Tag Archives: #CreativeEconomy

WordNSound touches Eusebius McKaiser on his Studio

Self confessed poetry/spoken word philistine, Eusebius McKaiser was touched on[in] his studio by WordNSound CEO- Thabiso Afurakan Mohare and The Reining Queen of the WNS Open Mic League- Mandi Poefficient Vundla when they invaded his Power987 Studio on Wednesday for his week WORD! Feature.

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Introducing: Poetic Act- South-Africa’s 1st Spoken Word Booking Agency

Join us from 3-8 October 2014 for the 2014 Word N Sound International Youth Poetry Festival, in collaboration with our partners Connect ZA and Soweto Theatre. Not only will we be crowning a Queen/King of the Mic, celebrating another year of producing Spoken Word engagements, but we will also be launching the next chapter in the WNS saga.

The Word N Sound Live Literature company is proud to present Poetic Act, a Spoken Word Artist Booking Agency. The launch of this company marks another in a series of “firsts” for Word N Sound, as this is the first booking agency tailored for the needs of Spoken Word artists.

Poetic Act company logo to be revealed at launch

Poetic Act company logo to be revealed at launch

True to Word N Sound’s game changing nature, Poetic Act aims to increase the visibility of Spoken Word Artists in South Africa, while practicing and teaching business elements that are necessary to move this kind of art from hobby to career. This multi-phase strategy will see the launch of a Digital Store dedicated to the merchandising of Poetry/Spoken Word material, from audio visual content, to e-books etc; to follow toward the end of the year.

With the vision of a vibrant and economically sustainable industry, Word N Sound has gone from conceptualizing and promoting one showcase platform per month in 2010, to being the creators and producers of a Weekly Open-Mic Platform, 2 Monthly Showcase Platforms, SLAM FOR YOUR LIFE at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, and 3 Annual Spoken Word Festivals.

Recent studies value the South African Literary Industry at roughly R5bn and the South African Music Industry to be worth R2.09bn annually. The Word N Sound Live Literature Company is positioning itself in these two industries to forge a niche that makes artistic and financial sense.

So, what does it take to bring a vision from concept to realization? It’s one thing to have an idea around art, but how do you make it profitable? And more importantly, how do you make it sustainable?

It was in answering these questions, and the reality that Spoken Word Artists have to contend with paltry payments, that the Word N Sound Live Literature Company was established 4 years ago. The idea was to create revenue stream opportunities for Poets/Spoken Word Artists in an industry that undervalues the contribution of the Art form economically, intellectually and otherwise.

Despondent from the many tales of poets’ manuscripts being rejected by publishers because of a perceived lack of market for poetry, Word N Sound set out not only to show and prove that there is a market, but to start formalizing an Industry.

As part of South Africa’s multi-billion Rand Creative and Cultural Industries, the Word N Sound Live Literature Company has set out to make an indelible mark on the sector through the promotion and marketing of the Spoken Word sub-genre.

The Word N Sound Franchise has already altered the landscape of South African Performance Poetry. This was achieved with little to no traditional media support, hosting events to capacity audiences at every turn and by conceptualizing and producing such showcase platforms and events as:

The Word N Sound Series [est. 2010] – a monthly Spoken Word Showcase event that has been running successfully since 2012 and has become the home of the WNS Open-Mic League Slam; Episode 1 of the first Season of the Series opened as World Cup Fever was sweeping through the nation and only attracted 5 audience members. Today it is the premier Monthly Spoken Word Platform in the City of Johannesburg, often having to turn away audiences when the venue reaches capacity.

Poetry Corner [est. 2013] – a weekly Spoken Word open-mic platform;

The Spoken Freedom Festival [2014] – the new annual Spoken Word Festival in partnership with the Market Theater and The National Lotteries Board which sold out all four shows of its inaugural run at the Barney Simon Theater in July 2014;

Slam For Your Life [est. 2012] – an annual production at Grahamstown National Arts Festival;

Rise of the Underdogs [est. 2014] – a monthly showcase of the hottest live music bands/acts; and the

Word N Sound International Youth Festival [est. 2010] – an annual celebration of the Spoken Word Youth Sub Culture bringing in acts from all over the world.

