Performer, writer and producer Xabiso Vili won this year’s Slam Poetry Competition.
Performer, writer and producer Xabiso Vili won this year’s Slam Poetry Competition.

Top poet scoops award

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 23, 2021

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This year’s Poetry Africa festival, which concluded last weekend, featured a number of awards, with the slam poetry winner off to represent South Africa at the World Slam Poetry Competition in Brussels next year.

Always a highlight of the festival, this year's winner, with a prize of R10 000, was poet Xabiso Vili, an award-winning performer, writer, new media artist, producer and social activist.

An inaugural award is the Poetry In Communities Award which recognises a community-led initiative that creates opportunities for poets of all ages and different demographics to come together and build their communities through poetry. This was presented to the Royal Arts Town Amphitheatre in Riebeek Valley in the Western Cape for their works towards building a spirit of shared heritages and promoting cultural diversity.

A professional jury reviewed more than 600 poems to decide on the winners of the school, open mic and Slam Jam competitions. Submissions consisted of all South African languages and from poets from all over the country between the ages of 6 and 76.

The winners in the Schools Competition were Tshiamo Mqweba, 17, from Hoërskool Bloemfontein with her poem See Me, Hear Me; Katleho Molaoa, 19, from Eldoret Secondary School in Odendaalrus with her poem Ke Kopa Ho Bua; and Jess Robus, 15, from Heronbridge College in Johannesburg with her poem Eleven.

The winners in the Open Mic Competition were Karamel, 21, from Polokwane for her poem Ke jele ka Motseng; Patience Labane, 25, from Bloemfontein for her poem Prayers; and Amahle Kimbili, 22, from Pretoria for her poem GBV.

For those who missed the 25th Poetry Africa Festival, the content can still be watched on, and

The Independent on Saturday

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