Tag Archives: mpho khosi

WNS Family Part I – Being part of something bigger – Why we joined WNS

Why We Joined WNS

Some people walk though doors, onto stages and find themselves in the middle of a boardroom and never quite leave. This is exactly what happened to these to WNS shareholders.

Word N Sound, like many other movements, started as a desire, a thought. With an initial audience of 5 at it’s inaugural show, the live literature company has come a long way over the past 4 years to hosting sold out monthly shows across the Johannesburg city-scape.

The company has grown from that very first show in 2010 to bringing audiences some of the best young poets South Africa has to offer – to bringing the world’s poets to South African stages, taking South African poets to the world, to a launching a Digital Stores where poets can sell their work.

At the core of it all though, is a little show hosted on the 1st Saturday of every month for those craving a fix of poetry.

Word of mouth is still the most effective way of marketing, which is what led to these two, would be shareholders, walking through our doors a few years ago.

Both Mpho Khosi and Mutle Mothibe first heard about Word N Sound from a friend – so they came, they saw and haven’t left since. They share similar visions, but are informed by different schools of thought.

Q: How did WNS hook you? What was it about the platform that made you want to be a part of it as a shareholder?

Mpho: I was hooked by the idea of being part of a generation that evolved poetry in South Africa, a part of something bigger than just being a poet

Mutle: Their vision for spoken word art, well ART in general. I felt they shared some of the vision I have when it comes to growing this art into an industry and having artists live off their art. The idea that we could spark a movement that could have out children living off of this art is one that is very close to my heart. I felt then that these are people I want to align my energy with towards achieving the goals we have in mind.

Q: Coming in, what were your expectations?

Mpho: Honestly, I came in just looking to break my “in the closet poet” tag. I just needed a platform and found it on the Word N Sound stage. This has all changed as I have come to realise the amount of work that goes into providing the platform.

Mutle: Not really… I came in fully aware that it’s all in me. It’s all about what I can bring to the table to make this endeavour a success. I have always felt that the team concentrates on what every individual can bring to the table and we work hard which in turn makes the bigger picture work more smoothly.

Regardless, both found themselves at home with the WNS family and have accumulated a world of memories and experiences in their hearts and minds.

Q: What was one of your most memorable performances/moments with WNS?

Mpho: The first Word N Sound festival. It was something out of this world, more so as I was part of this rebirth of a super sleeping giant.

Q: With everything that WNS has done (and not done) over the years, what’s your vision now for WNS? How is it different from the WNS you joined when you did, and is that good or bad?

Mutle: Well the vision has not changed really… if anything we still have the same goals but now we are more equipped to meet the challenges that pop up. There are a lot of ideas that have been lying dormant in volts and we are now revisiting them because we have the resources to bring them to fruition.

Word N Sound is not the first poetry collective in the country. Many movements and organisations start with brilliant ideas, passion and drive, and fizzle somewhere along the line, sometimes even before they pick up any pace.

Speaking to the two shareholders, they both seem to attribute the success of Word N Sound, partly, to the connectedness and unity in the collective, despite the challenges that might have come along the way.

Q: Many movements wither and die. What do you think WNS did differently?

Mpho: Word N Sound has found a way of engaging their audience. We have not only provided a platform, but have also helped grow the community of poets

Mutle: I think what has helped WNS’ staying power is a sense of family with which the company shareholders work. Our marketing has evolved over the years and has helped us reach diverse audiences. Another huge factor is that the calibre of art coming out of the WNS league has created a huge shift in the spoken word arena. So much so that people from other provinces, countries and even other continents are engaging us about being part of the league or finding out if we could host the league in their area. We have become a worldwide brand and these factors have helped sustain and promote the growth of the company along with its staying power.

 Q: Any advice you would give WNS?

Mpho: Keep your head down, eyes open and always listen to your audience; they know what product they want to invest in.

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#WNSFest Interview: MPHO KHOSI


Mpho_PosterWnS: You are a self published author, how has the response been to your work, and are there more books in the pipeline?

MM: The book has done well, I have however been a bit lazy in marketing it. But, thanks to a friend, I have managed to sell more books and push it a bit more. There are always more books in the pipeline, I just need to give myself time to sit and start working.

WnS: In the contemporary context, where digital and visual media run the roost, do you feel like there’s still a place for poetry in print.

MM: I was fortunate to meet people who still demand to have printed books, so, there is a platform for printed poetry, we just need to make use of it.

WnS: You incorporate Jazz into your performances. Why that genre, and what Jazz stage would you most love to perform on?

MM: I grew up with jazz and reggae being the theme music at home, so; in a way me incorporating jazz into my work is me paying tribute to my dad for introducing me to the music. It would be an honour and blessing to find myself getting on the joy of jazz stage with a live band one day.

WnS :Have you registered to vote?

MM: I have registered, just need to check if my name is still on the roll. I have voted each year since I became old enough to vote.

WnS: 3rd year running with Word N Sound, what’s that journey been like for you?

