Tag Archives: Mutle Mothibe

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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Digital store launches with Mutle Mothibe’s In_Sense

This month, the Word N Sound Live Literature Company launched our digital store in partnership with Bozza Mobile. Poetry lovers can now download their favourite poems with just an SMS.

Mutle_Catalogue_ Mutle Mothibe is the first artist whose work is now available for download.
We spoke to him about the store and his In_Sense album.

You released the In_Sense album on CD in 2013, how was it received?

The disc has been well received… I am selling the last few of the batch I had ordered from the printing company. I have had no negative or unfulfilled reviews from the people who bought it so I feel it was a major success with people still wanting to purchase discs till today.

Why have you decided to go the digital route with the album?

I want more people to have access to my work and also to broaden my digital footprint. It’s one thing to have people locally bumping my work but I also want to sell my artworks to people overseas and see my work reaching other continents.

What reviews have you received for your work?

People are happy, some even tripping over how layered the works are when it comes to the amount of research that went into making them. I am quite chuffed with the end product and have not received one negative review.

What went into making this album?

#WOW! Tons of psychological research on themes and concepts that I want explored in art works. Also thinking of ways in which to see these ideas played out in poetry format and also giving people a glimpse into my struggles and triumphs was quite an interesting journey. Inaudible Studios was also mad help when it comes to my producer Mohale Molefe’s expertise and also him very aware of the tone I wanted to carry through out the album.

Why should we buy your work?

Because it’s an honest display of my take on spoken word… it’s a reminder of what can be achieved when hard work meets heart and I think it’s pieces of art that can also remind people that they aren’t alone in this difficult journey of being an artist.

Why did you decide to sell the album through the Word N Sound Digital Store and not going at it on your own?

Word N Sound is home! chuckles. I decided to do so because of the contract we have signed into. It felt right…it felt as though my needs as an artist were being put first. Also it’s one of the many things I am heading and it only made sense that I also put my work in the and show people how good an investment it is in ones career.

If I have never heard of you, which poem should I download first?

#Parkinsons! (Psst…SMS ‘park’ to 37616 to download Parkinsons for R7.50)

You have recorded an album as a member of Inaudible, are you planning on making this also available online?

Yes actually I am busy talking to my group partners in us launching the album on a digital space. A lot of people have been asking for reprints of the original work. So it makes sense that we go global and show people what Inaudible is about.

If you were to start a political party for artists, what would you name it and what would 3 things would appear in your manifesto?

Art needs to be given more importance in the school curriculum and not be part of some insignificant pass time kids have when their school schedule has an opening. The arts department in the government needs to be headed and run by artists. Artists need to become more self-sufficient in their business approach so that we aren’t waiting for hand outs when the going gets tough.

(We see how he just ignored our ‘what would you call your party’ question)

You have been known to put the boundaries of poetry, what can we expect next?

#Merging magic tricks with Poetry.

Who are your favourite artists at the moment?

Philippina “Pina” Bausch (27 July 1940 – 30 June 2009) was a German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director.

Modise Sekgothe

My Sun and Daughter Moon.

Catalogue_Dec14See Mutle Mothibe’s full profile on Bozza Mobile. To download his poetry, SMS the keyword to 37616. Each poem costs R7.50.

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The Broken Men Spoken Word Project


The Broken Men Spoken Word Project is an introspective analysis of the current state and role of the black man in South Africa today. Told through the words and voices of a special generation of young mzansi Spoken Word artists, this journey into “Man-hood” dissects various subjects, beliefs and behaviours associated with being a black man in a post-apartheid South Africa.

Using voice, music and visuals, Broken Men speak directly to the ‘human’ and the ‘human condition’ by unapologetically tearing through controversial themes including politics, love, economics, brotherhood, violence, sexuality, identity and family.

The Broken Men Spoken Word Project will roll out in various formats and stages including live performances, workshops, discussions and debates across South Africa.  The project will officially be launched on 13 and 14 December 2014 with Spoken Word performances in QwaQwa and Bloemfontein in partnership with Sicknatcha Poetry and The Archives Poetry.

Hosted by Afurakan, the productions will feature performances by Mutle Mothibe, Makhafula Vilakazi, Elysium Garcia and Xabiso Vili.

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WNS Awards: “Africa artists are amazing man!” – Mutle Mothibe


1. What is the story behind your poem? What inspired you to write it?
“Nuances of Apollo” was inspired by artists and the struggles we go through when it comes to creating our works. It was also a celebration of our achievements. This poem was close to my heart because I had prepared it for my trip to the Apollo Theatre. So the concept was mostly centered on how dope South African poets are and how we can hold our own anywhere on the global stage.

2. If your poem had the power to change just one thing, what would it be?
I’d like it to change our perception of ourselves as African artists. We are an amazing bunch of spoken words artists.

3. Which poem would you like to win…besides your own of course?
Modise Sekgothe’s “To Die Before You Die”.

4. How do you feel about it being nominated in the Perfect Poem category?
I feel honoured and really moved by the gesture.

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Review: Season 4 | Episode 2 – Tongue Fu

On 1 March 2014 we had the great honour of hosting Chris Redmond’s popular show, Tongue Fu. Thanks to the British Council’s Connect ZA, Chris flew into the country with pianist Arthur Lea for three shows; one in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

The Joburg show featured Luka Lesson (Australia), Mutle Mothibe and Vuyelwa Maluleke. Lwazilubanzi Mthembu, head of Word N Sound’s Live Music division put together the most amazing band; Lerato Lichaba (guitar), Ross Ramsunder (Drums), Mojalefa Mofokeng (percussion) and Thembinkosi Mavimbela (Double bass).

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#WNSfest Interview: MUTLE MOTHIBE


WnS: What sets you apart from the rest?

MM: I think being Mutle already sets me apart, interpretation of my reality, my references, the layering I weave into all the work I put out and also my obsession with detail.

WnS: You’ve inspired a lot of people and writers, who and what inspires you?

MM: I’m inspired by everything. From everyday conversations, ambient music, movie scripts, song lyrics, books I read. As to who inspires me, I don’t have that many people of late but I used to live on Shakespeare, Ben Okri, Pablo Neruda. And hip hop artists like Vast Aire, Qwel, Talib, Aesop Rock, I used to (Still do)  memorize their songs and recite them through the day and also would research them to better understand the content and better my writing skills.

WnS: It’s voter registration weekend. Do you have any views on the state of governance in the country?

MM: I think we could do better.

WnS: You recently got back from Cardiff in Scotland, what is it like

MM: It was an eye opener!!! I learned a lot and also was inspired to value my work more, to work harder and see passed the work as just fit for the stage but beyond just performance. I made amazing connections and was humbled by the experience and opportunities.

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

MM: My confidence is wilting from tilling her emotional fields hoping that my reasoning will harvest her love organs. I’m running out of words, my lisp is still in season but her lips aren’t here for the picking.

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