has spent his life working with words. His family memoir All Under Heaven: The Story of a Chinese family in South Africa was shortlisted for the 2005 Alan Paton Prize. A Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar and the International Writers Workshop of Hong Kong Baptist University, he taught fiction and nonfiction writing at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of the Arts (WSOA) from 2003 to 2011. He was chess columnist of The Star from 1981 to 1994 and editor of The Star Tonight!, the paper’s arts and entertainment section, from 1995 to 2000, having written there on film, theatre and fine art from 1988. From 1995 to 1999 his weekly ‘Culture Desk’ column and ‘Sunday Profile’ appeared in The Sunday Independent and he was editor of The Good Weekend in The Saturday Star from 1998 to 2000. He was books editor of the Mail & Guardian from 2006 to 2017 and director of the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival from 2010 to 2016.
was born in Ghana and pursued his education in the UK, earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Reading and a master’s degree in music from King’s College London before moving to the United States to study at Stanford University, where he earned his Ph.D. His research ranges across the disciplines of music scholarship to encompass music theory and analysis, music history, and ethnomusicology; indeed, he has expanded the boundaries of these disciplines by pioneering the field of musical semiotics, incorporating postcolonial theory into music analysis, and persistently questioning the relationship between history and theory. Likewise his subjects of inquiry include a broad swath of musics— from works by Mozart and Mahler to Schubert and Stravinsky, plus most notably the music of the Ewe people of Ghana. Yet as Kofi has argued, cogently and persuasively, these musics are not so very separate, as he examines European music of the 18th and 19th centuries and traditional African drumming with equal analytical rigor. In 1995, he produced the landmark study African Rhythm: A Northern Ewe Perspective (Cambridge), which knit together his formidable skills in musical analysis and deep cultural knowledge of the Ewe people in Ghana. In 2012–13, he was appointed George Eastman Visiting Professor at Oxford, becoming only the second music scholar to have held that position since its endowment in 1930.
has a part-time passion collecting, documenting and digitising South African music, especially 78rpm shellac records from the 1940s until their discontinuation in 1968. He also produced a book and website Electric Jive Huntley Archive which shares photographs and sixty hours of jazz audio recorded by Ian Bruce Huntley in Cape Town over the period 1964 – 1974. Along with Matt Temple in London, Chris is the Durban-based partner in Matsuli Music. When he is employed, Chris provides strategy and evaluation support to activist civil society organisations worldwide.
is a freelance music writer, cultural industries researcher, media consultant and writing coach. Her work appears in multiple publications ranging from online news platforms, magazines and newspapers to scholarly books and journals. She is the author of, among others, the music history Soweto Blues: jazz, popular music and politics in South Africa, and blogs at www.sisgwenjazz.com.
is a South African poet, copywriter, and visual storyteller. Born in 1996, the award-winning poet creates work that seeks to heal. Using the body and its experience as inspiration, she reimagines longing, loss, and love and turns her stories into works of art. Bam has participated in and won various slam competitions including Word n Sound and Poetry Africa. Her poetry has graced online audiences in the United States of America, Sweden, Kenya, Lesotho, Nigeria, and at home. She has published in collections like Yesterdays and Imagining Realities: An Anthology for South African Poetry, Woven with Brown Thread, New Coin, The Jack Journal, and New Contrast. Bam also holds the 2020 New Coin Prize for her poem “Learning to swim” and the 2021 New Contrast National Poetry Prize for her poem “Silence in Church”.
bridged her loves of music performance and prose in 2002 at the age of 15 when she created and edited the guerilla punk zine Tales from the Pit and has been bringing the two worlds together ever since. In 2010, Jannike’s pursuits in French Studies took her to Besançon in eastern France, where she worked as a teacher and translator. In 2015, she founded Parissoweto, an online music exchange project showcasing independent South African and French artists through playlists and write-ups appearing in both English and French; a passion project that culminated in BCUC (Soweto) being invited to play major stages in France. Returning to South Africa in 2017, she joined the French network of cooperation and cultural affairs, has since worked in communications and translations, and at the Music In Africa Foundation. She holds a master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the Université de Franche-Comté (2014) and was awarded summa cum laude for her dissertation focused on representations of fragmented South African histories through subversion, transculturation and negotiation.
is a South African multidisciplinary artist working with collage, poetry, video and installation. Fictionalising dominant notions of temporality, place, nature, body, data, identity and belonging, her practice explores speculative reconstruction as a mode of resilience for fragmented identities rendered through colonial, anthropologic and algorithmic violence, and considers the role of myth and imagination in the retelling of history. IG handle @she_done_already_done
is a live, digital sketchnoter. He uses graphic facilitation to make live sketchnote paintings of the ideas swirling around in conventions, meetings, tv shows, conferences, and workshops. He does his graphic recording on a tablet pc hooked up to a large screen. Increasing attention, interactivity, and engagement. He can be on the premises, or he can drop into your event virtually. Book him now. Whatsapp or Telegram him on +27741046386, or email email@example.com.
