Creative Work

November 3, 2020

Poetry Well

Makhosazana Xaba, Malika Ndlovu & Gcobani Qambela

Makhosazana Xaba and Malika Ndlovu is in conversation with Gcobani Qambela as moderator. During this intimate conversation, Makhosazana and Malika explore the themes of breathing, pain, healing, intimacy, pleasure and play through poetry.


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Makhosazana Xaba, Malika Ndlovu & Gcobani Qambela

About Makhosazana Xaba, Malika Ndlovu & Gcobani Qambela

Makhosazana Xaba

Makhosazana Xaba is an anthologist, essayist, poet and writer of short stories. She is currently a Research Associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. Her current project is commissioned by The Tricontinental, a translation from English into isiZulu of Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. Her long-term writing work is towards aa biography of Noni Jabavu. Xaba has coedited anthologies of short stories and another of life writing. She has published three poetry collections and one collection of short stories, for which she won the SALA Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award in 2014. Xaba’s most recent edited anthology is entitled Our Words, Our Worlds, Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000 – 2018 (2019). Before turning to creative writing Xaba worked for over two decades in the women’s health sector in NGOs and in philanthropy. Xaba holds an MA in Creative Writing from Wits university. 

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 and culture, via writing groups, numerous workshops , festivals and mentorship spans over 20 years. Since 2007 she was project manager, guest curator and presenter of the Africa Centre’s Badilisha Poetry X-Change and later 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 WEAVE’s Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Women’s 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 Woman’s 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.

Gcobani Qambela

Gcobani Qambela is a Senior Lecturer and award-winning educator in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. He is a Research Fellow at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities at Oxford University. He is currently working on a number of monographs and book projects around what he terms ‘The Anthropology of Boyhoods’, works on amaXhosa masculinities and Global South Perspectives on Masculinities.