Pakama Mlokoti is a Port Elizabeth-based writer, lyricist and performance poet. She was born in 1994 in Mthatha and has lived most of her young life juggling provinces, from Eastern Cape to Kwa-Zulu Natal to Western Cape. She is passionate about literature.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Pakama came first place in her first ever poetry competition. She is the winner of a Consent is Sexy Poetry Slam which was part of a campaign meant to raise awareness on rape and consent. She is also the winner of the Candlelight Slam hosted by Cecil Residence at the University of Western Cape. This young pearl holds more than 5 poetry championships in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth including the Udub’s Got Talent where she came 2nd place. She also took part in a poetry slam in Cumba Lounge in Long Street Cape Town which she also won. Pakama has participated in many poetry slams, some of which include the Current State of Poetry Slampionship hosted by Vusumzi Phakathi and the Stellenbosche Inzync Sessions.
She has graced numerous performance stages around South Africa performing alongside some of South Africa’s best poets. The likes of Dianna Ferrus, Siyabonga “Gqoboz’Imbawula” Ngcai, Mnqobi Madlala, Kyle Louw, Nqontsonqa and many others . She has also shared the stage with Port Elizabeth’s finest musicians, Umle Sounds, Soul Elements, Black Tye, Brown Sugar, Mo and a long list of others. Pakama is a member of a group called Ikamva Lesintu Heritage Society that was established at the University of Western Cape as a means to embrace black culture and to empower young black minds. She is also one of the co-founders of a poetry organization that goes by the name Ink Prophets Art Society. She is more than just a writer and poet; she is a voice for other young black women who are not brave enough to share their stories and she does this oh so beautifully through her art. She is heartily involved in LGTBQ awareness raising campaigns and is famous for her strong and unapologetic feminist, socio-economic and political views.
LINOKHUHLE KUSH MAHLEKA
Linokuhle Kush Mahleka is a 22 year old expressionist, spoken word performer and writer, from Ngqeleni, near Mtata. She was introduced to poetry by her late boyfriend in 2006, and in 2007 she had her first poetry performance, in Uitenhage in 2007.
She has been involved in public speaking since high school, and now studies public management as a 3rd year at NMMU, she articulates her life and experiences through her poetry. She has been called the universities resident poet.
She has performed and shared stages with the likes of legendary figures such as, John Kani (2013), Vusi Pikoli (2014), Nomsa Mazwai and Australian poet Luka Lesson (2014) and in 2015 she shared stages with American performer and hip hop artist, Dessa.
Vuyo Tshingila, is a 23 years old student, who currently studies analytical chemistry and is a writer who has been writing poetry since age thirteen where she honed her craft and took it seriously. She is part of an art collective called, Erhontsihni, which aims to showcase a movement of art. Performance poetry is a huge part of her life, as she started in High School, she then was very active in the poetry scene in East London, performing at sessions such as the Bayckyard sessions, Soul Clap session and Sunday Pholas 2013, and as well as performing at the Eastern Cape Book festival recently in 2015. As an organiser of sessions, she has made strides in bringing about talent at events and hosting shows. She writes about all that comes from her, and what else she learns alot from, such as love, pain and has an unearthed talent such as a songwriting and singing, which is also another huge part of who she is.
PLEASE NOTE: SLAM FOR YOUR LIFE VOTING CLOSES ON MONDAY 14 SEPTEMBER AT 17:00.
This project is part of SA-UK Seasons 2014 & 2015 which is a partnership between the Department of Arts and Culture, South Africa and the British Council.