POETRY & JAZZ PICNIC (A RENEWAL OF VOWS) at the Nirox Sculpture Park


On the 1st of July 2018, Hear My Voice and the Nirox Foundation will be having a Poetry & Jazz Picnic at the Nirox Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind. This event will attempt to re-marry the long lost, but not forgotten, bond between the intriguing world of jazz music and that of spoken word poetry. This will be a renewal of vows, somewhat, delicately ringing in melodies and nature to create a perfect atmosphere for a picnic with family and friends. Tickets range between R50 for children and R100 for adults.

A select number of wordsmiths will perform spoken word poetry accompanied by their bands and the birds at NIROX. According to Barry Wellenstein; poetry has always craved the company of music. Tone, rhythm and cadence, and lyricism, too, are the property of both. It is the music inside the poet’s head that determines the meter and often the mood of the words as they fall on the page. One can’t help but remember the late laureate Prof Kgositsile Keorapetse’s many commemorations to jazz and its musicians. The anthology, To Breathe into Another Voice edited by Myesha Jenkins, is yet another reminder of the swing between jazz and poetry.

Performing poets and bands include:

-Mo'Afrika 'a Mokgathi & Them Cats
-Flex of He & I
-Torsten 'Clear' Rybka
-The Urban Village

This event takes place during the Nirox 2018 Not a Single Story Winter Sculpture Exhibition which features visual artworks across the park by more than 20 artists including Dr Esther Mahlangu, Yoko Ono, Nelisiwe Xaba, Zanele Muholi and others. More details on the exhibition can be found here: Nirox Sculpture Park or view the Exhibiton catalogue here: Not A Single Story Exhibition Catalogue


Sunday 1st July 2018
11:00 a.m. – 16:00 p.m.
NIROX Sculpture Park (R540, Kromdraai Road, Krugersdorp, South Africa)
Adults R100
R70 Students and Pensioners
R50 Children under 12
Infants aged 2 and under enter free of charge

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Performing Artists

Torsten "Clear" Rybka

Torsten Rybka, known on stage as Clear was born in South Africa and raised by in Ga Rankuwa Unit 8. Clear started a poetry movement for the youth in his community to make a change for the youth in the community and find a place to call home away from home for those who aspired to be poets.

In 2016, he produced, directed and performed his poetry production at The State Theatre known as “Speaking from Experience (Growth)” with a Jazz band and a four female choir. The production was then sent to the first ever Trade Fair festival at the Market theatre in Johannesburg, the production won a special merit award, presented to Clear by Pamela Nomvete. 2017 he got to host the Speak Out Loud poetry competition finals and also got to perform at the Oppikoppi Festival in Limpopo.

Clear then toured Washington D.C for a two weeks poetry programme, hosted by Jonathan B. Tucker. “I believe and know that music is medicine, as well as poetry. I would love to make a difference by healing the world through the medium of hip hop and poetry, from whatever illness it is going through, one word and sound at a time.”

Mo'Afrika 'a Mokgathi & Them Cats

Muriel Mokgathi-Mvubu known as MoAfrika ‘a Mokgathi is a South African based multi-faceted artist, who is a performer, writer, Poet, cultural activist, Art codes adjudicator, Art-‘preneur, Band leader, award winning radio presenter-Producer and a civic leader amongst many others.

MoAfrika is known for her Sepedi pen, her fusion of the language with English, fusing with Jazz, soul and kiba rhythms blending with her deep sassy vocals that keep her followers wanting more.
Some of her works have been featured in community and online publications recently including “To breath into another voice”, a jazz poetry collection edited by Myesha Jenkins. Media features include Kaya FM, Ubuntu Radio, Channel Africa and SA FM. Recordings include (Ndoza kusa) 2014, Nduduzo Makhathini’s debut album Sketches of tomorrow, Tribe Soil and recently Gabi Motuba’s upcoming album.

Flex of He & I

Born in a township called Thabong in South Africa, Phomolo Sekamotho, better known as Flex (of He & I) has since been trying to explore and create avenues for poetry within a larger body of music. He & I is a ‘poetry in music’, afro-trip band that create the melodies to supplement the spoken word. The sound is testament to their passion and love for the Mother Continent. We believe in telling stories, genuine stories. Africa has beautiful stories, what better way to tell these stories than to tell them ourselves?!.

Last year we played the Park Acoustics year end finale, The Good Luck Bar and a host of other events. Flex of He & I has performed in Harare, Maseru, Washington DC as well as in Harlem and Brooklyn New York.

The Urban Village

The Urban Village is a four piece band whose sound is fused with urban and rural influences based on society’s daily survival, struggles and joys. It was founded in March 2014 by Lerato, Lichaba. The band is made up of young, self-taught and experiential artists from Soweto, Johannesburg in South Africa. The Urban Village sound can be described as South African folk music coupled with electric, funky acoustic melodies and a blend of traditional influences. The Urban Village music encourages and motivates, entertains and awakens cultural and traditional consciousness. Moreover, the music content encapsulates day-to-day personal and societal experiences echoed with teachings by the elderly.