MM: It has been an awesome one, Word N Sound grows from year to year.

WnS: What is the one question you’d like to be asked most in an interview. Why? And what would your answer be?

MM: Why do you write? And the answer would be, to express and heal myself of my inner-most pains, that I can’t really speak about.

WnS: If you were in a slam with god, what would your killer punchline be?

MM: Ooh. “you claim to be dope, but yet you created me as a perfection of yourself”

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Perfect Poem Award | Mpho Khosi

Mpho Khosi’s poem ‘Where Did It Go Wrong’ 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?
The poem was meant as a way of showing that pure love still exists, and I hoped that the audience would get to appreciate the love, especially that of our sisters when they truly and wholeheartedly give it.

How did the Word N Sound fam receive the poem? Was the feedback positive or negative?
The poem was well received, actually better than I had thought. It was and continues to be positive feedback that I get when I perform the piece.

If you could perform this piece to anyone in the world (one person or a group) who would it be and why?
Eish, well I would perform it to Donald Byrd. For one reason, I would love a chance to work with an artist of his caliber.

If someone were to hear only one line of your poem, which line would you chose to say?
Tjo, one line? “He sits alone, eyes staring into his pay-cheque, almost as though he is trying to calculate the worth of his life, against the values expressed in his weekly wage.”

How does it feel being nominated for the first ever ‘Word N Sound Perfect Poem Award’?
It’s an honour especially considering how this award was brought to life, through one of our country’s legendary poets, Mr Kojo Baffoe. I am just humbled…

. . . . . . . . . .


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


The category is inspired by Kojo Baffoe’s poem in which he is “on a quest to find the perfect poem, a gentle balance between word, rhythm and thought …a poem that sends the moon and sun dancing over the skyline hand in hand”.

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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Mpho Khosi is a simple scribe, a storyteller in poetic rhythms and  a passion filled performer…and the voice behind the dopest version of our national anthem.

“Poetry has always had an important role in society, it is just that some poets go into poetry with other ideas and motives in mind.” – Mpho Khosi

1.  How far do you want to take poetry as a career?
I have always enjoyed writing, so I would love to actually work on becoming a well established publishing poet, and also look at going into writing short stories. I believe that for us to preserve our stories, we need to write them out, thus we can never lose them.

2.  How are you feeling about your upcoming showcase?
The upcoming showcase neh, I honestly cant wait; I have found myself preparing a set that will be a showcase my old pieces and a couple of new ones. It will be a culmination and summary of what I have been up to since I started performing.

3.  You write a lot of narrative poems, what attracted you to this style of writing?
I love short stories, but have found that my stories tend to be too short. So they instead find a better identity as poems, this is also a fear of mine that one day people will see that I am actually not a “poet” in the poetic sense of the word, but rather a story teller. so, basically my narrative poems are inspired by this love of short stories and story telling.

4. Do you have any poems that never make it to the stage, and if so, what happens to them?
I have quite a few poems that never see the stage, but these are not just thrown away, they are compiled and put into “QUIETLY loud” an anthology I am currently working on.

5.  Are there any local poets that have an influence on your work?
I am more of an old school poet, and have found that the old voices even if they don’t influence my work, but they offer me a guide of what conviction of purpose is. the likes of Ntate Sipho Sepamla, Ntate Vusi Mahlasela, The Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, Ntate Lesego Rampolokeng and an arsenal of others.

6. Three books that you think every writer should have in their collection?
1. How Can Man Die Better by Roger Porgrund (a biographical look at Robert Sobukwe”s life).
2. Indaba My Children By Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa (one elder with whom I would love to sit.
3. I write What I Like by Steve Bantu Biko.

7.  Do you think poetry has a significant role in society?
Poetry has always had an important role in society, it is just that some poets go into poetry with other ideas and motives in mind, they look at poetry as an instant ticket to fame and glory. poetry is a weapon, we just choose whether we want to use the weapon for the greater good of mankind or for our own selfish reasons….

8.  What are some of the challenges that you have faced ever since you decided to be a performing artist?
Being broke, but I have a very supportive family which allowed me to cope and focus on the work at hand.

9. Do you think poetry is always political and controversial?
Poetry is a reflection of life, so it would not exist if it only focused on certain aspects and left out others. So; I think poetry is multi faceted and therefore cater for different audiences.

10. What inspired you to write you own rendition of the national Anthem?
Azania neh, I honestly don’t know. This was a rhythm that somehow crept into my meditation and found a home in people’s ears.

Interview by Sibusiso Simelane

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EVENT: Word N Sound 8 Feat KB KiloByte + Mpho Khosi + Kagiso Tshepe

It’s the last episode for 2012 before the Word N Sound Festival. Stakes are high and the Open Mic is blazing hot. Who will be the Top 10 that will make it to the Festival?

Our showcase artists are Pretoria’s own KB Kilobyte, the amazing Mpho Khosi and the super talented Kagiso Tshepe.

Look out for more info …

In #WordNSound We Trust

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