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Matthew Mokoena

Be servant to all, master to self, like rain... pouring on both the just n the unjust... Change is here, now... WATCH...

Street Poets Art Factory REVIEW

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(pictures by SocioDigiCo (c) – Mlungisi Mabobo)

(view the full gallery pictures on

The Street Poets (SP) Society’s growth over the last nine years is comparable to no other inner city Spoken Word movement I have ever come across. Constantly innovating and challenging its members to become more efficient writers and outstanding word Smiths, Mokoena’s, Matabane’s and Sekamotho’s. After all, even I can trace back my literary ambitions and realizations to this society’s DNA. A lineage which has produced great upcoming writers such as Percy Mabandu (City Press journalist), Khaya Sibeko of “” and articulate performers such as the late Grant Phiri to whom Street Poets’ slogan (G-rant me a poem) is dedicated. I am reminded of gifted cats like Thlogi Ubane, Itumeleng Mohulatsi, Frans and Tumi who made my years at TUT memorable.

On the 21st of August the Street Poets hosted the Art Factory, a show which hosted artists from as far as the Vaal. Poets, Mc’s/Rappers, fine artists, vocalists all gathered together under one blue sky to sip from eternal definitions. These shows hardly ever start on time and for this we have the artists themselves to blame as SP had everything set up and ready to go by 11h00. Two hours later the show opened with the fine artists displaying their paintings. I have never come across work so close to real and yet so far from its impurities that it seems to be a perfecting of society’s impairments. I beheld the graphically clean paintings of Chaa Mabula, Ras Tshepang, Azele Langa, Abongile Gwele. Origami work by Prince Mpondo and oil on canvass by Sisanda Sithole. These artists are a mix of 1st-final year students at TUT who decided to share a network by working together, which is something all artists should consider in order to expand their reach.

The performances were kicked off by a Jazz band called Just Friends who rendered compositions from Zim Ngqawane and work from Winston Mankunku Ngozi’s “Yakhal’inkomo.” With the mood set and due attention firmly planted on the stage, the show witnessed its 3rd beginning. A Huge Impakt rocks (or rather raps) the crowd with a picturesque set which see’s the first wave of head boppers move to the front. Beats come courtesy of Frost, Instro, Fluid Flow and the Beat’Oven for the Pretoria based duo. Tembisa was represented by Vortex and Paradox from the great 1632 with Landmarq (of Last Dayz Fam) on production for the latter Mc. To spare you a marathon script of individual performances, let me just say over twenty performers braced the stage with the likes of Orison (Physics and Orison on production), He and I (SK on production), Prophet Calibre, Zeeko and One-2 (of the Dig it Deep family) deserving a special mention on the rap lineup. Dismental and Naked Eye (of One-2) are beyond exceptional word smiths, rendering tracks from their previous album titled “We ain’t done” and a couple of new tracks from the forthcoming album, “From Scratch.”

The show took a surprise birthday turn when a veteran Street Poet member and 2006 Chairperson, Khaya Sibeko, was honored for his contribution to the society. A special set with some of Khaya’s favorite performers had been organized which saw Kevin Halama (of Uhuru wa maisha) perform at SP after over 4 years. Kev was followed by the gifted Mothipa, his specialty, Moving the Crowd, a real MC.

Marvin of the TUT Drama Society performed a one man piece titled “Creatures of the Night.” This was a 20 minute horror about a young man haunted by demons in his sleep. I enjoyed the idea of having something different at these types of shows that still challenged our perceptions of both the real and the ‘other’. Donald Neosapien Mokgale (, of the one man poetry/drama play “Thoughts of a Stranger” was the last performer of a very long, yet never short of entertainment, day. He was no doubt the show stopper as he dazzled the crowd with his spiritually charged spoken word and artistic wizardry. He shared the stage with the likes of A Huge Impakt, Mo Kata and Mothipa (both of 6 feet). This show is to be followed by a collaborated gig with Likwid Tongue (from Jhb) sometime during September, till then.


(pictures by SocioDigiCo (c) – Mlungisi Mabobo)

(view the full gallery pictures on

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