Mphutlane wa Bofelo
is a poet, essayist and social critic whose work is influenced by radical humanism, Sufism and Black Consciousness. His recently published book is Transitions : From Post Colonial Illusions to Decoloniality.
was born in Nigeria where he attended the Obafemi Awolowo University. Over the years, he has published a great deal of fiction, poetry, drama, literary appreciation, and other general works. He is the creator and writer of the “Tebogo Mokoena Mystery series”. Among his accolades for writing, Bolaji has been conferred with the Chancellor’s Medal by the University of the Free State (2007), and the “Exquisite Calabash” at Ikire, Nigeria (2020). Mr. Bolaji passed away on 22 May 2022 at the age of 57.
served as Vice-Chancellor (President) of Newcastle University in the UK 2007-16, as Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University 2002-07. Currently he serves on the University Grants Committee in Hong Kong. Chris Brink is known as a champion of the idea of a civic university. He is the author of The Soul of a University: Why Excellence is not Enough (Bristol University Press, 2018). As a mathematician Professor Brink held the prestigious A-rating of the National Research Foundation, which ranked him as one of South Africa’s leading scientists.
was born in Illinois and moved to San Francisco in the mid ‘70s, where he founded Tuxedomoon with Blaine L.Reininger – one of the most influential bands of the decade. Brown developed a career as a solo artist: he released over twenty albums under his name (including his collaborations with Blaine Reininger and with Benjamin Lew), and formed several bands after moving to Mexico in 1993: Nine Rain (with whom he recorded seven albums), Ensemble Kafka, and Cinema Domingo Orchestra. Steven took part in the creation of the the soundtrack for Blue Velvet Revisited (2015), a documentary on the making of David Lynch’s classic film, which was selected by Lynch to appear at his own festival in Los Angeles.
Nolan Oswald Dennis
is a para-disciplinary artist based in Johannesburg. Their practice explores ‘a black consciousness of space’ – the material and metaphysical conditions of decolonization – questioning histories of space and time through system-specific, rather than site-specific interventions. They hold a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) and a Science Master’s degree in Art, Culture and Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
is a multidisciplinary leader who makes more space for more stories. He aims to create a more equitable world where stories can lead to opportunities for growth. Bakary creates strategies, transforms them into concepts, and leads creative teams that bring them to life. He currently works on a range of projects at the Google Creative Lab, highlighting some of the most historically untold stories.
is a composer and saxophone player with interests in a wide range of contemporary musics, jazz, improvisation, South African popular music, interdisciplinary performance, music and postcoloniality, and music for dance. From 2007-2008 Jonathan was a visiting research fellow at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, working on questions of performance practice in South African jazz. In 2010 he produced Black Heroes, a new solo piano recording by South African jazz legend Tete Mbambisa. He recently contributed an essay on a newly available South African jazz archive for the book Keeping Time: 1964-1974 the photographs and Cape Town jazz recordings of Ian Bruce Huntley (ed. Chris Albertyn). Jonathan is co-applicant with Professor Stephanus Muller for South African Jazz Cultures and the Archive (2015-17), a two year British Academy Newton Advanced Fellowship designed to facilitate a critical engagement with archival initiatives in South African jazz.
occasionally writes articles on subversive theory and radical politics. He is an experimental musician exploring algorithmic and generative composition and the use of the body as an instrument. His current work is grounded in modular synthesis and employs various sensors and custom circuitry, including analogue implementations of mathematically chaotic systems, to develop a practice of composition and live performance as a dynamic negotiation between analogue circuitry, human movement and the environment. Other work, using the programming language SuperCollider, explores the sonification of non-musical datasets like genomic sequences, climate models, real-time complex systems data, the stock market and personal activity logs. Aragorn was one of the organisers of the Edge of Wrong, a collaborative project between South Africa and Norway that provided a platform for experimental musicians across borders through annual festivals and numerous other events from 2006-2018, and is currently part of the SENSA (Sonic Exploration Network of Southern Africa) collective. You can learn more about his work at www.further.co.za.
is a research student at the Mila-Quebec AI Institute and the founder of Lanfrica, where he focuses on accelerating the development of AI applications in African and underrepresented regions. He is currently enrolled in a master’s program at the Technical University of Munich. In addition to his research work, Chris is also involved with Masakhane and SisonkeBiotik, where he focuses on natural language processing for low-resource African languages and machine learning for healthcare, respectively.
is a visual artist and musician whose work focuses on SA`s indigenous people, the KhoiSan, which is his heritage. Originally from the Eastern Cape he now lives and works in Kraaifontein (outside Cape Town). He is a former chairperson of Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI) and during the 80`s and 90`s was an active member of the art projects Vakalisa and Community Reflections. Garth is part of the activist music and poetry group, Khoi Khonnexion, who toured European music theatre festivals in 2018-19 with the production House of Falling Bones which is based on the Namibian genocide of the Nama and Herero people by the German colonialists. Garth’s sonic collaboration with flutist Esther Marié Pauw enacts forms of decolonial aesthesis, and interventionist curating amidst publics, institutions, art, and music-making. In 2020 Garth initiated the Africa Open Improvisation Collective at Stellenbosch University`s Africa Open Institute (AOI). Garth is also a member of the Khoisan Gypsy Band whose theatre production Die Poet Wie`s Hy? on the work of Adam Small won Best Production at the Woordfees 2020.
