RISE Africa poets

RISE Africa poets

RISE Africa poetry curator

Malika Ndlovu

Malika Ndlovu

Malika Ndlovu’s words and productions have appeared on pages and stages across South Africa, in Austria, Uganda, USA, UK, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Ethiopia, India and the Philippines. As a poet, playwright, performer and arts administrator Malika’s contribution to South African arts, culture and poetry specifically, spans over 25 years. This trans-disciplinary artist thrives on collaboration.  Since 2007 she was project manager, guest curator/presenter of the Africa Centres Badilisha Poetry X-Change later BadilishaPoetry.com, the first ever Africa – focused poetry podcasting platform. As a founder-member of Cape Town-based women writers’ collective WEAVE (1998 – 2004), she co-edited WEAVEs Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Womens writing from the Southern Tip of Africa. In 2004 she initiated And The Word Was Woman Ensemble. Her poetry collections include Born in Africa But (1999) Womb to World: A Labour of Love (2001), Truth is both Spirit and Flesh (2008), Invisible Earthquake: a Womans Journal through Stillbirth (2009), CLOSE (2017).  Her published plays are A Coloured Place (1998) and Sister Breyani (2010). She features prominently in Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000 – 2018  (UKZN Press, 2019) edited by Makhosazana Xaba and has been NIHSS (National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences) Awards – Fiction Category chair adjudicator for the past few years. Consistently promoting healing through creativity, she is a member of Sp(i)eel Art Therapies Collective and the Arts in Psycho-social Support national network of practitioners. Malika’s next book Grief Seed is due to launch in 2023.

RISE Africa 2024 poets

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Gracia Oletsa

Besides people-watching and participating in the simulation, Gracia Oletsa, the Nairobi-based filmmaker creates community through art. Grey Oletsa (she/they) is a magician and words are the rabbit they pull out of the hat. When Grey isn’t neck deep in birth-work or childbirth education as a labor support specialist, they bring stories to life through musical poetry, fiction and a sense of humor that functions against all odds. Grey is committed to the transformation of the world through anticolonial artistic expression.

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Ngatia Kimathi

Ngartia is a storyteller with interest in different media. He has pursued tales through poetry, screenwriting, acting and short stories.

His work in orature has explored Kenyan History on stage, gaining prominence through a series of productions named Too Early For Birds—which he co-founded.

Ngartia has performed around East Africa and is currently dipping into writing musicals under the NBO Musical Theatre Initiative. His most recent project is a two-hour long poetry-based theatre production that premiered on April 21st 2024.

He is based in Nairobi, examining how our stories define identity, while sipping on black tea.

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Ichraq Matar

Ichraq Matar, a multidisciplinary artist, encompasses cinema, theatre, singing, writing, and storytelling. In cinema, she played in films like ‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’ (Oscar-nominated), ‘Slaughterhouse of Happiness’ on Netflix, and ‘Four Daughters’ (Cannes Film Festival selection and Oscar-nominated), directed by Kaouther Ben Hania. She also played in ‘Una settimana senza Dio’ by Mourad Ben Cheikh and ‘Isha’ by Selma Hobi.

As a theatre actress, she played in “Ad libitum” by Taoufik Jebali, “Kaligula II” by Fadhel Jaziri, and “First Class,” by the Syrian director Rémi Sarmini. As a singer, she is part of the music group Oyoun El Kalam and the Tunis Opera Choir. Simultaneously, she worked as a radio host at Diwan FM and the cultural radio Misk.

She studied law before redirecting her education towards cinema, specialized in scriptwriting and directing.

RISE Africa 2023 poets



Harmonie ou Art-Mots-Nid, un nid pour l’art des mots est une auditrice comptable de formation et une Auteure-Slameuse par passion. Après sa nomination en tant que championne du Bénin Slam en 2013, elle a commencé à imprimer son timbre dans cet art et se révèle comme la première femme active dans le milieu du Slam béninois. Présente sur des scènes nationales et internationales et souvent sollicitée pour des animer des ateliers Slam, Harmonie est une vraie passionnée des mots. Entre vers, verbe, verve, sensibilité, sensualité et fougue, sa plume parle souvent de l’humain, de la parole, des vicissitudes de la vie et des maux qui minent le continent africain. Ayant reçu plusieurs prix pour son art, Harmonie est aussi responsable du label HSlam ; un label qui forme les jeunes à l’art d’écrire et de dire. Harmonie, c’est la semeuse du bon son et du bon sens dans le sang à découvrir absolument….

Samira Fall

Samira Fall

Samira Fall est une artiste poète sénégalaise. Elle a publié son premier recueil de poèmes « Oxymoriques » en 2017 et a sorti son EP de slam « I.N.T.R.O. » en 2020 ainsi qu’une série de podcasts du même nom.

Elle est diplômée en communication, en management culturel ainsi qu’en activisme artistique. Elle dirige la structure « Slamira », anime des ateliers de slam dans les écoles, et organise des soirées « SMS » (Slam, Music and Spokendword) en prélude de la sortie de son premier album.

