth Poetry Festival held in partnership with  the Soweto Theatre.


Remember we told you the finals would be breath-taking? I don’t think any of us were fully prepared for the Word N Sound Open Mic Finals.

After months of competition in the Open Mic League this year, it boiled down to this one night. 3 poems per performer, one stage, one winner. We thought we knew. We thought we had an idea. We thought we’d seen it all…

…And then it began.

I don’t think the Soweto Theatre will forget what it bore witness on this momentous occasion. When we say it went down, we mean literally. The stage came alive with props, from oil and powder by a blindfolded Zewande, to condoms and cards by Thando, balls of paper by Nkosinathi, and smoke, courtesy of Xabiso’s incense; we saw flames (by means of a projection on the screen).

What did you expect though? This is the WordNSound stage we’re talking about.

The first round saw three contestants bowing out, leaving Xabiso, Zewande, and Thando to do battle for the crown.

At this point the gloves came off, (and so were the costumes). The competition was tight. The final points tally was close, but in the end there could only be one.

They stood on their feet, they pumped their fists and shouted her name, all this before the judges even announced it.

After a night of standing ovations, including one during her poem (believe it), the WordNSound Open Mic Crown went to the unsuspecting Thando Buthelezi.


Nothando Nelisiwe Buthelezi  2014 WordNSound Queen Of The Mic

Nothando Nelisiwe Buthelezi
2014 WordNSound Queen Of The Mic

“I feel like I represent a certain group of people. I represent the rural ones. The rural guys who write in their Zulu language, those guys who don’t have a formal way of writing. I represent those people who are just .. you know?”

That is what Thando said a few weeks before the finals when we had asked her what set her apart from her compition.

… and the audience agreed (well, the ones we spoke to after the show). They loved her. Congratulations to all of the finalists. The performances set a whole new standard.

Congratulations to the new Queen of the Mic.

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Review: Season 4 | Episode 7

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Talking Doorsteps: A new exciting video project

IMG_20140729_121626Masai Dabula, Mutle Mothibe, Deanna Rodger, Pippa Riddick and Thabiso Mohare

Today marks the beginning of an exciting new project in partnership with British Council Connect ZA and The Roundhouse in the UK.

The Talking Doorsteps project sees film-maker Pippa Riddick and poet Deanna Rodger working with 8 local poets to produce a series of poetry videos. Since 2011, groups of young creatives have worked with professional spoken work artists to create pop-up performances on doorsteps across London.

Talking Door Steps – Venetia

The eight participants are:
Xongani Maluleka
Ross Poet
Xabiso Vili
Thando Bella Khoza
Paballo Sethi
Mutinta Bbenkele
Apiwe Mjambane
Lucas Pilgrim Serei

We’re looking forward to seeing the videos you will produce in this week.

Gig guide
Poetry Corner

Wednesday | 30 July
Lighthouse on 7th, Melville
Deanna Rodger and the 8 participants will be performing at our weekly free Open Mic sessions in Melvile.

Morning Live
Saturday | 2 August
SABC News and SABC 2
06:00 – 09:00
Catch interviews from Deanna Rodger and SA’s first National Slam Champion, Koleka Putuma.

Word N Sound Series
Saturday | 2 August
Market Theatre Laboratory
3 President Street, Newtown
12:00 – 18:00
R50 at the door
Deanna Rodger shares the Word N Sound stage with Koleka Putuma and 2013 Open Mic League Finalist, Mapule Mohulatsi. There is also SA’s toughest Open Mic Slam. Event page here.


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