Dr. Diana Ferrus
is a writer, poet and storyteller. Dr. Ferrus retired from the University of the Western Cape at the end of 2016. She has published three anthologies of poetry. She is well-known for the poem I’ve come to take you home that was instrumental in the return of Sarah Baartman’s remains.
African Noise Foundation
We promise nothing. We bring the noise.
is a writer who holds fellowships at the Bern University of the Arts and the Africa Open Institute at Stellenbosch University. She is the author of Mr Entertaiment: The Story of Taliep Petersen. She is also an occasional theatre director and the co-author (with Athol Fugard) of Concerning the Life of Babyboy Kleintjies. Paula’s published work includes academic articles, essays, interviews, dramatic texts and poetry, the latter of which has appeared in several journals, including New Contrast, Stanzas and New Coin.
Steven J Fowler
is a writer, poet and performer who lives in London. His work aims to encapsulate an expansive understanding of what poetry and literature can be – exploring the textual, visual, asemic, concrete, sonic, collaborative, performative, improvised, curatorial – through 40 publications, 200 performances in over 40 countries, 4 large scale event programs, numerous commissions, collaborations and more. His work has been commissioned by Tate Modem, BBC Radio 3, Somerset House, Tate Britain, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre, National Centre for Writing, National Poetry Library, Science Museum and Liverpool Biennial among others. As of summer 2022, he has published ten collections of poetry, seven of visual poetry, six of collaborative poetry, a selected essays and two volumes of selected collaborations, as well as a novella. His writing has explored subjects as diverse as prescription drugs, films, museums, prisons and animals, often taking on satirical, conceptual and experimental forms.
heads the Information Department of the Goethe-Institut for Sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a master’s degree in information science from Humboldt University of Berlin after studying in Hannover, Leipzig and Paris, and worked as Head of Information and Library of the Goethe-Institute in Mexico-City before moving to Johannesburg. Interested in documentation, she currently explores the interaction between analogue and digital worlds through printmaking.
is a healer/poet/publisher. She is also one third of impepho press, an intersectional feminist press with a Pan Afrikan agenda. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University Currently Known as Rhodes, is a graduate of the Pioneer Class of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute and was named one of Mail & Guardian’s Top Young 200 South Africans of 2018. She is the author of two collections: Undressing in front of the Window (2015) and red cotton – which was named City Press Top Poetry Read of 2018.
is Robert Schirmer Professor of English at Princeton University with affiliations in the Department of Comparative Literature, the Program in African Studies, and the Center for African American Studies. He graduated with a B.A [First Class Honors] in Literature from the University of Nairobi. He was a British Council Scholar at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland from which he graduated with a M.Litt. in English Studies. He has a Ph.D in English from Northwestern University. His major Fields of Research and Teaching are the Anglophone Literatures and Cultures of Africa, India, the Caribbean, and Postcolonial Britain, the “Black” Atlantic and the African Diaspora. He is the author of many books and articles including Writing in Limbo: Modernism and Caribbean Literature, Maps of Englishness: Writing Identity in the Culture of Colonialism, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, which was a Choice Outstanding Academic Publication for 2004. He is the co-editor of The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature and the editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of African Literature. His latest book, The Aura of Blackness: Slavery and the Culture of Taste is forthcoming from Princeton University Press. He is currently working on This Thing Called English: The Colonized and their Books and Modernism and Early Postcolonial Style and editing vol 11 of The Oxford History of the Novel in English: The Novel in Africa and the Atlantic World.
has been a professional photographer/camera operator for about 20 years, starting at the alternative newspaper Grassroots. He worked at the Cape Times, with a spell as chief photographer. His photographs have been published across the world, and have garnered many national awards. He is currently working as a freelance cameraman/director.
is on the international affairs faculty of the New School. He is the founder and editor of Africa is a Country.
is curator and editor of herri.
studied librarianship and graduated with a Master of Media Research. She was Director of a Public Library in Germany before she started to work for the Goethe-Institut, the German Cultural Institute, in the Netherlands, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Brazil and South Africa. Since May 2022 she is head of the Library Department at the headquarters of the Goethe-Institut in Munich.
spent 43 years at Unisa teaching musicology, several of them as Chair of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology. During his last decade at Unisa he helped restructure a BMus curriculum that included innovative compulsory modules introducing students to a variety of musics, such as African compositional resources, jazz, music and gender, and music in religion. Until his retirement from his post as music director at Christ Church Arcadia in 2019 George had been actively involved in choral singing for almost half a century. He established solo vocal ensembles with repertoire stretching over nine centuries, and for several years coached choirs in South Africa and eSwatini in preparation for regional and national choral competitions.
