POET PROFILE: Kwena Peu

Kwena Peu | Mar 9th, 2022 | poet profile | No Comments

Born in Polokwane and bred in Mokopane Limpopo, Kwena Peu is a poet/spoken word artist, musician and theatre practitioner based in Bloemfontein South Africa.

An experimentalist, he explores this quality with the unconventional performance of his poetry productions. His earliest encounters with this approach was in his theatre performance debut through Kamara, a dance and puppetry production which played at the Andre Huguenot Theatre of The Performance Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS) in 2017. Here, he played a villain with a poetic twist. The production was selected in 2018 to partake in the Trade Fair Arts Festival at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, where it won its first award.

Kwena was also part of the well-received theatre production by acclaimed theatre organization called Vukallective, where he narrated the dance and drama fusion called Thirst. This was part of the first All-Stars Incubator Program which ran for five months at PACOFS from 2017-2018. In 2021 he starred in and was the writer of Changing Air, a dance-play directed by Oscar Motsikoe and Sizakele Mdi of Bokang Lefoko Theatre. The production was a commentary on the emergence of Covid-19 and the responses societal groups had to it and its effects which are still palpable to date.

A founder and leader of a 13-piece band, his collective composed of 2 violinists, a cellist, lead and bass guitarists, saxophonist, pianist/keyboardist, percussionist, 4 vocalists and a poet. Having performed in spaces such as the Andre Huguenot Theatre, Bloemfontein Civic Theatre, Market Theatre, his work has alternative sounds inspired by afro-jazz, neo-soul, orchestra and tribal sonics. His musical poetry productions are always layered with visual arts, contemporary dance and other theatrical elements.

Kwena was seen at the Albert Wessels Auditorium of the University of the Free State in 2016 and again in 2017 for the magic-filled Preformed Footsteps and Ordered Randomness Poetry Showcase. Kwena Peu also had poetry showcases at the international MACUFE Festival for the years 2014 and 2015. He also collaborated with fashion house Dolz, for a show where fashion models were an extension of his work, hosted by OddZ Creatives at the Central University of Technology.

His work was seen again at the Andre Huguenot Theatre in June 2019, with a musical poetry
production with theatrical elements called Infinite Possibilities. The production featured the
legendary poet, musician and scholar, Kgafela Oa Magogodi.

In December 2020 he hosted another successful installation of his annual musical poetry
productions called Bound Lesser and Lesser at the Andre Huguenot Theatre alongside his
band.

He successfully curated another of his annual productions with We Are Here in October 2021 at the Andre Huguenot Theatre. The show is currently on a mini-tour with collaborations that are a cross-pollination of mediums between poetry, visual arts and dance. We Are Here features works from Andile Bhala (photographer), Nkosinathi Quwe (painter), Anda Dawg (digital visual and motion graphic artist), Nandie Jantjies (painter and digital visual artist), Moses ‘’MoseArt’’ Modiba (digital visual artist) and Nthabiseng Mokhali (dancer).

He is presently fresh from a poetry retreat hosted by Hear My Voice and The Nirox Foundation at the Nirox Sculpture Park. An initiative that saw him and other selected poets collaborating with acclaimed musicians such as Madala Kunene, Aus Tebza, Tubatsi Moloi, Zolani Mahola, Tidal Waves, Kitchen Mess and other esteemed musicians within the industry.
A practitioner of a transformative art-scape, guided by the outer and inner dimensions of Self, Kwena Peu puts all his might into his work.

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