Tobi Abiodun

Tobi Abiodun

Tobi Abiodun is a Benin born writer and spoken word poet. A multiple poetry slam champion winning titles across major Nigerian cities including the inaugural Lagos International Poetry Festival (LIPFEST) Slam.  

Tobi’s poetry is heavily influenced by his upbringing – a ghetto-ish command of words and raw delivery.

His short story ‘EYES LIKE THE BURNING END OF A CIGARETTE’ was long listed for the PIN prize for fiction. His works have appeared on NantyGreens, Animal Press, Feral, How To Fall In Love Anthology and elsewhere. Tobi has shared his poetry on numerous platforms including the Poetry Africa Festival in Durban and BBC Radio London. His pidgin spoken word poetry ad for Heritage Bank in 2019 shot him to the limelight, after which he went on to produce work for corporates and multinationals including Oando PLC and Hewlett-Packard.

Tobi is now mostly caught in the world of advertising, cooking ideas and influencing the mass market with his writing. He can be found sharing reels on Instagram at: @toby_abiodun or reading tweets @abiodun_toby

RISE Africa 2022 poets

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Yibor Kojo Yibor

Yibor Kojo Yibor lives in Ghana. He is a spoken word performance artist and workshop facilitator. He is co founder of Ehalakasa a spoken word poetry Community and director of the Ehalakasa Festival. He is very much involved in organizing spoken word and poetry events, workshops and youth development projects in schools and communities in collaboration with local, international and cultural institutions

Aziz Siten’k

Aziz Stinen’k

L’artiste Aziz Siten’k, est l’un des précurseurs du mouvement slam au Mali. Il est le slameur le plus imposant du Mali. Il fait le lancement de son premier album de 16 titres intitulé « TOUNGA » (qui signifie aventure) en juin 2011, cinq ans après l’artiste fait le lancement officiel de son deuxième opus de 14 titres, intitulé « DOUNGARE » (Miroir) février 2016. Trois ans après il prépare un spectacle slam d’une heure qui porte le nom de cet album « DOUNGARE » (Miroir).


Linda Kouame N’Gondie

N’GONDIE Kouamé marie linda olivia à l’état civiln, née de la pluie des étoiles, elle répond au nom de l’Encre Des Étoiles dans le monde des mots. Poétesse, Slameuse, auteur et compositrice ivoirienne. Elle vit le ciel le 24 Octobre 1998 à Abidjan dans la commune d’Adjamé lorsque le soleil venait de se poser plus haut, au zénith . Étudiante en sciences politiques et marketing / publicité. L’encre trouve la tranquillité dans les mots, qu’elle réussit à modeler avec perfection. Membre de l’école des poètes de côte d’ivoire, elle a un parcours atypique et passionant. Elle a su s’imposer dans un monde à caractère masculin. Lauréate de plusieurs concours littéraires ( conte , nouvelle et poésie)Première femme championne de slam ivoirien(2019) , première femme championne de poésie au concours de la flamme linguistique( 2019), sixième à la coupe du monde de slam(2020) meilleure slameuse au Africa creatives festival ( 2021) . l’encre des étoiles a fait du slam sa lutte pour vaincre les maux qui touchent la société .

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Nora Xorlarlie Anyidoho

This poem is a trilogy about the stark reality of women in Africa. It is about the uncomfortable lived realities of women, the world over. We kindly request that if you are sensitive to words describing forms of sexual violence, rape or gender based violence, you take this warning into consideration.

Nora Xorlarlie Anyidoho is a young Ghanaian writer, performance poet and spoken word artist. She’s a passionate storyteller, who writes and delivers her poems, with the intent to reach into the minds and souls of her audience. She is a lover of art in both visual and oral forms. Her works focus on themes such as Women Empowerment, Religion, African Unity and Personal Development. Xorlarlie has shared her works on a variety of physical and virtual platforms including the National Theatre of Ghana, Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) and the Writers Project of Ghana. She recently took part in the Ehalakasa All-Women’s Poetry Slam, organized by the Ehalakasa Poetry Group of Ghana. She also worked as a radio show host for “Open Air Theatre”, a literary radio show which aired on Radio Univers. Xorlarlie’s work has been featured on international forums such as the Abuja Literary Society (ALS) Book Jam. She was a member of the West Oakland to West Africa (WO2WA) poetry exchange program with poets from West Africa and the USA, which birthed the Anthology: “Our Spirits Carry Our Voices”. Nora Xorlarlie Anyidoho works as a finance professional in one of Ghana’s Fund Management Firms, where she spends most hours of her day making meaning of numbers. When she is not losing herself to numbers and words, Xorlarlie indulges in the creation of visual art using ink, pencil and paint mediums. She also enjoys traveling and volunteering in humanitarian initiatives in the hinterlands of Ghana.

RISE Africa 2021 poets


Afeefa Omar


Mwende ‘FreeQuency’ Katwiwa


Vusumuzi Mpofu


Efe Paul Azino


Mutle Mothibe