Season one of the Poetry Relief Fund just wrapped a successful 5-episode run. This first season, spread across three weeks, saw 25 poets from across the country share poems online in isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaaps, Khoekhoe, English and Setswana. The Fund has offered relief to poets from Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape, Free State, Kwazulu Natal, and the Northwest Province. 25 different Poets are scheduled to benefit from the fund when Season Two resumes. An official announcement will be made soon.
Co-Founder of Hear My Voice Ishmael Sibiya reflects on Season 1 and the response from the South African Community:
“It was overwhelming, in a good way, the way the industry and the poetry community received the Poetry Relief Fund. As soon as we opened the call for applications, within a day we received 15 applications. In two days it literally doubled, in terms of numbers of applications from poets who wanted to be part of the live stream series. In five days- which was the duration of the first open call- we had already received 48 applications from poets. The majority of the applications were for the curated Livestream series, where we curate the show with 5 poets as we did in Season 1. The other option was for poets and organizers who wanted to do their own shows but wanted to use our platform to do so. Out of the 48 applications, 6 of those were applicants that stated that they wanted to use our zoom platform to stream their own shows. One of those was Mandi Vundla with “Home is where the Mic is”. Xabiso Vili with his workshops and Masai Sepuru who did the Poetry study on Jazz. The other Applicants will be contacted soon and will stream their shows during season two.
The feedback and reception from the poetry community has been great. It shows that such an initiative is really needed within the community. For it to be the only such initiative in the literary industry is -number one- a great feat, but at the same time really also sad that not more of these initiatives are out there. I really hope that as time goes-sooner rather than later- that other entities with a bigger pool of supporters and resources can come on board and do similar initiatives for other parts of the literary industry. We’re just doing our part to support writers and poets in this time of need.“
The Poetry Relief fund, initiated by Hear My voice, has to date raised R66,480.98 through donations from anonymous donors, Poetry Africa, The Market Theatre, The Windybrow Theatre, Poetry Potion, and the following individuals:
Yamoria (Fumane and Mfumo Nthlabane)
Janet & Mario Rodriquez
A big thank you to all the donors from across the country and the world for contributing to the fund. Your support is highly appreciated. A special mention and thank you to That Network, for kindly sponsoring their PR expertise for the duration of the series. Donations are still welcome.
All Episodes can be seen on the Hear My Voice, Market Theatre and Poetry Potion Facebook pages. Season one is also available on Poetry Potion TV .
Episode 1-Featuring Poets: Sana King | Kwazi Ndlangisa | Kwena Peu | Belita Andre | Khadija Tracey Heeger
Episode 2-Featuring Poets: Billy Godiragetse | Siphosethu Phikelela | Thando Fuze | Mogale Sedibe | Blaq Pearl
Episode 3 Featuring Poets: Sibulelo Manatamela | Toni Stuart | Mapule Mohulatsi | Mercy Dhiwayo | Keitumetse Thlako
Episode 4 – Featuring Poets: Lethokuhle Msimang | Yamoria(Fumane and Mfumo Nthlabane) | Frans Tauyatsoala | Jonathan Lefenya | Sello Chokoe
Episode 5 Featuring Poets: Farah Sayed | Toroga Denver | Accolade Motha | TJ Bodibe | Patience Labane