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Poet Profile: Wazi M. Kunene

Quaz | May 11th, 2018 | poet profile | No Comments

Wazi M Kunene is a poet, storyteller, translator and all-round performing artist who
obtained her BA Degree from Rhodes University. To simply call her the author of her latest
limited edition anthology, Deluge in Swarga (2017) is to carelessly disregard the seamless
integration of photography, music, performance and visionary directorship in the
productions that spill-over and complement this book. Bedlam in Bedlam is one example
of how she meticulously interlaces the page, the stage and all that she summons in between.

Born in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal in 1991 or 1992, Wazi M Kunene discovered that
she can write when she was around 10 or 11 years. She hosted her first poetry session at
the Pietermaritzburg Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) at that young age. She has
since hosted many shows. Shortly after moving to Johannesburg she began hosting one of
the city’s most lauded poetry and music shows, The Ram Jam Poetry Sessions (SABC
Studios). She currently co-runs one of the country’s leading poetry houses, Current State
of Poetry (CSP), where she heads the program’s media and runs workshops on arts
administration with young poets.

Wazi M Kunene is professionally trained in storytelling through the Kwesukela Storytelling
Academy. She has performed in English and isiZulu at festivals nation-wide. Her published
stories can be found on sites such as Naane le Moya. Her storytelling is where she shares
of herself with younger audiences. She occasionally teaches at school level. Moreover,
Wazi M Kunene is one of Oxford University Press’ South African authors; she has had stories
published in isiZulu for Grade 1 learners.
In her capacity as a translator, she has translated mathematics in school from English to
isiZulu. Furthermore, her work within the media industry includes translations on TV
shows such as Uthando nesthembu.
With several other personal projects – past and present – it is no misnomer for Wazi to be
deemed a skilled chameleon artist whose brilliance is yet to be noted.

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