Africa's Digital Poets

Episodes

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Africa's Digital Poets—Another Kind of Stage

In the first of two programmes, Johannesburg based poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the way digital platforms are serving poets across the continent, from emerging writers to established voices, and those carrying forward ancient oral traditions.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan') is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where there's a lack of publishing infrastructure, or publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.

The poets who are benefitting aren't just those below the age of 35, with a smartphone and wifi access, based in the major cities. Badilisha Poetry X-Change, a website based in Cape Town, is creating an online audio archive of the work of African master poets across the continent, some of whom recite rather than recording their work in book form, so the site is doing valuable work in preserving and archiving oral traditions. Linda Kaoma is Badilisha's Project Manager, and it's her job to track down such poets, however remote they are, and record them. Also based in Cape Town, but looking north across the whole of Africa, Bozza offers the opportunity for anyone with an internet connection to share their poetry, music and video content, in any language, and talk to their own community.

Thabiso talks to Mak Manaka, one of the poets excited by the opportunities to carve their own path, not only against those who value a published collection as proof of your worth, but also against the European model of success. And he talks to a mentor from the older generation, Professor Keorapatse Kgositsile, the poet laureate of South Africa, to see what he makes of it all, asking what the role of the poet has always been in African societies and how that translates into the online space, and what he sees the pitfalls as being.

Another Kind Of Stage20161023

In the first of two programmes, Johannesburg based poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the way digital platforms are serving poets across the continent, from emerging writers to established voices, and those carrying forward ancient oral traditions.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan') is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where there's a lack of publishing infrastructure, or publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.

The poets who are benefitting aren't just those below the age of 35, with a smartphone and wifi access, based in the major cities. Badilisha Poetry X-Change, a website based in Cape Town, is creating an online audio archive of the work of African master poets across the continent, some of whom recite rather than recording their work in book form, so the site is doing valuable work in preserving and archiving oral traditions. Linda Kaoma is Badilisha's Project Manager, and it's her job to track down such poets, however remote they are, and record them. Also based in Cape Town, but looking north across the whole of Africa, Bozza offers the opportunity for anyone with an internet connection to share their poetry, music and video content, in any language, and talk to their own community.

Thabiso talks to Mak Manaka, one of the poets excited by the opportunities to carve their own path, not only against those who value a published collection as proof of your worth, but also against the European model of success. And he talks to a mentor from the older generation, Professor Keorapatse Kgositsile, the poet laureate of South Africa, to see what he makes of it all, asking what the role of the poet has always been in African societies and how that translates into the online space, and what he sees the pitfalls as being.

Another Kind Of Stage20161023

In the first of two programmes, Johannesburg based poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the way digital platforms are serving poets across the continent, from emerging writers to established voices, and those carrying forward ancient oral traditions.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan') is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where there's a lack of publishing infrastructure, or publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.

The poets who are benefitting aren't just those below the age of 35, with a smartphone and wifi access, based in the major cities. Badilisha Poetry X-Change, a website based in Cape Town, is creating an online audio archive of the work of African master poets across the continent, some of whom recite rather than recording their work in book form, so the site is doing valuable work in preserving and archiving oral traditions. Linda Kaoma is Badilisha's Project Manager, and it's her job to track down such poets, however remote they are, and record them. Also based in Cape Town, but looking north across the whole of Africa, Bozza offers the opportunity for anyone with an internet connection to share their poetry, music and video content, in any language, and talk to their own community.

Thabiso talks to Mak Manaka, one of the poets excited by the opportunities to carve their own path, not only against those who value a published collection as proof of your worth, but also against the European model of success. And he talks to a mentor from the older generation, Professor Keorapatse Kgositsile, the poet laureate of South Africa, to see what he makes of it all, asking what the role of the poet has always been in African societies and how that translates into the online space, and what he sees the pitfalls as being.

Another Kind of Stage2016102320180317 (R4)

Poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the ways digital platforms are serving poets in Africa.

Poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the way digital platforms are serving poets across Africa.

In the first of two programmes, Johannesburg based poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the way digital platforms are serving poets across the continent, from emerging writers to established voices, and those carrying forward ancient oral traditions.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan') is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where there's a lack of publishing infrastructure, or publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.

The poets who are benefitting aren't just those below the age of 35, with a smartphone and wifi access, based in the major cities. Badilisha Poetry X-Change, a website based in Cape Town, is creating an online audio archive of the work of African master poets across the continent, some of whom recite rather than recording their work in book form, so the site is doing valuable work in preserving and archiving oral traditions. Linda Kaoma is Badilisha's Project Manager, and it's her job to track down such poets, however remote they are, and record them. Also based in Cape Town, but looking north across the whole of Africa, Bozza offers the opportunity for anyone with an internet connection to share their poetry, music and video content, in any language, and talk to their own community.

