Baeletsi Tsatsi, Editor
Baeletsi practices as a storyteller, facilitator and writer in Johannesburg South Africa. She is the 2018 J.J Reneaux Emerging Storyteller grant award winner, the grant is awarded by the National Storytelling Network to an emerging storyteller to hone their storytelling craft, and Baeletsi is the first international storyteller to be awarded this grant. She is the FunDza Literacy Trust’s Gauteng facilitator.
She also performed in the first edition of the Storyteller Series hosted by Lebogang Mogashoa in association with POPArt Theatre. She has written for Rivoningo Season 6, an edutainment program for children flighted on SABC 2, one of the national broadcaster channels. She is a part of Radio Vuka, SAfm’s radio drama’s, story lining team, story lining alongside Ashleigh Harvey and Paul Slabolepzy. Her short stories appear in the FunDza mobi site.
Not everyone that talks to themselves ends up in a psychiatric ward, the rest of us, become writers. Boipelo Maetla is the latter.
A South African born incoming high school teacher and speaker, Boipelo has over 6 years of informal grooming in performance poetry, short story writing and public speaking. In high school, she participated in debating and speech contests.
In 2014, she came third in the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Speech contest which awarded her the privilege of sharing the stage with Mr. Ahmed Kathrada, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former business Day editor, Songezo Zibi. In the same year, she led the poetry conversation as part of the walk by Palestinian Solidarity Alliance which was to raise awareness of the injustices against Palestine.
Boipelo is one of the youngest writers to be featured on the short story anthology My Holiday Shorts (Published in 2014 by Black Letter Media).
In 2015, she became part of the few Africans featured in the Chicago based literary magazine, Maudlin House (www.maudlinhouse.net/ndawo-nuances-from-the-ocean) Boipelo Maetla’s work has progressed from social activism to restoring African cultural and spiritual identity through fictional narration.
By age 19 (in 2016), she had performed poetry on innumerable stages in and around Gauteng, including the Soweto Art Week, under the pseudonym, Ben Jackson.
Malefu is a budding Master level yogi and happy loner! She is a creative writer, recording voice artist with a ‘1950s sonorous voice’. Additionally, she is performer/oral story teller and a graduate of African Languages Linguistics and Literature, and a Computational Linguistics Researcher.
Her writing journey began in 2007 where she started writing stage plays which she performed with her peeps in high school and sometimes alone as monologues. In 2008, Malefu was selected to represent the Free State province at National level for the Poetic Justice competition, which was a high school poetry movement towards fighting Xenophobia and discrimination initiated by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. She was later on in 2011 selected as one of the most promising female theatre writers and directors by the Department of Arts and Culture and Gauteng Theatre Practitioners for the Ishashalazi theatre programme. In 2014, she co-authored a Sesotho short story anthology published and available from UNISA Press titled ‘Di mameleng ha di Phetwa’.
Lotanang, who is affectionately known as Loti is originally from Tooseng- Ga Mphahlele, a small village in Limpopo. Loti has always been curios about anything and everything and to compliment it, a love for languages, foreign and local, and for stories, whether it is listening or telling these stories.
Now an actor, writer and theatre maker who trained at The Market Theatre Laboratory, Loti aims to take his craft of storytelling to new heights.
Pearl Matsebula is a Performing Arts graduate from The Market Theatre Laboratory. She has acted in local soap opera, Generations The Legacy, performed a number of theatre pieces and an extract of the theatre piece, Milk and Honey for the royal residents of Lesotho. She is a published writer of the story, The Divide for FunDza Literacy Trust.
She appreciates and enjoys art as a whole, especially stories told through diverse mediums and styles. After pursuing different careers in search of the one that would challenge and fulfil her, she finally discovered it, writing. She is well on her way to writing as many stories as possible, and making a nice living from it.
Lereko ‘Rex’ Mfono
Lereko Mfono, affectionately known as Rex, is an actor, writer, drama facilitator who honed his craft at the National School of the Arts and later at Wits University, studying Applied drama.
His performance credits include: A kid with no conscience (2012); Company storyteller for Gcina Mhlophe’s Zanendaba Storytellers (2013); An ode to the Bottle(2014); Secret Ballot(2015 Naledi Award Nominee best ensemble).
Lereko has participated in various national and international writing projects, such as the ASSITEJ Inspiring a Generation program that led him to travel to France, Paris in 2013 to develop a theatre piece for young audiences. He was also among three playwrights to win the Imbewu-Scribe national writer’s competition held in Cape Town in its second year running.
Lereko penned the play Narrative Dreams which won a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2014, and went on to perform in festivals and schools across South Africa.
He shares his love and passion for theatre with the young across schools, festival workshops and diverse spaces.
Wazi M. Kunene
Wazi M Kunene, is a chameleon last seen in Johannesburg. She has been reported to have expressed herself in these colours: Poet, Author, Storyteller, Musician, Actress and Fashion lover. She was born in Pietermaritzburg, KZN. She then studied and got her BA at Rhodes University. After her first anthology The Birth of Reject: Finding the poet in the journeys of her pencil. She has recently released an ep titled CagedHeart. She is associated with Kwesukela Storytelling Academy, Oxford University Press SA, Ram Jam and Current State of Poetry. Wazi the Chameleon, just maybe there are more than seven wonders of the world!
Samson M. Mlambo
Samson M. Mlambo is a graduate who holds a National Diploma in Drama from Durban University of Technology and a B-Tech degree in Drama from Tshwane University of Technology. He had joined the Performing Arts Industry as a professional actor, Script writer, Production Manager and Director where he was involved in various Performing Arts disciplines such as, Commercial Theatre, Children’s Theatre, Corporate work and Film. He has performed in many theatrical productions amongst them includes Hamlet deconstructed, Confusions, Blue Orange to mention a few.
He had written and directed award winning plays varying from comedy/farce, Musicals, avant garde and drama. His plays scooped awards varying from Most Promising Script; Comedy Of All Times; Best Achievement awards to Audience Favorite awards, at Musho International Festival, Best production award and an overall winner of Masakhane Festival under the Drama category. Some of his plays worth a mention are Juice, Meet-Bro six two, The Shoe Man, Unforgiving father, The General’s Daughter, A Cornered Cycle el at. He has also directed plays such as The Dowry, Secret Society, Makoti to mention a few. He was also a production manager for Themi Venturas’ The complete History of Durban (Without Boring Beats), Saturday Night at the palace, Tselane and a Giant, Dark ring Voices, including Taxi Jam amongst other. He also worked in films such as The Rose, John and Jonas, The radio of Mr Bogadi. He is currently compiling his book titled “Plays for Directing Projects”.