ike-mboneni-muilaIke Mboneni Muila was born in Soweto in 1957, and grew up in Venda , Limpopo Province , returning to live in Soweto in the 1980s. He studied acting at the Soyikwa Institute and his first poetry performances were between 1988 and 1990 with the Madimba music students at the Soyinkwa Institute of African Theatre in Soweto . Since then he has performed at numerous festivals such as Grahamstown, Arts Alive, Herman Charles Bosman, Berlin International Poetry and Cambridge Contemporary Poetry. In 1998 he recorded a poetry performance video titled Jikeleza Train in collaboration with New Coin and ISEA at the Grahamstown Poetry Festival. In the same year he won a poetry translation award from the English Academy of Southern Africa.

Ike is inspired by the combination of music and poetry, where it is not possible ‘ to draw a line between their harmony’. His poetry is featured on the CD Purple Light Mirror in the Mud (2001). He also draws inspiration from ‘listening to people when they chat or deliver jokes using a combination of words from different languages brought together without fancy formalities’. His other publications include We Jive Like This(1996) and Dirty Washing (1999) – all of these being compilations of group and individual work with the Botsotso Jesters. The most recent solo collection of his work (which includes his drawings and a CD recording) is Gova(2004). He is presently on the editorial board of the Botsotso Publishers Collective.