Poet Siphokazi Jonas to deliver bespoke work tonight SONA 2021

Poet Siphokazi Jonas to deliver bespoke work prior to SONA 2021

Siphokazi Jonas who holds an MA degree in English Literature as well as an undergraduate degree in Drama and English has been invited to deliver a two minute bespoke work prior to the President of the Republic of South Africa delivering the State of the Nation address tonight Thursday 11 February 2021

Please tune in from 6.30pm as the work will be presented before 7pm local SA time

“This is really meaningful because I hope it will be an opportunity to highlight the importance of the arts in South Africa “,remarked Siphokazi when we spoke to her last night ahead of today .

“There is a dearth of talent in this country which needs to be celebrated and supported, even more so during this ghastly pandemic.”

I also hope that young people in the country and around the globe , will be challenged and inspired by seeing someone who looks like them doing this work and to do what they can with what they have.

Traditionally, SONA has been graced by praise poets who are an important feature of oral literature.

This shift towards spoken word is important because of the way in which this form engages with the moment – it is not about praise but reflection and unpacking issues with nuance while calling for accountability.

I hope that in subsequent years, many more poets will have this opportunity and that we will use it to challenge and ask important questions of ourselves and our leaders.

As writer and performer, she has produced multiple one woman poetry shows in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Jonas has been a featured act at numerous poetry sessions and festivals around the country. Her experience with spoken. word and performance has led to multiple invitations to judge poetry slam competitions in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

She is co-producer of the #WeAreDyingHere short film which is an adaptation of the stage production of the same name, which she co-wrote and directed.

Siphokazi has also performed alongside renowned musicians including, Sipho “Hotstix”

Mabuse, Freshlyground, Pops Mohamed, Dizu Plaatjies, Dave Reynolds and just recently was a keynote speaker at Music Exchange 2020 ,the tenth year of the conference.

She made history in 2016 as the first African poet ever to perform at Rhetoric in Los Angeles, California, the biggest Christian spoken word event in the world.

In 2016, she was the runner-up for the Sol Plaatje European Union Award.

She was a Teaching Assistant at UCT from 2015-2017, and she lectured part-time on South African literature and isiXhosa oral poetry.

She is the English Poetry Editor for the New Contrast journal.

She also currently works online as the Performing Arts Director of an elementary school in Gainesville, Florida.

#Sonapoem and #Sona21poem

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