Dept of Arts & Culture invests in poetry at Soweto


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Poetic ThursdaysThis month’s line-up at Poetic Thursdays at the Soweto Theatre will be the winner and runners-up of the Gauteng regional poetry competition courtesy of Department of Arts and Culture.

Puleng Radebe hails from Ekurhuleni and is a qualified zoologist and practicing teacher with a performance track record that speaks for itself. The core of her work explores fundamental societal issues and her talent is easy to spot, as she has honed it over the years through performing at such platforms as Word N Sound, Cuddle Sessions, Black house poetry and the like. She went to establish poetry platforms like Ink art where her love for MCing has flourished. Puleng is the first runner-up of the ‘Off the wall regional poetry slam.’

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Thabo Kolo is the second runner-up of the Gauteng regional poetry competition. This competition is amongst the highest paying poetry competitions in the country courtesy of Gauteng Department of Sports. Arts and Recreation. Sensei, as he is widely known, is co-founder at Lentswe Art, a performance art-driven company among other things responsible for ‘Soweto street poetry’. He has been gaining steady momentum since coming onto the scene around 2010 involving himself in poetry slams across Joburg and has the scars to show it. Sensei has worked on a voiceover for a UK-based company and was lead poet at the Annual Cape Star Awards in 2016.

Philani Moyo is the 2016 Off the wall poetry competition winner. He won the Soweto round at Maponya Mall and went on to the finals to compete with 9 other poets from all over Joburg as the tour went through all 5 regions of Gauteng. He has quite a following in the KZN this owing to his wordplay in his native Zulu tongue and has headlined Ukhozi and Gagasi FM among others. His highlights include opening for Nasty C, Gigi Lamayne and Black Motion.

Also joining them is esteemed poet/news anchor/radio host Thando Buthelezi who recently headlined a one-woman show at Soweto Theatre on the back of being appointed as news anchor and host at Hillbrow Radio. She is currently promoting her new show called ‘Poetry and Current Affairs; an outstanding performance poetry piece.

Poetic Thursdays host Poetic Justice has featured as adjudicator and guest artist in the 2016 version of the ‘Off the wall poetry competition ‘ and is back co-hosting alongside Mutinta Benkele, the Zambian-born poetic gem who is founder at Black house poetry and a face we’ve come to love through her countless efforts on the Word N Sound platform. Mutinta co-hosted the Vaal leg of the competition and the tour finale in Maponya Mall and brings with her a comforting, warm and homely delivery to her poetry- this will be on the back of an appearance she’s recently done in Europe.

Tickets are free courtesy of the Department of Sports, Arts and Recreation. Reserve your seat by emailing

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