- Category: PA 2012
Mbali Vilakazi is an award-winning South African poet, performer, radio host and creative facilitator, born in Umtata, Eastern Cape. A former Head Girl and Deputy President of the SRC at the University of Cape Town, she has a background in film, media, politics and development studies.
Vilakazi has been the co-producer and presenter of the Radio Workshop, a weekly youth show on radio station SAFM. Delivering content created throughout the African continent, the show aims to give young people a voice, connecting and empowering them to contribute to individual and social change.
As a poet, Vilakazi has performed extensively on national and international platforms at events such as Urban Voices, British Council’s ‘Verbalized’ UK Tour, TEDx, Cape Town Book Fair and The Three Furies (SA/UK/Holland Poetry Theatre Collaboration), to name a few. She was the resident poet on the COP17 Climate Train.
In 2009, Vilakazi was awarded a silver medal for South Africa at the Delphic Games in Korea, an event uniting people of all nations through arts and culture. She then won a gold medal in NPR’s Poetry Olympics in 2012.
Vilakazi’s work is inspired by the ideas of ‘the personal as political’ and ‘the body as intervention’. Her areas of interest include the relationship between trauma and silence, women, young people, the natural world, memory and mythmaking.
As creative facilitator, Vilakazi conducts workshops in various contexts, including The United Nations Children’s Fund and Young in Prison, an international organization providing support, through the use of art and educational workshops, to incarcerated youth worldwide.
Vilakazi currently works as co-curator and presenter for the Africa Centre’s Badilisha Poetry Radio, an online poetry project that seeks to document and showcase poetic voices from across Africa and the diaspora.