phelelani-makhanya-south-africaPhelelani Makhanya is a poet, writer and performer, born in Stanger in northern KwaZulu-Natal. With a national diploma in Business Management obtained from the Durban University of Technology, Makhanya has worked for several South African banks as a financial consultant.

Makhanya is the co-founder of Bare Thoughts, a poetry society based at the University of Zululand (Ongoye). Poetry sessions are held at the university’s recreational centre, and the society also produces a yearly journal for the university community.


A member of Uhuru Poets, based at the Luthuli museum, Makhanya has performed poetry in several venues around the country, including BAT Centre and Newtown, Johannesburg. His poetry has been published in the South African Literary Journal New ContrastFidelities, the Sunday Worldnewspaper and Africa Writing Online. He has also performed in local popular youth radio stations, including Inanda FM, Radio Khwezi and Durban Youth Radio.


Makhanya presently works for his own non-profit organisation, Funda Africa, which he established in 2009. Geared towards betterment of youth, Funda Africa is involved in collecting used school uniforms from high school leaving matriculants and students at tertiary institutions around KwaZulu-Natal, for distribution to financially disadvantaged youth around the province. The organisation also promotes the culture of reading to youth around the Zululand area.