2019 Busi + MoAfrika

Azania to DC tour 2019

Busisiwe Mahlangu + MoAfrika ‘a Mokgathi


Washington, DC Tour Dates: April 15th – 29th, 2019


BUSISIWE MAHLANGU is a poet, performer, and TEDx speaker born in Mamelodi, Pretoria, South Africa. She explains her work as a space of healing and growth for herself. Her poetry is mostly described as hard-hitting and raw, as she uses her work to hold space for conversations around poverty, mental health, education, healing, domestic violence, and being and staying alive.

She has shared her poetry across South Africa with performances at the Naked Word Festival (Cape Town 2017), Open Book Festival (Cape Town 2017), Words In My Mouth Slam Week (Mpumalanga 2017), Vavasati International Women’s Festival (Pretoria 2016), Nirox Words Festival (Johannesburg 2017), Lead SA Changemakers (Johannesburg 2017), Poets In Autumn (Johannesburg 2018), Ram Jam Soul Sundays (Johannesburg 2016), TEDxPretoria (Pretoria 2017), and the South African State Theatre (Pretoria 2019). Busisiwe was part of the cast of ‘When Poetry Hits The Fan’ (2016) directed by Bobby Gordon and ran for a week at Wits University. In 2016 she staged her poetry production, ‘Rusty Knife’, at the Current State of Poetry at the Joburg theatre assisted by Zewande Bhengu with direction.

Her work was longlisted for the Sol Plaatje European Poetry Award in 2017 and 2018. She is published in Kalahari Review (2017), Ja magazine (2017), Best ‘New’ African Poets (2018) and forthcoming in Atlanta Review and Through the Single Gal’s Looking Glass. Her short stories are published on Naane Le Moya as part of her writing residency under the Tuesday Shorts Segments. She holds the following titles in poetry Slams: Slam Champion Jan 2016 Current State of Poetry Open Slam, Winner of Mzansi Poetry Academy’s Another Kinda slam 2017, Winner of the National Library of South Africa Library Week Slam 2017 and the Tshwane Speak Out Loud Youth Poetry Competition Champion 2016/2017. Her achievements in poetry slams have awarded her the privilege of judging poetry slams including The S’gela Sam Slam at the Naked Word Festival (Cape Town 2017), Say Something Slam (Pretoria 2017) and the Tshwane Speak Out Loud Knockouts (Pretoria 2018).

Mahlangu was inspired by the jewellery she made for herself for stage and interview appearances to start her business, Busi Creates, where she makes and sells handmade accessories. Currently studying for a BA in Creative Writing majoring in African Languages and Linguistics at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Busisiwe’s debut poetry collection, ‘Surviving Loss’ is forthcoming from Impepho Press.


Busisiwe Poetry Performance
How to Return to Yourself – https://youtu.be/Unxnpzp5s5A

Wake Up – https://youtu.be/nrUhjmOpkOQ


MOAFRIKA ‘A MOKGATHI is a poet, stage actress, playwright, saxophonist, flutist (sometimes), award-winning radio presenter/producer, arts facilitator, businesswomen, and event organizer. Known for her Sepedi pen and her reciting style using code switching and code mixing of English and Sepedi Languages, Mo’Afrika fuses her poetry with jazzy/soul/kiba vocals and rhythm. Some of her works have been featured in community publications and national sub-Saharan radio stations. Recordings include (Ndoza kusa) 2014 Nduduzo Makhathis album Sketches of Tomorrow and Tribe Soil’s Ep (2011).

Her love for the arts started when she was 13-years-old, instilled by her late uncle (GoMoMo) Godgrey Modiba Mokgathi who was a 1st language English teacher. MoAfrika has been performing poetry professionally since 2006, and in her journey she has performed alongside remarkable poets nationally and internationally acclaimed: Lefifi Tladi, Natalia Molebatsi, Kgafela oa Magogodi, David wa Maahlamela, Phillipaya De Villers, and Holly Bass (USA), just to name a few

She headlined the South African State Theatre’s “Night of the Poets” twice (2011 & 2012), and performed at the Vavasati Momen Music Festival (2013 & 2015), Moretele Park Legends Festival (2013, 2014 & 2015), Mzansi Fela Festival (2012), Feast of the Clowns Festival  (2011, 2012, and 2013) ,Indigenous Music Festival (2010), Mamelodi Arts Festival (2012), Polokwane Literary Fair (2015) and recently introducing poetry at one of Africa’s tourism conventions “Tourism Indaba” (2016).