WNS Fest 2014

With the launch of Poetic Act redefining the business of art in as far as performance poetry is concerned, the other elements of the Johannesburg leg of the festival schedule will be as follows:

Friday | 3 October |10:30 – 16:00 |Soweto Theatre | Free
Workshops Day: Facilitated by Lebo Mashile, Dean Atta, Khosi Xaba TJ Dema and featuring local and international poets and literature practitioners. The workshop sessions will focus on three main themes which are; Africa Unpublished, Branding Spoken Word and Poetry As Social Conscious.


Saturday | 4 October |12:00 – 19:00 |Soweto Theatre | R50
Open Mic Slam Finale:
After eight months of intense competition in the Word N Sound Open Mic Poetry League, 6 of Gauteng’s most exciting emerging spoken word talent, will vie for the coveted 2014 Word N Sound Open Mic Champion title. The top six contenders for this year are Carlos “NoLIFE” Ncube, Zewande BK Bengu, Bafentse Ntlokoa, Nkosinathi Gaar, Thando Buthelezi and Xabiso Vili. 

The second half of this day will also feature “A Live Literature Company”.  A multimedia performance by the Word N Sound company members who balance the difficult task of balancing being arts entrepreneurs and renowned poets. The 2 hour production features Afurakan, Mutle Mothibe, Andrew Manyika (Zimbabwe), Conelius Jones, Mandi Poefficient Vundla, Masai Dabula, Mutinta Bbenkele (Zambiaa), Elysium Garcia, Xongani Maluleka, Bonga Ndziweni; Lwazi Mthembu, Mpho Khosi and hosted by literary critic and Poet Ayob Vania.

Sunday | 5 October |12:00 – 19:00 |Soweto Theatre | R50
Poetry Is. Showcase performances by local and international poets featuring Lebo Mashile, Buddy Wakefield (US), Dean Atta (UK), TJ Dema (Botswana), Andrew Manyika (Zimbabwe), Makhosazana Xaba and Koleka Putuma.

wns partners logo

The 4th Annual Word N Sound International Youth Poetry + Live Music Festival is brought to you in partnership with: Soweto Theatres and British Council Connect ZA and forms part of the SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts & Culture, South Africa and the British Council.

For enquires, artist profiles and visuals contact:

Festival Director: Thabiso Mohare: thabiso@wordnsound.com | 073 549 2458

PR and Marketing: Andrew Manyika: andrew@wordnsound.com | 072 350 6051

Soweto Theatre: Mambila Mageza: Mambila@sowetotheatre.com | (011) 930 7461

Key Links: 

Facebook: Word N Sound Poetry + Live Music Series

Twitter: @WordNSound

Blog: www.wordnsound.wordpress.com

Connect ZA: http://connectza.tumblr.com/ 

Soweto Theatre: www.sowetotheatre.com

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#WNSFEST INTERVIEW: RORA [Roar of the Lion] – Rollution Creations

From inception, The Word N Sound Poetry and Live Music Series has been designed as a platform to stimulate the creative economy, through the promotion of the arts in general with live music and poetry [specifically] at the center of this enterprise.

In this regard the team behind Word N Sound have always tried to ensure that other art forms are represented at events. One of the staples of this endeavor has been our partnership with the crafts brand RORA – Rollution Creations.

We caught up with the heart and brains behind this growing brand, Rolland Simpi Motaung to pick gain insight into his views on RORA‘s relationship with WNS, his thoughts on the Open Mic League and the future…


WNS: You have been with Word N Sound since inception, how has the journey been for you?

We started this artistic relationship with Word n Sound back in 2011 when the venue was at Bassline, our aim has always been to source and find potential markets for our crafts/products and brand. The WnS events were one the first in Johannesburg we sold at, the journey has been great, mutually beneficial, the people have supported us greatly over the years, and we have grown in understanding the poetry market.

WNS: What has the positives and negatives of associating your brand with WNS?