is a PhD candidate and lecturer in the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Mbangiso “Baso” Mabaso
is the Founder of Sisanda Tech. The version of Sisanda App Universe was launched in 2017 and in 2021 became the first app in South Africa to win an award at MTN Business App Awards, receiving an award for the Most Innovative Solution. In 2022, Baso was selected as Design Indaba Emerging Creative for 2022, he was also selected as one of the top 18 creative technologists to participate in Design Future Labs by Electric South, Twyg, British Council and Crossover Labs Uk.
is the former spokesperson of SAYRO (Socialist Azanian Youth Revolutionary Organization), a youth wing of the Socialist Party Of Azania and current Secretary General of the Black Consciousness Movement – United Youth Guard. He is also a founder member of the Gauteng Housing Crisis Committee.
is a Professor at the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University. His first book, Against War: Views from the Underside of Modernity, examined the bases of modernity/coloniality in terms of a paradigm of war through the work of Enrique Dussel, Frantz Fanon, and Enmanuel Levinas. In 2011, the Universidad de la Tierra in Chiapas, México, collected some of his essays on decolonial theory in a book entitled La descolonización y el giro de(s)colonial. He is also co-editor of Latin@s in the World-System: Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire, and guest editor of two special issues entitled “Thinking through the Decolonial Turn: Post-continental Interventions in Theory, Philosophy, and Critique” in the journal Transmodernity. He is currently working on two book-length projects. One is entitled “Fanonian Meditations,” which aims to spell out the epistemological basis of “ethnic studies” and related areas, as well as examine the relevance of decolonization at the epistemological, ethical, and political levels which continues the reflection on decolonial ethics and epistemology of his previous book. The other is “Theorizing the Decolonial Turn,” which provides a historical and theoretical overview of the “decolonial turn.” Currently, he is member of the Executive Board of the Frantz Fanon Foundation in France, Honorary Member of the Fausto Reinaga Foundation in Bolivia and serves as book series co-editor of Critical Caribbean Studies (Rutgers University Press) and Global Critical Caribbean Thought (Rowman & Littlefield in association with the Caribbean Philosophical Association).
obtained several degrees in sociology, political science and African linguistics (Kiswahili) and holds both a Ph.D. (Doctorat de Troisidme Cycle) and a Doctorat is-Lettresfrom the Sorbonne (University Paris 5-Rend Descartes). He is now retired after having been an outstanding Senior Research Fellow of the National Foundation for Political Science (France). Martin has done extensive field research in Eastern and Southern Africa as well as in the Commonwealth Caribbean. He is a member of the French Society for Ethnomusicology and the francophone branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. His research focus on the comparative study of the relationship between culture and politics, with a particular interest in popular festivals and popular music, and an emphasis on the political expression of communal identities. He has published many articles on South Africa and Cape Town’s cultures and has authored three books on CapeTown’s musics and festivals.
also known as “Hebz” is a young spiritual collector, who’s been spinning since 2005 but only became a full time collector in 2009. Known for his fascination in abstract sounds, he also dabbles with break beats/Electronica /jazz/Afro beats/Samba & Bossa/funk/disco/psychedelic & high life/chance and other sounds that make the human heart smile.
is a South African video artist and documentary filmmaker, whose work deals extensively with a variety of social and aesthetic concepts. A writer and documentarian by profession and creative inclination, his artistic practices are not bound by convention and dogmas of traditional methodologies. Matela, who also refers to his craft as that of a video poet, has shown a keen interest in the liminal spaces of visual creativity, and has continued to produce challenging and psychologically engaging video poems. An avid blogger and critical thinker, he publishes his writing on An Irrational Diary
is on the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Johannesburg Review of Books. He is also on the Board of Directors of the poetry journal New Contrast. Dr Mbao writes literary reviews and other articles for the Johannesburg Review of Books. His articles and interviews have also appeared in the Sunday Times, Africa Is a Country, the Daily Maverick and other sites.
is an actress, musician, and artist residing in New Jersey. She has published artwork in “Arola: a Journey into Ten Ancient African Civilizations” and has been a company member of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare in the Park touring company. She currently sings as a lead vocalist for a rock band in New Jersey. Mda has a B.F.A. in Theater from Ohio University and has been focusing on her painted artwork and music as of late.
@mbira_tafari is a member of Black Space and co-editor of Writing in Black
works and collaborates on contemporary art installation pieces, sculptures, animations, motion graphics, AV for stage, film, sound and video art exhibiting nationally and internationally. Lectures in film at the Wits School of Arts in Film & TV in Johannesburg and is part of the design team of herri.
has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. With Edgar Pieterse, he has edited Voices of the Transition, a text dealing with key issues, crucial debates and hopeful visions regarding South Africa’s democracy. He is also author of Sideview, a collection of columns and articles dealing with transformation issues. In addition, Meintjies is co-founder of Isandla, a development think tank geared to enhancing innovation in development.
a member of the Johannesburg Bar, has had a keen eye on South Africa’s happenings for many years. Most recently, his expertise has brought him to compiling a fascinating read titled, South Africa’s Constitution at Twenty-One. The book is a collection of essays which explore what the Constitution means for South Africans and for the world – both through its definition of legal rights and through the seepage into the real world of those rights, and the culture that has arisen around them.
