Entertainment Special Events Poetry Africa in Cape Town

Poetry Africa in Cape Town

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The Poetry Africa road-show hits Cape Town for a one-night-only show at the CTICC.

Taking place on Saturday 13th of October, this is part of a regional tour including stops in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana, before culminating at the main Poetry Africa event in Durban (15-20 October). Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), 2012 marks the 16th edition of this landmark festival.

Saul Williams, whose innovative work as an actor, poet and musician continues to break new ground, heads up the Cape Town showcase. The proficiency and originality across different art forms which have established Williams at the cutting-edge of creativity provide a riveting fusion of voice and music artistry on matters of heart, mind and social conscience.  Well-known for his breakout role in Slam, Williams has appeared in over ten films and starred in the Senegalese-short film Tey, which showed at the recent Durban International Film Festival.

One of the signature characteristics of Poetry Africa is showcasing poets from the African continent. This year includes Nii Ayikwei Parkes from Ghana and Philo Ikonya of Kenya. Parkes is a sought-after socio-cultural commentator whose poetry embraces themes of power, cultural conflicts, love, and the friction between capitalism and humanism. Poet and novelist Philo Ikonya was President of the Kenyan chapter of PEN when she was brutally arrested for speaking out against corruption and the clampdowns on freedom of expression in Kenya. She is now based in Norway.

Completing the lineup for Cape Town are Lebo Mashile, Ewok, Madosini and Pedro-Espi-Sanchis. Popular television presenter Lebo Mashile is an iconic part of contemporary South African culture, while the razor-sharp word-smith Ewok is active as MC, playwright, actor, teacher, and part of the hip-hop outfit Illuminating Shadows. Madosini is the foremost exponent of the various bow instruments that form part of Xhosa culture and a crucial custodian of these traditions. A regular collaborator with Madosini is Pedro Espi-Sanchis; originally from Spain, Pedro has become a local and international legend for his African story-telling and expertise on indigenous music instruments, especially the Lekgodilo pipe-flute.

Tickets for the Cape Town showcase cost R80 and are available through Computicket.