Lesego Rampolokeng

Lesego Rampolokeng is a poet, novelist and playwright, who came to prominence in the 1980’s. Born in Orlando West, Soweto, in Johannesburg, he studied law, but has not followed this path any further. Rampolokeng’s poetry often challenges the established order, with some critics comparing his confrontational style to that of late Zimbabwean poet and novelist, Dambudzo Macherera.

Rampolokeng’s first poetry offering was Horns for Hondo, published in 1991. This was followed by End Beginnings in 1993. Among others, his works of poetry and prose include Talking Rain (1993), Rap Master Supreme – Word Bomber in the Extreme (1997), The Bavino Sermons(1999) and Head on Fire (2012).

As an author, Rampolokeng has written two novels: Blackheart published in 2004 and Whiteheart published the following year. Directly influenced by the works of Frantz Fanon, he published the play Fanon’s Children.

Rampolokeng has shared the stage with numerous poets, including Kgafela oa Magogodi, Lefifi Tladi, Lebo Mashile and Natalia Molebatsi. He has also collaborated with a wide range of musicians, such as Vusi Mahlasela, Julian Bahula, Soulemane Toure, Louis Mhlanga, Gunther Sommer and the Kalahari Surfers.

Also the director of documentaries around the issue of human rights, Rampolokeng himself appeared in a documentary titled Giant Steps in 2005. He has also written screenplays and published several audio recordings.