Patric Tariq Mellet
is a veteran of the South African liberation movement, former director of PR under Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala in the first post 1994 South African Parliament, and former advisor to Minister Pandor. He served as a senior officer (Commissioner-Director) in the Aviation and Maritime Arena of the Ports/Border Control & Immigration Service. He is a graduate of the London University of the Arts – College of Communication, in printing and publishing (Dip OLP). Exiled for 15 years during the fight against Apartheid, he worked in the Trades Union arena (SACTU) and for the ANC and ran its printing presses and served on the editorial boards of a number of its journals. Tariq also continues to campaign against race classification particularly focused on the restoration of African rights and status of those labelled Coloured (San, Khoi and Camissa people).
Dilip M Menon
is Mellon Chair in Indian Studies and Professor of History at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Dilip was educated at Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge. He is an historian of ideas and his research focuses on oceanic histories and epistemologies of the global south. He has worked collaboratively with scholars from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to develop a conceptual vocabulary for the social sciences from traditions of intellection in these spaces. He works with the idea of paracoloniality; of what always exceeded the colonial encounter in the making of the modern world.Dilip Menon’s latest publications include Elementary Aspects of the Political: Histories from the Global South, Ocean as Method: Thinking with the Maritime, Changing Theory: Concepts from the Global South, and Walking on Water: Globalization and History.
makes films, videos, photo-texts, book, curatorial and other research projects, exhibited in festivals, museums, cultural centers, squats, windows, storefronts and on walls. Her photomontage series include include Forced Mobility: An Affective Physics and No Respirator Included. She co-created the collaborative video project State of Emergency (2003-2008). She co-curated Disruptive Film, a two volume DVD set of experimental short-form radical films and videos. She loves postcards.
Mkhulu Mngomezulu (Ignatia Madalane)
holds a BMus degree and an MA in music research from the University of the Witwatersrand with a dissertation titled, “Ximatsatsa: Exploring Genre in Contemporary Tsonga Popular Music”. Ignatia worked as a tutor at Wits School of Arts and later joined Unisa as a lecturer in 2014-2019. She is also a certified and practicing traditional healer. Ignatia has presented papers in national and international conferences and has published the following articles: Tsonga Popular Music: Negotiating Ethnic identity in ‘Global’ Music Practices in the Journal of Musical Arts in Africa (2014); From Paul to Penny: The Emergence and Development of Tsonga Disco (1985-1990s) in the African Music Journal (2015), Wenzani wena? Riffing on ‘genres will not be mixed’ (2018) in SAMUS. Her research interests include, popular music, genre, indigenous knowledge systems, ‘traditional music’, gender, sexuality, race, culture, language, identity, and music and spirituality.
is the author of the poetry collection Escaping Trauma (2012) and the biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje (2010). His debut novel in Setswana, Ga Ke Modisa [I’m Not My Brother’s Keeper] (2012) won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award; the youth novella Dikeledi [Tears] was launched in 2014. In 2011 he also won the South African Literary Award in the literary journalism category. He is a columnist and a journalist, and a co-founder of the annual Sol Plaatje Literary Festival.
Tiisetso Clifford Mphuthi
is the Chief Technology Officer of Umndeni (AgriTech Startup). He studied BSc Physics at the University of Pretoria. He previously worked as a teaching and research assistant in the Physics department at the University of Pretoria. He is currently a software and hardware developer, a teacher, a farmer, and a digital artist. He is very passionate about teaching 4th Industrial skills such as electronics, Internet of Things, robotics and programming to the youth.
is a multi-hyphenated storyteller who dabbles as a playwright, director, scriptwriter, creative producer, theatre-maker, and filmmaker. She was featured in Advance Media’s 100 Most Influential South Africans of 2020. In 2020. Mthembu was recognized as a finalist for the Impact Act Awards for the Arts & Culture Trust Fund (ACT) for her thought-provoking works: Milked Voice (2016 Standard Bank Ovation Award winning concept musical) & her award-winning play !GAM, which was also nominated in 2022 for a Naledi Theatre Award, under the category ‘Best Online Production. She returned to the National Arts Festival in 2021 with an experimental play called Old Soul Waiting, which won a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award. Through her works Mthembu is interested in continuing to challenge one-dimensional narratives depicting black women and their lives.
is a musician, artist and technologist. Former vice-president of the KwaZulu-Natal Society for Arts, currently serving as innovation officer and gamebox curator for the Goethe-Institut in the Sub-Saharan Africa region focusing on game development and emerging technologies exploring the intersections of art, technology, and culture. He is the founder of /divide by zero research and has worked on multiple projects at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is also Guest Editor of the AI in Africa Theme section of this issue of herri.
is Professor of Music and Director of Africa Open, Institute for Music, Research and Innovation (AOI), which functions autonomously from the Music Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He has worked and published on South African composers, and at AOI he supervises postgraduate students working on academic topics, performance-based studies and composition. He is also the publisher of herri.
