Nkateko Masinga is a South African author, publisher, spoken word artist, theatre actress, TEDx
speaker, World Economic Forum Global Shaper and 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow. She was
born in Mamelodi and completed her schooling at Glenstantia Primary School, The Glen High School
and Dansa International College. She went on to study Medicine (MBChB) at the University of
Pretoria and was selected to be a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society for her
outstanding academic achievements.
In 2018 she travelled to the United States of America for six weeks to study Civic Leadership at
Wagner College in New York as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African
Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
In July 2018, South African publication News24 named Nkateko one of the ‘100 Young Mandelas of
The Future’ in celebration of what would have been former president Nelson Mandela’s 100th
birthday, an accolade created to honour 100 young South Africans who embody the characteristics
that Mandela was known for.
Nkateko is the author of three poetry collections: ‘The Sin In My Blackness’ (2015). ‘A War Within The
Blood’ (2016), and ‘While The World Was Burning‘ (2017). She is the founder and managing director
of NSUKU Publishing Consultancy, a 100% black-owned company which provides African writers with access to information and services regarding publishing books. Her written work is widely celebrated and is published locally and internationally. In 2017, her poem titled “I Wonder If Leaving Home Made Me This Way,” published in U.S. poetry journal “Illuminations” issue 32, was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize under the ‘Best of the Small Presses’ category. In 2015, her poetry was shortlisted for the ‘Respond’ Human Rights Poetry Award 2015/2016, organized by the United Human Rights Student Network (UHRSN).
In 2017 she was a finalist for the 4th Crystal Ruth Bell Residency in Beijing, China. In the same year,
her work was translated into French by Alliance Francaise Lagos for the 2017 issue of Ake Review,
the official journal of the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Nigeria.
Nkateko has performed her poetry on both local and international stages including the South African
State Theatre, the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta (Nigeria), the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre
in Durban, the BAT Centre in Durban, the Anacostia Arts Center in Washington D.C., the Canvas
Institute of Art, Culture and Civic Engagement in New York City as well as poetry platforms Spit Dat
and Busboys & Poets in July/August 2018 during her tour of the United States.
She has performed in two theatre productions: ‘Beautiful Scary Things’ (Joburg Theatre, May 2016)
and ‘Deceived’ (SA State Theatre, September 2017).
In November 2017, Nkateko presented a TEDx Talk titled “The Unapologetic Pursuit of Multiple
Passions” at the TEDxPretoria conference.
From the 15 th to the 20th of October 2018, Nkateko performed on a line-up of local and international
acts at Poetry Africa 2018, one of the largest poetry platforms on the African continent. From the 31st
of October to the 4th of November 2018, Nkateko will once again be performing alongside poets from
all around the world at the Lagos International Poetry Festival in Lagos, Nigeria.
Nkateko describes her work as ‘personal ‘and ‘deeply reflective’ as she draws inspiration from her
own lived experiences and uses the issues she faces as a young woman living in South Africa as the
subject matter of her poems and short stories.
Here is a list of links to articles in which Nkateko is featured as well as literary journals in which her
work has been published:
11. Ja. Magazine
12. Kalahari Review
25. United Human Rights Student Network (UHRSN) – Europe
26. Woke Project