In a country with such a low literacy rate, Spoken Word Poetry encourages curiosity and exposes people to literature in English from a range of cultures around the world. Writing is central to every profession so this is a key skill across all sectors.

The Word N Sound Project is a platform for the expression of spoken word, not so much a commercial venture as an attempt to make a positive impact on youth in the city. The platforms bring together older practitioners of literature with young people in their teens and early twenties, to encourage and inspire them and to give them a sense of the trajectory of a literary career.

The Word N Sound Live Literature Company is a South African literature company founded in 2010 and fully owned and managed by thirteen young black practicing artists, creatives and administrators. With a multi focal approach to literature and spoken word development, the company produces various events, festivals and collaborative projects and has one of the largest digital footprints and profiles on the African continent.

In partnership with various arts organizations and venues, the company designs and facilitates platforms and projects that connect local and international practitioners of literature to share knowledge, collaborate on new works, encourage and inspire them and to give them a sense of the trajectory of a literary career.

Annually, the Company produces 40 weekly events, 16 monthly events, 3 festivals and 1 National Poetry slam.

Target Market
• 18 – 35 year old township and urban dwellers
• A fair split of tertiary students, entry level pros, upwardly mobile and established professionals
• Pushing boundaries of lifestyle, expression and social orientation
• General creative and art consumers including literature, spoken word, live music, photography,
fashion and design.
• Choices dominated by lifestyle while image , trend and brand conscious.
• Eager and flexible to try new innovations and products
• Technology and social media consumers and innovators
• Digital and new age media consumers
• Short attention span, constantly looking for new stimulus
• Have access to disposable income

WNS Objectives
• Develop and promote literature, poetry and spoken word in South Africa and mainstream its role in social development.
• Improve economic and other development opportunities for South African arts and culture nationally and globally through mutually beneficial partnerships, thereby ensuring the sustainability of the sector.
Promote, develop and make accessible the rich and diverse traditions of all South African literatures in written and oral forms.
• Ultimately to affirm and promote the rich and diverse expression of South African culture.

Impact Analysis
• Company employs 13 young people as directors and project managers. Although no salaries are paid, employees earn per project for various services and project management.
• More than R500 000 invested into spoken word projects thus far funded by company directors and various partners. • We have hosted over 100 events since our launch in October 2010.
• Over 1 200 young writers and poets and at least 25 international artists have performed on our various platforms.
22 young poets mentored and managed by Word N Sound talent agency – Poetic Act, with national and international
• Over 4 million audiences reached through traditional media in 2014 (TV, Radio & Print).
• Campaigns on our Facebook page reach up to 36 972 unique users per week.

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