Meadowlands-Born International Jetsetter Headlines Poetic Thursdays
By Katlego Mereko
Molefe Smith Nong will be among several artists set to light up the Soweto Theatres stages on Thursday, and will look to leave an indelible impression before he jettisons out of the country to represent South African arts on the global front.
At only 28-years of age, Nong is founder of Soweto Street Poetry, a series of poetry events in and around Soweto. He is also part of Joburg-based theatre collective that facilitates workshops and produces stage work.
His dalliances with the alluring power of words started early in his life, particularly in high school. A story goes that he practically made a living out of writing love letters and poetry as a teenager, charging ‘clients’ R2 for each piece of writing.
It is clear then where the multitalented artist acquired his business acumen as he is also co-founder of LentsweAfrica Ltd., a privately owned creative house and digital hub that provides a wide range of arts and craft solutions.
“I consider myself an overall artist. Not just a poet but also an MC, writer, comedian, musician and businessman, to name just a few of the hats I wear,” he says.
Poetic Thursdays, the bellwether of Joburg’s poetry scene describes Nong as ‘one of the country’s most sought after young voices who has been a name to reckon with since coming onto the scene’.
In 2016, he was runner-up in the Off the Wall National Poetry Slam Tour. Since then he has visited Europe, gracing such countries as Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in the United Kingdom, where he showcased his artistic flair including theatre work with Shona - The Musical and also his poetry work.
Nong is set to fly out of the country once more next week, with Ireland and the UK in his sights. On Thursday evening, Nong will be part of a compelling line-up including: Rabbie Wrote, an award winning poet, author, multiple award-nominated journalist, and former online editor at Saturday Star and Sunday Independent newspapers.
Shameless Band, a Soweto based eclectic trio formed in 2018 by band leader Musa Zwane (Lead Guitar and Vocal) Rock Ruler (Drum and Vocal) and Thabang Bass Marant (Bass and Vocals).
Amukelani Malenda, a singer, songwriter, and arranger known for her groovy up tempo songs and also her mellow, intimate, soulful and pulling live sets.