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MANAKA POETRY COLLECTION (article first published : 2003-11-13)

Maakomele "Mac" Manaka, one of the most exciting young poets to emerge from Johannesburg’s ever-expanding poetry scene, has launched his first collection of poetry entitled If Only".

Despite his young age, 20 year-old Manaka holds his own on the page and the stage having shared the bill with such legendaries as Don Mattera, Mutabaruka, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Lesego Rampolokeng, Ursula Rucker, Saul Williams, Stacy Ann Chin, Roger Bon air Agard and Benjamin Zephania.

Maakomele Manaka has been a featured poet at the Urban Voices International Spoken Word Festival for the past three years. He has performed for former president Nelson Mandela at the opening of a primary school in Freedom Park and for President Thabo Mbeki at the SABC studios in a programme called In Conversation with the President". He is a proud and vocal member of the powerful Soul To Mouth Spoken Word Collective and has performed widely in the Johannesburg area and in Lugano, Switzerland.

Manaka is a fresh talent whose roots in the creative arts run as deep as his the wisdom and insight in his writings. He is the eldest son of African dance specialist, choreographer and educator Nomsa Manaka and the late play write, poet, painter, sculptor and drummer Matsemela Manaka.

His first collection, If Only was published by Mothobi Mutloase with funding from the Eskom Foundation.




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