Tag Archives: national arts festival

#WNSAwards: “Even I was blown away by that performance” – Mandi Vundla


This year we crowned South Africa’s first National Slam Champion at the Slam For Your Life Finale held at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The event was made up of an epic battle between 4 poets with showcases from songstress Khethi and seasoned performance poets Mandi Poefficient Vundla, Mutle Mothibe and Conelius Jones.

Mandi stole the show with a killer set that had, UK poet, Lemn Sissay in awe of her work and even more interested in our local poetry scene.

She has now been nominated for a Best Showcase Award for this performance.

Tell us about this performance? Was there anything special for you? Did you enjoy it?
That performance was unplanned and I startled myself completely. I performed poems that weren’t new to me, but the response was a crescendo of standing ovations throughout my set. I was blown away.

What has been your highlight as a poet this year?
Performing at Arts Alive 2014 and in Grahamstown at the National Arts Fest.
Doing a Khaya FM interview on Nicky B’s show with Lebo Mashile and Gratitude fisher.
Featuring in an article in the Citizen Newspaper.

Which poet have you really enjoyed hearing/reading/watching this year?
I’ve enjoyed the little I’ve encountered from Nayeer Waheed . She reminds me a little of Warsan Shire. She makes vulnerability sound so sexy.

I’m excited about Xabiso Vili, his enthusiasm reminds me of a trait I possessed when I couldn’t define the feeling of being hungry for words and the stage.

I have my eye on the reigning queen, Thando. I’d like to watch her craft unfold and I hope she exploits the Queendom.

Who would you love to share a stage with and why?
Andrea Gibson, it’s no secret… Andrea to me is both the message and the messenger.
“Some people are artist. Some themselves are art”-via Itsfahad.

Are you working on any interesting projects?
Oh yes. Watch the space!


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Slam For Your Life Highlights

The Word N Sound Live Literature Company in collaboration with the British Council Connect ZA presented the first annual Slam For Your Life National Slam Poetry Competition, with the finals being held on the last day of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

The winner, Koleka Putuma, has a bright year ahead in performance and recording opportunities.

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Word N Sound heads to the National Arts Festival


We are quite excited to announce our brand new project in partnership with British Council Connect ZA. We will be taking the first ever Slam For Your Life National Poetry Slam to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July.

Slam For Your Life is an innovative and competitive live literature format that is well placed to deliver a positive impact on emerging spoken word poets in South Africa. Through the theme “Life Is What You Write”, SFYL (Slam For Your Life) aims at creating a credible and nationally recognised youth poetry slam, opportunities for professional mentorship and network building through peer to peer interactions.

Four finalists from Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal will then travel to Grahamstown in July 2014 where the finals will be held and a national slam champion will be crowned.

How it works
Four poetry organisers/movements will be asked to nominate three poets from each of their province.
The organisers/movements will include;
• Slam Poetry Operation Team (Durban),
• Stellenbosch Literary Network (Stellenbosch),
• Ntsika Tyatya (Port Elizabeth)
• Word N Sound (Johannesburg).

Poetry videos of the 12 finalists will be promoted online and opened to a public vote. A poet with the most votes, from each city, will then qualify for the national finals.

The top 4 finalists will travel to Grahamstown to take part in a workshop with UK poet, Lemn Sissay. They will then compete in the national finals that will form part of the “Remix Lab” component of the National Arts festival 2014.

Watch this space for more info as Word N Sound and British Council Connect ZA partner up to bring you the first ever Slam For Your Life National Poetry Slam at the 2014 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.

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