Born 1992 September 30, poet-vocalist Nomashenge Dlamini is a Ladysmith native, raised in Durban and currently based in Johannesburg. Beyond embodying alchemy as a practising, professional pharmacist (with a Bachelor of Pharmacy, Honours Degree), her work is an ever-transmogrifying blend of poetry and vocals, the tangible and spiritual. It simultaneously resonates with and transcends genre, space and era.
Her journey as a writer began in 2005 while 2007 was the year she developed a relationship with performance. Years later, after being part of the Keen Artist Theatre (KAT), a performing arts collective based at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, Nomashenge has been nominated in the Best Female Poetry Performer category in The Original Material Awards in 2012 and her work published in the 2007 Poetry Institute of Africa Anthology.
In a continual motion, Nomashenge regularly performs in South Africa’s most popular cities – Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town – on stages that range from literature to lifestyle festivals. Alongside handpicked talents, she has featured in the international festivals: Arts Alive International Festival (Johannesburg), Essence International Festival (Durban), Open Book Festival (Cape Town), Vavasati International Women’s Festival (Pretoria) and World Leisure Congress (Durban). Some of the renowned poetry stages that she has graced and has now become a familiar presence include Poet In A Suit (Durban), Durban Wine, Jazz, and Poetry Festival (Durban), the Current State of Poetry’s Sho’Case (Johannesburg) and the Lingua France Poetry Festival (Cape Town). She has participated in many other events with some noteworthy ones being: The Madadeni Arts Experience (Newcastle), PACSA Film and Arts Festival (Pietermaritzburg), Annual Mayoral Cup Show (Ladysmith) and Parys Youth Month Celebration (Free-State)
Nomashenge’s dexterity in performance poetry also extends to slams. In 2014 she was crowned champion of the Playhouse Poetry Sundowners Slam and she represented KwaZulu-Natal at the Word n Sound Slam for your Life National Slam in 2015. She has accepted the invitation to be a judge on several slams including the Naked Word Slam (Cape Town), Vaal River Carnival Slam (Vaal University of Technology, Vaal) and the KZN Provincial Slam (Durban).
With a relationship to the stage that goes beyond her role as a performer, Nomashenge took residency at Naana Le Moya, a renounced storytelling hub, as a writer of short Stories for the month of November 2017. She has also taken on theatre work by co-directing the play, Aiden’s Rose, with Thuli Zuma in 2015; the play premiered at the KZN Poetry Theatre Festival 2015 (Playhouse, Durban).