is a self-taught photographer born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Over the years, she has developed a particular interest in showcasing Africa’s unique mix of vibrant cultures, colour and people. Through her personal work she celebrates her African heritage and tackles important issues such as identity and self-perception using the rich colours and vibrancy the continent is so well know for. Thandiwe’s signature style is colourful, clean and bold. She currently resides in Nairobi, Kenya where she teaches workshops and regularly travels for assignments.
was born in 1958 in Kokstad, South Africa, and grew up in Durban and East London. After studying literature and philosophy at Stellenbosch University, Naudé published the book of poems Die nomadiese oomblik (tr. The Nomadic Moment) in 1995. The book was honored in 1997 with the Ingrid Jonker Prize. Naudé’s work is inspired by poets such as Pablo Neruda and Czeslaw Milosz as well as the South African poets Breyten Breytenbach and Elisabeth Eybers.
after completing her B.A (Music Education) degree at the then University of Transkei, enrolled for Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science (PGDIPLIS) at the University of Cape Town. It was during her time as an educator that Pakama decided to further her studies and enrolled with the University of Transkei for an honours degree in Library and Information Science, a degree she completed in 2004. In 2013, Pakama started working at Walter Sisulu University where she was appointed as a Music Librarian and Sound Archivist. In 2017, she joined AOI for the role of a Sound Archivist, mainly responsible for digitizing a wide collection of sound records including reel to reel tapes, LP’s, tape cassettes etc.
Sibonelo Solwazi ka Ndlovu
is an Investor, Philanthropist and Storyteller from Durban. Self-Employed, he studied at Philanthropy University and studied Psychology at UKZN, Pietermaritzburg.
(1938-95) was the founder of Transition, the most daring and important literary and political journal of Africa’s 1960s. Neogy oversaw, as editor, the publication and growth of Transition, which ran for 50 issues: 37 published from Kampala (1961-1968) and 13 published from Accra, Ghana (1971-74). In 1967, the revelation that the Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was funded in part by the CIA through the front of the philanthropic Farfield Foundation, sparked outrage in Uganda and throughout sites of CCF activity across the decolonising world. Neogy expressed shock at the news of this scandal, claimed that the CCF never attempted to influence editorial decisions and that no-one working with Transition was aware of any CIA connection.The final issues were edited by the Nigerian writer, Wole Soyinka, after Neogy’s resignation.
is a writer- performer whose praxis uses poetry, song, storytelling and ritual to navigate ancestral trauma, confront inequality and agitate for a collective purge of the gunk of colonialism!
a native of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, has been praised by The New York Times for his “rich, glowing voice and elegant legato”. In the 2022-2023 season, Musa makes his house debut with the Royal Danish Opera, returning to the role of Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida, which he last sang at his house debut with English National Opera at the London Coliseum in 2017. A versatile performer, Musa has been recognized for his talent in both dramatic and lighter roles, his portrayals described as being “played with anguished magnificence” (The Guardian) as well as “brilliantly comedic” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). In 2014, Musa was nominated for the Marian Anderson Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC., and was the Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013.Musa graduated with Honors in Performance (First Class) from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He is the author of the memoir Odyssey of an African Opera Singer, which was published in South Africa by Penguin Random House.
is a poet from Durban, South Africa. He has had work published in leading anthologies & journals including Years of Fire & Ash: South African Poems of Decolonialisation (Jonathan Ball Publishers 2021), The Johannesburg Review of Books, Poetry Wales, Poetry Ireland Review and Lolwe. He is the author of Rumblin (uHlanga, 2020).
is a full stack web developer specialised in making custom web experiences. He has more than 20 years of IT experience, working in the fields of 3D animation, art direction and executive management of video games before switching to web development 10 years ago. With roots in Amsterdam, Martijn is a free roaming world citizen and based everywhere the web goes.
Esther Marie Pauw
is a research affiliate at the Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation. She is a classically trained flautist with an interest in the capacities of improvisation to explore decolonial music-making. Together with musician Garth Erasmus she presented audience-based events such as ‘Roesdorp’ (2015) and ‘Khoi’npsalms’ (2018) and undertook research projects that included duo explorations under the title of ‘Xnau-Xnau Improvising’ (2020). She plays with the Africa Open Improvising collective. She has published articles on curating contemporary music in journals such as South African Music Studies, Journal of the Musical Arts in Africa, Acta Academica, LitNet Akademies and Perspectives of New Music.
is a Zimbabwean writer and journalist whose work has appeared in numerous outlets including Mail and Guardian, Kalahari Review, Weaver Press among others.
