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  • Writer's pictureThuthukani "TK" Ndlovu

Tshwane Speak Out Loud 2019

// Tshwane Speak Out Loud Youth Poetry Competition and Festival will take place from the 6th to the 15th of June 2019 //

Wassup fam. I hope that you have all been well. I know I know. I've been quiet for a while. We've been putting our ducks in order, and now we've got so much amazing content that we'll be sharing with you this month - and the rest of the year. 2019 has been great , but also quite hectic, so some of the new internal initiatives that we've introduced could only be implemented on the 1st of June (today).

Anyway, to start things off, we're glad to inform you that Tshwane Speak Out Loud is back, and continuing with its third season of spoken word poetry by the youth of Tshwane. For those not familiar with Tshwane Speak Out Loud: "It's a youth poetry competition and festival which encourages youth to write and perform poetry that addresses the social issues faced by their communities. Now on it's 3rd season, TSOL will see poets stand a chance to win a share of R50 000 in cash prizes. Previous winners have also gone on to partake in international exchanges that have seen them travel to perform abroad. Below is a picture of the previous winners."

Yeah. This is some serious money for some serious poetry. I've been privileged to meet and watch the 3 poets who won last season (Busisiwe Mahlangu - 1st palce, Anga Mamfanya - 2nd place, and Emmah Mabye - 3rd place) and damn. I kid you not, y'all gotta follow the links and check out their work. In other words, you would be doing an injustice to yourself if you haven't bought the anthologies "Surviving Loss" and "Clocking In With Emmah Mabye", as well as listened to Anga's Spoken Word EP "1. AM". I already can't wait to see who will be the winners of the 3rd season of Tshwane Speak Out Loud , which is brought to you by the City of Tshwane in partnership with Hear My Voice, the University of Pretoria's Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender, The National Library of South Africa and the South African State Theatre. Here's more information about what exactly will be going down:

"The festival will kick off on 6 June with a seminar at the University of Pretoria. This opening preludes the remaining 38 contestants, cropped from 180 poets who auditioned in all 7 regions of Tshwane, and now competing in this year’s semi-finals which will take place at The National Library of South Africa, on 8 June. The top 10 poets selected from the semi-finals will advance to the grand finale.

In the week leading up to the finals, previous Tshwane Speak Out Loud winners Xabiso Vili, Busisiwe Mahlangu, Xitha Makgeta and Emmah Mabye will hold a book-reading at Botaki Ba Africa Art Gallery in Arcadia on Tuesday, 11 June. This will be followed by a book reading and question-and-answer session with renowned authors Mak Manaka, Dr Raphael D'Abdon and Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, as well as host of creative seminars and master classes on Friday, 14 June. Adding to this, the Swedish poet, Linn Eriksson will feature in the festival, by courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria as part of the Sweden-South Africa Literary Exchange...

Speak Out Loud Poster

This season’s 10 finalists will compete at the South African State Theatre (Drama) on 15 June for a share of R50 000 in cash and a chance to participate in a literary exchange that will see them travel to Sweden. First-prize winners will walk away with a cheque for R30 000 and a sponsored visit to Sweden, where they will be provided with a platform to perform and develop abroad. Winners in second place will walk away with R15 000, and R5 000 will go to the third-place winner.

Tshwane Speak Out Loud aims to encourage our youth to write and perform poetry that addresses the social issues faced in their communities, bringing their art from the page to the stage. All events are open to the public, expense-free. We hope to grant exposure and accessibility for all our esteemed poets and audiences. Join us, as we celebrate the art of performance, of our youth, and of the City of Tshwane.

Follow Tshwane Speak Out Loud on social media for constant updates:

@SpeakOutLoudSA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook."

Events schedule:

TSOL Poetry Festival

6 – 15 June 2018

Various venues

See schedule at


Saturday, 8 June 2019

The National Library of South Africa


Grand Finale:

Saturday, 15 June 2019

The South African State Theatre (Drama)


Entry to all events is free.

You can find more information and reserve your seats at


Press contact : Ishmael Sibiya (060 370 3649) /

[Content & images taken from Tshwane Speak Out Loud website and Facebook page]

And that's about it for now. All the best to all the poets that will be competing for the money, and big ups to all the stakeholders responsible for making this competition and festival happen. It's always great and inspiring to see organisations (and individuals involved) consistently creating such platforms. Don't forget to subscribe to our site so that you don't miss any of our articles. We got a lot more updates coming your way. Stay blessed and Peace out fam. @2tukani


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