Voices from within — poems for her | Koleka Putuma | TEDxCapeTownSalon

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Using the powerful medium of the spoken word, slam poet Koleka Putuma addresses some of the very difficult and nuanced challenges South African women face, birthing black sons, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and the harsh reality that women choose to remain with abusive partners.

Performance poet and Theatre practitioner in training, Koleka Puama has come to the end of her degree in Theatre and Performance at UCT. Her work has had the privilege of traveling to Scotland, New York and around South Africa. Earlier this year she was nominated and voted to represent the Western Cape in the Slam For Your Life competition at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, where she was crowned South Africa’s First National Slam Champion.

During her time at UCT she has directed An Endless Echo (2013), For God’s Sake (2014), an adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s‘Miracle’, Mbuzeni (2014) and UHM (2014) which was awarded Best Student Writing at the NAF Student Festival in Grahamstown.

She has headlined at SliPnet’s Inzync Poetry Sessions, Word N Sound Poetry and Live Music Series and at Off The Wall. She is a resident poet of the collective Lingua Franca and Co-Founder of theatre companies Velvet Spine, and the PaperCutCollective.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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Comment (31)

  1. wow, koleka I really love your poems, you really inspire me not to stop writing. When I listen to your poems I just tell myself baby girl you can do this, all you need is confidence.
    Thank you so much koleka for being my inspiration in poetry love you even though I don't know you.

  2. Increase. Pure brilliance. You darling are able to change the most hateful minds. Thank you! your poetry touched my heart. Stay true and keep fighting for equality, I will be right next to you and your thoughts. ✌️

  3. The last poem really hits home . I fail to understand this so HIgh held "Libanjwa lishisa" "Kuyabekezelwa emendweni" pre-marital advice given to women and these women who enter this sacred union prepared to "fight" for their family even if they are losing the fight daily. Domestic abuse is just not on and I hate that when a young wife tells their elders about how their husband's unacceptable savage behaviour they get told stories about how "mntanam' nathi sadlula lapho" as if it part of the path. By the time this passes through half their dignity has been bruised and their self worth is battered.


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