“Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

Kwazi Ndlangisa


Arts & Entertainment

Organisation / Company

IKhambi Writers Hub


The stereotype of the “struggling poet” doesn’t sit well with Kwazi Ndlangisa, 24. As the founder and director of IKhambi Writers Hub, a nonprofit that runs art projects to preserve indigenous languages and develop the youth, he has managed to provide employment opportunities and promote poetry, writing and various other art forms. His debut live event in 2016 was backed up by local music giants such as Mabi Thobejane and Madala Kunene, who inspired him to start doing poetry together with music.

He taught himself how to promote his events, and, by inviting government officials and dignitaries from social development organisations, began to get bookings for more shows. These days IKhambi gets funding from the National Arts Council and the department of arts and culture, but Kwazi says he had to dig deep, improve his skills and learn to collaborate to achieve this. Kwazi sees the youth as the “key driver of positive change”.

His organisation is passing on skills in poetry through a mentorship initiative called the Loba Mentorship Programme. He believes that in a decade the poetry industry in South Africa will be “well oiled”, with support from big companies and poets sustaining themselves on their art.


Bachelor of Commerce in Project Management, Mancosa, (first year)


In 2016 I produced my debut live event, Tea Time Poetry with Kwazi Ndlangisa, and I was accompanied by legends of indigenous music such as Madala Kunene, Mabi Thobejane and Tim Zondi as the project toured around KZN. The tour was documented in a video format and in 2017 we toured the same cities: Durban, Pietermaritzburg and uMzimkhulu, where we also launched a DVD. This is where I got inspired to perform my poetry with a band. Touring different cities introduced me to new audiences, which inspired me to do a National Book Tour in 2022 after publishing my poetry book titled Collecting Self. I also learnt the dynamics of coordinating events and writing funding proposals.

At my first event, I invited various government departments and social development organisations to my shows — and that’s where they saw the influence I have in my community and started to book me for their programmes.


Madala Kunene, a Durban-based legendary guitarist influenced my journey in the cultural and creative industries through his Indigenous music and his dedication to uplifting the young creatives who have an impact in the community. I used to perform poetry as a solo artist, but after I met him at a concert in 2014 he offered to collaborate with me for live performances. Our debut performance was at the Poetry Africa Festival in 2015, hosted by the Centre For Creative Arts at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban. He also taught me a lot about indigenous music and I now combine poetry with Nguni folk music in my performances. I am grateful to have honoured him and presented his portrait artwork at my show, Nguni Folk Music Experience, in 2022.