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Summary Profile

The poet, performer, actress, presenter and producer Lebogang Mashile, the daughter of exiled South Africans, was born in the U.S. in 1979. At the age of sixteen years she and her family returned to their home country. It was while she was studying law and international relations at Wits University in Johannesburg that the desire to work as an artist took hold of her. Mashile began to achieve recognition as one of South Africa's most popular young artists in 2002 when her hip-hop inspired poetry began to capture a large audience. In 2003 she co-founded the “Feel a Sistah!” Spoken Word Collective alongside Myesha Jenkins, Ntsiki Mazwai and Napo Masheane, which rapidly gained widespread popularity. Just one year later Mashile made her acting début in the Oscar nominated film "Hotel Rwanda" and performed at the inauguration of former president Thabo Mbeki. Moreover, she was the presenter and producer of the television programme "L'Atitude", a concept that she co-executive produced with Curious Pictures. Throughout its three seasons and seventy-eight episodes she crisscrossed the country and introduced the viewers to the personal stories of a diverse cross section of South Africans. The series reached an audience of over two million households and went on to be nominated for two South African Film awards. Her lyrical and gutsy poems in the collection "A Ribbon of Rhythm" (2005) also speak about life in the new South Africa. Issues such as the diversity and unity of the "Rainbow Nation", the status of women, violence and the fragility of individuals are all treated with a sense of urgency, humour and at times with melancholy and a certain rawness. Mashile’s self-produced album "Lebo Mashile Live!" combines her performance poetry with hip-hop, house and R&B. Read her biography for more information


Lebo Mashile

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