Neo Lekgotla laga Ramoupi, PhD
is Associate Professor of History at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Ramoupi’s ancestral origin is in Tlhakong (Mabeskraal) in Rustenburg in the North-West province of South Africa. He was born in 1967 at Lady Selborne, outside the city of Pretoria, where his family and all African people who lived there were forcibly removed when he was less than a year under terms of the Group Areas Act of the apartheid government. His family was relocated to Ga-Rankuwa township, 30 kilometres north-west of Pretoria. In 1987 Ramoupi started his academic studies at the Bantustan University of Bophuthatswana (UNIBO); and after one-half-years there, in 1988, he was expelled together with other hundred students by the Mangope regime for their jubilant participation in the celebrations of the Rocky Malebane coup d’état that dethroned the Mangope regime. All his degrees to MA level are from the former University of Natal, Durban campus (University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College). He received his PhD from Howard University, in Washington D.C., USA (2013). From 2000 – 2003 Ramoupi was a Researcher in the Heritage & Resources Department at Robben Island. Prof Ramoupi’s forthcoming book, based on his doctoral dissertation on Robben Island, Cultural Resistance on Robben Island: Songs of Struggle and Liberation in South Africa. Izingoma Zo Mzabalazo Esiqithini, is to be published by Skotaville Academic Publishers in 2023.
Maria Hellström Reimer
is professor in design in theory and practice at Malmö University. Central to her research is the situating of design practice in a wider cultural context of artistic experimentation, signifying practice and value production. Design research is a transdisciplinary activity, the double assignment of which is to critically explore the material and social conditions for co-existence and creatively develop new, sustainable and just artefacts, environments and methods. From 2021 and onwards she holds the position as scientific adviser in artistic research for the Swedish Research Council.
Patricia Ann Repar
a Canadian composer/performer has collaborated with artists in contemporary theatre, dance, sculpture, and video and her ethnomusicological interests have been pursued through travel and research abroad: South Africa and Uganda; Ecuador; Northern, Eastern and Western Europe; Cuba; the Middle East; Central and South-East Asia. Repar’s pieces have thus come to reflect not only an interest in multimedia but in multiculturalism. Searching for new timbres she employs a wide array of musical instruments including her own designs, as well as various electronic technologies. Searching for new forms and creative processes her compositions reflect explorations in sound, gesture, and image; clinical observations on sound and healing; experiments in performance and technology; and studies on the relationship between creativity and collaboration. As an Assistant Professor in the departments of Music and Internal Medicine (section of Integrative Medicine) at The University of New Mexico Dr. Repar teaches composition, computer applications in music, and arts-in-medicine. Dr. Repar is currently working in collaboration with artists and medical professionals from South Africa and Uganda to explore the potential for health education and promotion through the arts in African communities
makes stuff, taps away at her computer keys, plays with paint and and other things. Gazes out of the window and dreams.
is a researcher at Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University. Her work focuses on historical and contemporary representations of opera in South Africa with special reference to the intersection of the genre with politics and race. In 2018 she published The La Traviata Affair – Opera in the Age of Apartheid with University of California Press and in 2020 she co-edited African Theatre – Opera and Music Theatre with Christine Matzke, Lena van der Hoven and Christopher Odhiambo.
Dr. Julia Schneider
aka docjsnyder is a comic essayist, PhD economist and former AI consultant who creates tailor-made comic essays – often on complex topics at the intersection of society, economics, art, data and technology.
is a South African Wikipedia editor and the President of Wikimedia South Africa, a non-profit organisation advocating for free knowledge.
is internationally recognized for his distinctive compositional style and performances, and has released 7 jazz albums and a number of film, TV and theatre scores to date including: Blood and Water Season 2 (Netflix) , Savage Beauty Season 1 (Netflix), Surviving Paradise (as additional music composer (Netflix)), William Kentridge’s Waiting for the Sibyl, Indemnity, Barakat (South Africa’s Official entry into the Academy Awards 2022), The life and Times of Michael K (Handspring puppet company theatre production based on the Nobel prize winning Novel by J.M Coetzee), Fiela se Kind (Silwerskerm award for best score), Vlugtig and Noem My Skollie. Kyle holds a master’s degree (Cum Laude) in Music from Stellenbosch University after receiving a scholarship from York University (UK) in collaboration with the Africa Open Institute (Stellenbosch University).
is a native of Nigeria and a writer at Lanfrica. She is currently studying Computational Linguistics at Montclair State University where she also works at the Natural Language Processing laboratory on making data available for African languages and contributes to the resource-light NLP.
Olori Lolade Siyonbola
is the founder of NOIR Labs, NOIR Press and NOIR Fest. She is a Gates scholar pursuing her doctorate at Cambridge University, she has a Computer Science degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an African Studies Masters from Yale University. Olori believes that technology (digital, spiritual and other forms) must be wielded intentionally in the service of the liberation of oppressed people everywhere. Using technology, art and community building, she is leading NOIR Labs to inspire and operationalize black liberation worldwide.
is a novelist, poet, and literary scholar from Despatch. He is the author of the novel Jah Hills (Black Ghost Books, 2017; CLASH Books, 2019), which was nominated for the 2019 NOMMO Awards.
is a musician and music producer with over 20 years of international experience. He is best known worldwide for creating hip-hop in sign language. For that work, he was granted the biggest cultural achievement, Suomi-palkinto, in Finland. Outside music Heikki is an audio documentary producer working in Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, at the department of audio development.
has worked at the Goethe-Institut since 2010. In 2022, she was responsible for organizing a summer school on AI & Ethics at the Goethe-Institut’s headquarters in Munich, a project that will be developed into a fellowship programme. She is head of information and library services at the Goethe-Institut in Finland and has a background in humanities. Earlier, she also worked as a human translator.
