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Poet Profile: Nkululeko ‘Page’ Ngwenya

Quaz | October 30th, 2017 | poet profile | No Comments

Nkululeko Ngwenya, affectionately known as Page is a 24-year-old poet from Durban, South Africa. Succumbing to the desire to explore lyrics and his place in them, Page started out in the early years of school experimenting with hip-hop. He was only introduced to spoken word in high school where from then he has soared. His influences range from Lebo Mashile, Andrea Gibson, and Buddy Wakefield to Saul Williams, Tumi from The Volume and Myesha Jenkins.

At the age of only 24, Page has achieved a great deal from performing alongside greats local to South Africa and internationals such as Oskar Hanska (SWE), Lebo Mashile, Buddy Wakefield (USA), Saul Williams (USA), Lemn Sissay (UK), Busiswa Gqulu, Laura Wihlborg (SWE), Ewok and many more. On top of being the resident coordinator of the poetry section of the monthly Sundowners event held at the Playhouse Theatre, which he also hosts, he has also done spoken word at events such as Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival 2012, the Poetry Africa festival 2012, 2013 & 2014, the BRICS Summit 2012, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2014, Essence Festival 2017 and International AIDS Conference 2016 & 2017.

He has appeared on many media platforms, some of the most major being The Mercury, the New Age and Ilanga in print; Zoned.tv on South Africa’s biggest channel SABC 1, 1KZN and interviewed and performed on SABC 2 Morning Live on television; an hour-long profile, interview and performance on SAfm’s The Mash Up, interview and performance on East Coast Radio, full radio documentary by Swedish radio directed and recorded by Laura Wihlborg and many more.

Page is a believer in the arts’ ability to layout the inexplicable, to reintroduce it to us in a human way. Where some have labeled poetry an art of coding simple experiences of life into an interesting maze; he has grown to see it as in fact, a noble attempt of decoding all the complexities we are faced with on a daily basis.

 

NM 091014
Poetry Africa artist. PICTURE: NIAMH WALSH-VORSTER

Background

Page was born Nkululeko Hope Ngwenya on June 11, 1993, in the small town of Ladysmith, when he went off to live with his father in Durban it was not too long before he found the many other interests he never pictured for himself, the strongest and most stubborn is his love of the word. Raised by a single father in a troubled community as a member of the first generation to grow up with freedom in the post-apartheid he found his release in the lyrics he wrote.

At Umkhumbane Secondary School was where an older friend of Page, Lungile Mkhungo opened a poetry society within the high school, upon joining Page discovered a whole new space of expression. He has since wielded this skill to grow at every opportunity and to inspire growth in all who come across it, showing the potential that lies in his people.

 

 

Achievements

  • Cup O’ Thought Slam Poet of the year, 2012
  • 1/3 of the team representing Poetry Africa team slamming against the Ordsprak team at the Poetry Africa Festival slamjam, 2012
  • Named one of the 9 young poets to look out for in South Africa on World Poetry Day by major South African poetry movement, Word ‘N Sound, 2014
  • Voted top slam poet to represent the province of KwaZulu Natal at the first ever South African national poetry slam held at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, 2014
  • Picked by The Playhouse Theatre to co-ordinate their poetry for the Sundowners events running monthly and also host said shows, 2015 – present
  • Member of the winning team of the InterVarsity team for the provincial slam, 2015
  • Finalist at the South African Women Arts Festival slam, 2015
  • Host of Poetry Africa Festival Finale 2015
  • Profile as one of 4 young people excelling in their fields on The Mercury, 2016
  • Collaboration with German deep house producer Nils Penner for radio in Europe, 2016
  • Participant and Drama For Life ambassador at the International AIDS Conference, 2016 & 2017
  • Appointed media liason officer for trailblazing poetry outfit, Poet In A Suit, 2017
  • Participant at Naked Word Festival in Cape Town, 2017

Publications

  • Underground Disciple, 2011
  • The Mercury 2013, 2014, 2015
  • The New Age 2014
  • Ilanga, 2015
  • The Star, 2015
  • Daily News, 2015

Appearances

  • Cup O’ Thought Slam Championships, 2012
  • Give Me Ten Mics, 2012
  • Word N Sound on tour, 2013
  • BRICS Summit, 2013
  • Jomba! Contemporary Dance, 2013
  • Poetry Africa (as a member of the SlamJam, 2012. As a prelude poet, 2013. As a full participant, 2014)
  • Slam For Your Life: national poetry slam at Grahamstown NAF, 2014
  • Sundowners & Poetry at the Playhouse, ongoing
  • SAWAF poetry slam, 2015
  • Intervarsity Slampionship, 2015
  • CSP Poetry Theatre Festival, 2015
  • International Aids Conference, 2016 & 2017
  • Naked Word Festival, 2017

Links

Contact: 0(+27) 641768007
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: A Poet Called Page

“How often do we soften the truth to the ears of those who need to most hear it,
How frequently do we change the frequency when the radio tunes into the depth of our spirits.”

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