Thabiso talks to Mak Manaka, one of the poets excited by the opportunities to carve their own path, not only against those who value a published collection as proof of your worth, but also against the European model of success. And he talks to a mentor from the older generation, Professor Keorapatse Kgositsile, the poet laureate of South Africa, to see what he makes of it all, asking what the role of the poet has always been in African societies and how that translates into the online space, and what he sees the pitfalls as being.

Breaking The Window With A Poem20161030

Johannesburg-based performance poet Thabiso Mohare talks to poets in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya who have embraced the digital space to disseminate their work, and looks at how it has served them in continuing a tradition of the poet expressing resistance and representing the conscience of a people.

The role of the court poet or griot was to point out to the powers-that-be that they were messing up. Some of the most vital work being produced and performed now still reflects that role, as poets carve their own path, tackling issues as they see fit, or as part of protest movements such as Fees Must Fall in South Africa.

Thabiso talks to poets who write to agitate, and assesses how much the digital age is influencing the way emerging poets write and perform their work. The phenomenon of certain poems going viral (by Warsan Shire and Suli Breaks for example), and the Def Poetry Jam shows available online, drew several of South Africa's most prominent young performance poets to their chosen craft. But with the development of digital across Africa, their focus is shifting: they're not just looking to the West any more. Although US influence is strong in spoken word poetry, digital is allowing emerging poets to look instead to their home-grown talent for inspiration, and to foster Pan-African approaches. As well as enabling African narratives, some digital platforms are also affording more chances for people to use their mother tongue to speak to their own communities, which mainstream print publishers have rarely been interested in, or able to support.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan'), a spoken word poet based in Johannesburg, is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.

Breaking The Window With A Poem20161030

Johannesburg-based performance poet Thabiso Mohare talks to poets in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya who have embraced the digital space to disseminate their work, and looks at how it has served them in continuing a tradition of the poet expressing resistance and representing the conscience of a people.

The role of the court poet or griot was to point out to the powers-that-be that they were messing up. Some of the most vital work being produced and performed now still reflects that role, as poets carve their own path, tackling issues as they see fit, or as part of protest movements such as Fees Must Fall in South Africa.

Thabiso talks to poets who write to agitate, and assesses how much the digital age is influencing the way emerging poets write and perform their work. The phenomenon of certain poems going viral (by Warsan Shire and Suli Breaks for example), and the Def Poetry Jam shows available online, drew several of South Africa's most prominent young performance poets to their chosen craft. But with the development of digital across Africa, their focus is shifting: they're not just looking to the West any more. Although US influence is strong in spoken word poetry, digital is allowing emerging poets to look instead to their home-grown talent for inspiration, and to foster Pan-African approaches. As well as enabling African narratives, some digital platforms are also affording more chances for people to use their mother tongue to speak to their own communities, which mainstream print publishers have rarely been interested in, or able to support.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan'), a spoken word poet based in Johannesburg, is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.

Breaking The Window With A Poem2016103020180324 (R4)

Thabiso Mohare talks to poets who write to agitate.

Poet Thabiso Mohare looks at the way digital platforms are serving poets across Africa.

Johannesburg-based performance poet Thabiso Mohare talks to poets in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya who have embraced the digital space to disseminate their work, and looks at how it has served them in continuing a tradition of the poet expressing resistance and representing the conscience of a people.

The role of the court poet or griot was to point out to the powers-that-be that they were messing up. Some of the most vital work being produced and performed now still reflects that role, as poets carve their own path, tackling issues as they see fit, or as part of protest movements such as Fees Must Fall in South Africa.

Thabiso talks to poets who write to agitate, and assesses how much the digital age is influencing the way emerging poets write and perform their work. The phenomenon of certain poems going viral (by Warsan Shire and Suli Breaks for example), and the Def Poetry Jam shows available online, drew several of South Africa's most prominent young performance poets to their chosen craft. But with the development of digital across Africa, their focus is shifting: they're not just looking to the West any more. Although US influence is strong in spoken word poetry, digital is allowing emerging poets to look instead to their home-grown talent for inspiration, and to foster Pan-African approaches. As well as enabling African narratives, some digital platforms are also affording more chances for people to use their mother tongue to speak to their own communities, which mainstream print publishers have rarely been interested in, or able to support.

Thabiso Mohare ('Afurakan'), a spoken word poet based in Johannesburg, is one of the poets and entrepreneurs spearheading developments in spoken word poetry in South Africa, and exploring the possibilities of what the digital space can offer poets in countries where publishers are pulling back from poetry. Thabiso talks to the digital pioneers who, as part of the broader tech revolution in a mobile-first continent, are offering poets across Africa a new outlet for presenting their work in a digital age.