PA participants-01 25Born and raised in Tembisa, Johannesburg, Natalia Molebatsi is a performance poet, writer, workshop facilitator and programme director.

Molebatsi has performed in South Africa, Senegal, Italy, Zimbabwe, Holland, Kenya, Nigeria, Azerbaijan and England. She has performed alongside Alice Walker, Jayne Cortez, Zakes Mda, Myesha Jenkins, Lebo Mashile, Sindiwe Magona, Napo Masheane and Simphiwe Dana, among others.

In 2009, Molebatsi performed at the Women in Africa and the African Diaspora (WAAD) International Conference in Abuja, Nigeria. That same year, she also appeared widely in Italy, where she performed at the Mantova International Literature Festival, Calendidonna Women’s Festival, Genoa International Poetry Festival, Firenze (Florence) International Poetry Festival and Sunsplash International Reggae Festival.

Molebatsi was the host of ‘Evening with Alice Walker’ at the State Theatre in 2010. This was also the year that she made her debut at the Poetry Africa festival, where she was part of the main programme of poets. Her most recent performances include the Mangaung African Cultural Festival in Bloemfontein, Night of the Poets at State Theatre, as well as representing South Africa as part of the cultural events programme during the London Olympics.

Both published in 2009, Molebatsi’s works include Sardo Dance and We Are: A Poetry Anthology. Come as You Are: Poems for Four Strings is the title of Molebatsi’s recently released CD/book with Simone Serafini (Italy) on the double bass.

A two-time Mbokodo award nominee for poetry, Molebatsi is also the cofounding member of the intercontinental jazz/funk Italian band, Soul Making. Molebatsi continues to work with high school learners, teaching them on human rights, offering career guidance and counselling.

www.nataliamolebatsi.co.za