The goal with us selling at poetry or any art related event is not only to expose the art of Crafting, but to allow these art disciplines to interact, demonstrate how art is connected. Apart from the constant branding and getting new clients, the positives have been about adding creative value to the poetry experience, the audience doesn’t only have to take the Word home but also a memoir, and the Open Mic Slam winners also get to walk away with hand crafted prizes. Also being one of the main sponsors of the WNS Annual Festival for the 2nd time around is humbling.

The challenge has been low sales at some events and the misconceptions that RORA only exists within the WnS platforms.


WNS: Would you say that there is a market for your range, especially looking at the people who buy your goods?

Most defiantly YES!! We wouldn’t have continued with the relationship if we didn’t have a market. Over the years the crowd has evolved, students have always been the bulk of our clients (especially females) yet the working class market has grown amazingly.

WNS: What would you say still needs to be worked on to grow both brands; ie Word N Sound and RORA?

Consistency from both parties in regards to certain business aspects. Further growth of markets/audiences/artists in other provinces, there’s a demand for both brands (poetry and crafts) and creative expression in general. Most importantly there’s a need for the development of the arts, especially workshops on how artists can grow their entrepreneurial/business skills, and rendering  tools on how/where to publish, contract drafting/reading, branding, intellectual property issues, etc

WNS: Where do you see your brand situated in the overall scheme of things within the poetry scene?

RORA means to roar (a lion’s roar) in seTswana, a metaphoric reference meaning to express and discover your true self, the brand’s ethos is grounded on the belief that Passion Is Purpose; so we want to be known as a brand that adds betterment to society. And overall continue with more sponsorship, endorsements and partnering with art organizations to develop new avenues to stimulate the creative economy not only in poetry but in the arts in general.


WNS: Speaking Poetry, who would you say has been the most consistent performer in this year’s slam and why?

No-Life has been exceptional. From the Emonti on Bree stages, solo and along side Ahimsa as Forgotten Planet to now.WOW!!. His writing, concepts and themes have grown immensely and have captured a lot of people with his raw-aggressive-emcee-like style of delivery. Kagiso Tshepe’s Manufacturing King still blows my mind. And its always great to see sister poets being consistent in their work and getting the praise they deserve, hence its no surprise to see Mapule Mohulatsi and Mandi Vundla (again) among the Top 5 for this year’s Open Mic League Final.

WNS: Is there a poet whom you would like to see your brand dressing?

We have started with informal discussions with Mandi “Poefficient” Vundla specifically within the WordnSound circles, and she has represented the brand well this far, recently being at the Poetry Africa Festival in Durban, last month. Tumelo Khoza has been fully behind the brand, and still roaring across the shores in Chicago,USA. Various other poets have embraced our brand including Myesha Jenkins, Natalia Molebatsi, Phillipah Ya Devilliers, and DC Poetry Slam Team from Washington, USA. So our aim is to sustain the relationship and work with like minded poets who are willing to walk and roar with the brand

WNS: When will we get a chance to see you climbing on the WNS slam stage?

Hahaha… When my spirit grants me the will to constantly write and perform again. As an artist I work from a basis of spirituality, a creative energy has to invoke me so deep that I cant sleep at night but create, over the past four its been fabric, thread and needle that dictate my artistic production.


WNS: Which would you say is “easier”, climbing on stage to share a poem or two, or having to come up with designs that capture people’s imaginations?

None is easier, both art forms have their own intriguing creative processes. An art form is ‘easier’ when it’s constantly practiced and perfected everyday, when you work hard at learning and improving it. I was an active performer during high school around 2002 and the sewing started being hectic late 2009, after the company was registered. The transition was between 2010/2011 where I would sell at events and at the same time sign up to perform, a demanding task, hence I decided to stick to the crafting business.

WNS: Where should we expect to see RORA in the next year and onward and would you keep your association with WNS?

Yes, we will still be with WnS. Set up more endorsement deals, more exciting designs/crafts, more products going continental and outernational, partnerships/collaborations and adding to the development of the Arts . To infinity and beyond basically, lol.

Download RORA: Rollution Creations Price list here: Pricelist011



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