Dr Paul Zilungisele Tembe
is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, University of South Africa (UNISA). His academic interests range between historical studies, performative and linguistic theories and foreign policy. He has an MA in Kiswahili Studies (2007) from Uppsala University in Sweden and a Ph.D in Chinese Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in China. Tembe is the author of Ubuntu Beyond Identities (Real African Publishers, 2020). He is professionally fluent in English, Mandarin, Portuguese, Kiswahili, Swedish, Sesotho, Xitsonga and isiZulu.
founded Alliance for Africa’s Intelligence to ensure African innovations get the chance to change millions of lives, and the continent is never again left behind during industrial revolutions. Alex has spoken at the UN, top business school programs, multiple podcasts and National AI workshops to inform and evangelize about a future that can ensue when disruptive technologies are used to expand access to improved living in frontier markets.
Meryl van Noie’s
creative specialisation is composition and performance through sound and multi-media works, utilising compositional techniques through technological manipulation. The artistic goal is to develop appropriate interventions between digital audiovisual media to facilitate meaningful artefacts. The technical aim is to blur the lines between acoustic and technologically enhanced material. Her work is rooted in electroacoustic and jazz traditions from a South African frame of reference, and she currently lectures at the South African College of Music, UCT.
Jaques van Zyl
In a profoundly unsilent world, noise stands in for silence. hAshtAgblAck.n.o.i.s.e is a performative investigation into these unsilent silences.
was born in 1961 in Athens, Greece. He is a citizen of South Africa, a clinical pharmacist and self-taught composer who curated UNYAZI the first electro-acoustic music festival and symposium in Africa in 2005. He composes for acoustic instruments, electronics, multimedia, dance, theater and data . His technical and theoretical approach researches cognitive psycho acoustic behavioural patterns in humans in an area of continued environmental changes. Bio-mechanical principles assist him in the construction of various building blocks that intern form the backbone of his compositions. Received a Palmares des 34e Concours Internationaux de Musique d’Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges award in 2007.
is a Data Analyst and Project manager at Alliance4ai
(born 1956) is a British writer on music and culture of Marxist views, known especially for his writings on Frank Zappa. Watson is well known as a regular contributor to The Wire, as well as the author of numerous books, often entailing studies of popular culture from the perspective of Marxist aesthetics. Watson was a member of the British Trotskyist Socialist Workers’ Party; his writing combines this background together with influences from Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School, the Situationists and wider cultural interests including the writings of James Joyce and J.H. Prynne. His first full-length book, Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play argued that Zappa’s work was part of the protest against capitalist society. He is also an experimental poet and novelist; his first novel Shit-Kicks and Dough-Balls was published in 2003. Watson has written of going ‘mad’ in 1984 and being ‘sectioned’ under the Mental Health Act, later finding inspiration in the Mad Pride movement. Since 2003 Watson has broadcast a weekly radio show on Resonance FM called Late Lunch with Out To Lunch.
is a South African composer working in musical environments encompassing everything from contemporary acoustic/electroacoustic music, theatre/film soundtracks to composition collaborations with [unrehearsed] audience members. Wicomb’s music has featured at the Festival D’Automne, New York City Electronic Music Festival, International Computer Music Conference (Utrecht), Festivalen for Svensk Konstmusik (Stockholm), and Unyazi Electronic Music Festival (Cape Town) to name a few. He is currently working on completing his opera Melody-Malady-Melody-Malady (MMMM) in collaboration with Swiss free improvisation duo InterZones.
is Professor and Dean Emeritus of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. He is author of The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida’s Haunt (1993), White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture(1995; both MIT Press), Buckminster Fuller Inc.: Architecture in the Age of Radio (2015). He has curated exhibitions at MoMA, Witte de With, Drawing Center, NY, and CCA, Montreal. He is Co-Director of the Istanbul Design Biennial 2016.
currently serves as the first female President of the SAJE (South African Organization for Jazz Education). She is an award-winning jazz composer, bassist, pianist, vocalist, scholar and lecturer. She graduated cum laude with Master in the Arts (MA) Jazz Voice & Master in the Arts (MA) Jazz Double Bass at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Antwerp, and LUCA, Belgium. Chantal has performed with a plethora of the world’s most acclaimed artists, including extensive work with Grammy-nominated group Zap Mama. In 2022 her commissioned composition “Kloppe Roep – Calling Bells” … dedicated to “the enslaved women at the Cape (1657)” which was performed by world-renowned carillonist Tiffany Ng, premiered at the University of Michigan, Center for World Performance Studies. She is currently a lecturer and PhD candidate at WITS University with a focus on coloured identity, African feminism and historic sound.