ABOUT: Thibedi Mokgokong

Thibedi Mokgokong is a poet who discovered writing through the strain of living in a house where “a child is seen but not heard.” Poetry was a way to express complex and suppressed emotions in a verbose but quiet manner. The weight in his poetry comes from words and expressions long kept but never spoke.

Thibedi found himself picking a degree to study post-matric haphazardly, merely going by what was then called an M-score. He was accepted into the University of Johannesburg to study a BA degree in Psychology in 2006 and went in to work in insurance.
His poem, “Lobola”, was published in The Coinage Book One.
Two of Thibedi’s works are featured in The Coinage Book Two. In his poem, “Made of Clay”, he explores a person’s ability to adapt to a changing society regardless of the conditions they face. While the short story, “Lighthouse” is rebellion against a corrupt government by non-political individuals and ramifications thereof.  It also highlights the dire indirect effects that the rebellion has on the relatives of such individuals, namely the children and spouse.
Most of Thibedi’s flash fiction and poetry is available to peruse here.

ABOUT: Jeannie Wallace Mckeown

Jeannie Wallace McKeown lives in Makhanda (previously Grahamstown) and works full-time at Rhodes University. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Rhodes, and has had poems published in New Coin, New Contrast, Poetry Potion, Aerodrome and other literary journals. Her work appears in the anthologies Voices Of This Land 2nd Edition, For Rhino in a Shrinking World, the EU Sol Plaatjie collections VII and VIII, and on the AVBOB Poetry website. She is the mother of two boys, has just the perfect number of cats, and a dog who wasn’t planned but is now an integral part of the family. Her collection, Unremembered Poems, will be published by Modjaji Books in 2019.

Her poem “Even-Handed” is featured in The Coinage Book Two. It is a simple and beautifully written reflection on the concurrent exploration, experimentation, growth and change within ourselves and others.

ABOUT: Christine Coates

“City Swim”  and “Learning to Drive” both explore both loss and grief. The poet uses her imagination and magical thinking to cope with the loss of her father, eventually coming to some sort of acceptance of this loss.
In “Carrot Juice for Ma Coates”, Abbi’s mother becomes sick with cancer,  Abbi visits her to support and help look after her. She becomes frustrated when her mother thwarts her attempts to feed her fresh carrot juice and other nutritious foods. Abbi recalls a time when she was a student and how a friend, Lydia, invited her home for the weekend. She remembers the strained relationship Lydia had with her mother and their issues around food and weight. Abbi reflects on how, as teenagers, they both longed for independence, to fly towards freedom. As Abbi begins to accept her mother and allow her to be the way she is, she appreciates the close relationship and support her mother has always given her. Ultimately she is able to let go and allow her mother to fly.

ABOUT: Mandisi Nkomo

Mandisi is a South African writer, drummer, composer, and producer. He currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa.

His fiction has been published in the likes of Afrosf: Science Fiction by African Writers, and Omenana. His poetry has been published in The Coinage Book One, and his academic work featured in The Thinker. He is also a proud charter member of the African Speculative Fiction Society.

Recently, Mandisi has been experimenting with speculative poetry with a focus on fantastical, science fiction and/or elements of horror. His poem, “Black Hole Fugue” explores the theme of change through the ups and downs of anxiety and depression. While the poem itself is not precisely science-fiction, there is a clear allusion to black holes, and the almost fugue state of depressive episodes. Much like the current science around black holes states, a depressive episode can feel like a time warp, where something is sucking you in (the gravitational pull of a black hole sucks in all matter, including light), and you don’t know what’s on the other side.

For updates and information on Mandisi’s writing and musical endeavours, follow him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. He also runs a blog under his alias, The Dark Cow.

 

ABOUT: Sinaso Mxakaza

Sinaso is a young South African writer who started writing in 2008 inspired by her love for books. Her poems mainly deal with themes of healing, change and finding one’s voice in the world we live. Her work has been published online in sites such as Voicesnet, Fundza, Poetry Potion, Ja Mag SA, The Pangolin Review, an online anthology (Next Generation Speaks Global Youth Anthology) and Writing politics and Knowledge Production (anthology). She was recently longlisted for the Sol Plaatjie European Award and was the first runner up in the Creative Freelance Writerz competition. She is passionate about writing and seeing young people work towards changing the world into a peaceful place for all.
Her poem “I’m Still Here” is featured in The Coinage Book Two explores there the theme of lost love and the change in one’s beliefs when one is hurt or separated from loved ones, and when one is exposed to new experiences.

ABOUT: Karin Henriques

Following an illustrious career in corporate communication that spanned 20 years, Karin took a year off to explore her love of writing and storytelling.

As a freelancer, she also operates under “all things creative”, a company which specialises in event planning, book design and layout, corporate and branding identity, photography, video production and copy-writing.

2018 sent her on a whirlwind word-adventure of finding her writing voice. She experimented with poetry, the result of which a poem titled “Age Rage” – an ode to a woman coming to terms with her fading beauty and changing body as she struggles to find relevance in the new and continuously changing world – which will be featured in The Coinage Book Two.

ABOUT: Lebogang Mashishi

“We all need someone to hold our hand,
tell us it will be alright, we could all do with a bit of motivation”

Lebogang Mashishi’s love for reading and writing started when he was in high school. Over the years, he observed lebothe life around him and with the hopes of making a difference in society through his writing; he started sharing the particular narratives around him. He is currently writing a book on finance.

Lebogang is a co-founder of a production company, Fat Brain Ideas, and dabbles in script-writing, directing and producing. The company’s current projects include a short film and two documentaries

Apart from writing, Lebogang runs a charity foundation that collects and distributes presents to children in hospital.

Lebogang’s creative essay “Everybody Needs Motivation” is inspired by the township, a place of poverty in South Africa.  He writes that it is rich in undiscovered talent as there are no systems in place to nurture and develop the youth and that positive influences can turn the township into a factory rich in talent.

Lebogang’s creative essay is featured in The #Coinage Book One – on sale here.

ABOUT: Kgetsa Mamabolo

Kgetsa is a talented, gifted, versatile and multilingual artist who enjoys the ability to captukgetsare the hearts of his audience through poetry. He has an electrifying stage performance of the highest standard.  He normally performs at corporate events, offering poetry on a range of topics to suit the audience.

Kgetsa is a member Penpals Poets, a group of performing poets committed using poetry as a medium to educate, entertain and inform. Their style has been described by their audience as a prolific and compelling, engaging different audiences in the themes they explore.

Kgetsa has shared the stage with the biggest names in poetry namely:  Poet Laureate Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, David wa Maahlamela, Mak Manaka and Afurakan. to name a few. He has performed for the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, the head of the UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Nqcuka, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Africa, Mandla Makhanya amongst many others.

Kgetsa’s poem, My African National, Corruption is featured in The #Coinage Book One and explores the current political climate in post-apartheid South Africa.

 

Kgetsa is on Facebook and Instagram