LUCAS ‘PILGRIM’ SEREI
Pilgrim, real name Lucas Serei is a poet, and an aspiring academic; he was born in Pretoria and moved to the Vaal-Triangle in the mid-90s. He spent most of his childhood under the care of his grandparents, where he was coached with nursery rhymes and ghost stories. It was there where his love for writing was born. As early as Grade7, he started writing songs, short poems and dimly his love for writing was forming itself by the day.
He joined poetry and hip-hop movement called Nikotiq Column and met a legion of great writers in 2010, poets and also rappers and during this time where his heart found a home and all fell into place. And out of joining this movement in question, he was now exposed to the stage and audience relationship and during this time a poetic pilgrimage began for him. He caught the ears of the few and was invited to perform in private functions during his time in university.
He has performed in many stages since 2010, Slams in the Vaal such as the Annual Mphatlalatsane Hip Hop and Poetry competition, has also participated in the Word n Sound Poetry League. His latest involvement in poetry was in the 2015 Speak out loud Poetry competition in Tshwane at the State Theatre where he was part of the top 10 finalist. His current version of him is finding a better vision for being with poetry as his channel of choice.
Thando Buthelezi is a Johannesburg based MCEE, Songwriter and poet. Who has won the hearts of many by her soulful touch to rap music and rhythm in poetry. She first entered the scene in 2009 as just a rapper before venturing into poetry; she fuses her poems with music and theatrical elements. Setting herself apart from anything ordinary with content that not only earns her the right to the title of being The Voice of Women but also to that of being a true defender of art.
Her poems serve the divine purpose of healing and enlightening. She is a one of the greatest storytellers of our time who is passionate about preserving our heritage through the use of our African languages. She completed matric and furthered her studies at a media institution for a 3yr diploma in Radio Broadcasting and it is at this institution where she joined a collective of spoken word lovers who gathered on a regular basis to share artistic works. But little did she know that this platform was to be the first of many.
Since then she has graced even bigger platforms, travelling all across South Africa and sharing the stage with various poetry greats. She was awarded a certificate of Excellence in performance poetry by the department of arts and culture for participating in the Windybrow theatre’s 20 years of democracy celebration. And upon her first attempt to enter the world of slam poetry she gets crowned the Word N Sound Slam champion in October 2014.
She has made guest appearances on several television and radio programmes. Her work has also been published in various publications. Furthermore she has featured in notable art projects such as: The Woman’s Day tour which celebrated 9 Phenomenal Women Making Waves within the poetry scene and the DSTV (Don’t Sit There Voiceless) campaign which was an effort of the PAWA project to raise awareness on women and child abuse.
Her Poetry Audio Tape was launched on April the 24th at the UJ Soweto Campus and she has since toured across the country to promote her body of work which she describes as a mere offering of herself in words, the tour will be a documentation of her journey as an artist which she aims to Package alongside some of her most memorable performances and videos in April 2016.
The CD is titled CrossWord Puzzles and it has gained popularity within a few months of its release doing fairly well in the market and proving once more that Poetry is alive. The release of her project follows the founding of her initiative Office Poetry Network which aims to grow and build Poets into Notable brands and train them in being professional artists that earn a living from Writing. Certainly there is more ahead of this rising star; she is yet to take the world by storm with her talent.
Modise Sekgothe is a Johannesburg based spoken word artist, actor and playwright, a voice to be reckoned with in the South African live literature and performance art movement. Initially a member of the University of Johannesburg Poetry Society called “Fore.word Society” in 2010.
He now works as an independent artist and has made a name for himself in the South African poetry scene. Known to stages like the DFL lover And Another Slam Competition 2011, Izimbongi Poetry Festival in 2012 and 2013, the 3rd Annual Word n Sound International Youth Poetry and Live Music Festival in 2013, afrWEka Poetry Festival in 2015, Melville Poetry Festival in 2012 and 2013.
He also staged a successful one-man show in association with Word N Sound called Word N Sound Presents: Modise Sekgothe in 2014. Modise also co-wrote and starred in a poetry-theatre production called The Funeral which staged at Pop Art Theatre, DFL Sex Actually Festival and Joburg Theatre in 2013.
He is co-creator of a collaborative multi-media performance piece called Metropolar, with Pretorian based visual artist and musician Jotam Schoeman. Metropolar first premiered at Writers on Main held at The Rubix Cube Gallery in 2014. It was followed by a feature at the Atterbury Film Festival 2014 and culminated in a successful two-men show staged at the Market Lab Theatre in June 2015.
As a result of his work, Modise has won the Word N Sound Award for Most Memorable Showcase of the Year (2013) for his showcase at the Word N Sound Series in June 2013 and the Word N Sound Best Showcase Award (2014) for his performance at the Spoken Freedom Festival at the Market Theatre in 2014.
His first debut feature in a collaborative poetry anthology is called “Home Is Where The Mic Is” by Botsotso Publishers and is currently available in print.
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.