Makhosazana Xaba is currently a Research Associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER). She has published three poetry collections: These hands, Tongues of their Mothers and The Alkalinity of Bottled Water. She edited Like the untouchable wind: an anthology of poems in 2016 which was translated into Spanish. In 2019 she edited Our Words, Our Worlds: Writing on Black South African Women Poets, 2000 – 2018.
Her poems have been translated into isiXhosa, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Turkish and Setswana. In 2014 her debut collection, Running and Other Stories was a co-winner of the SALA Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award. She is a patron of the Johannesburg Review of Books and holds an MA in Creative Writing (with distinction) from Wits University. Before turning to creative writing, she worked in the NGO sector on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights; developed training manuals and published extensively.
I am a widow with two daughters, currently self-employed managing a company that focuses on socio-economic empowerment for women. I hold a Master’s Degree in Community Health with the then Rand Afrikaans University, now called University of Johannesburg.
I served in the Presidency, in the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities as the Chief Director for eight years, worked in various women NGOs managing programmes of gender equality, Violence against Women and Children, capacity building, material development, gender mainstreaming, advocacy and activism for twenty years. I gained a wealth of experience in the areas of Women empowerment and Development including Monitoring and Evaluation, Research and Policy development.
After having gained the wealth of experience on women empowerment and development, I represented the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disability in various international forums including the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, SADC, Parliamentary Portfolio Committees and Cabinet. I successfully lead the development and ratification of Gender Protocol in SADC Heads of State in 2008 under the chairmanship of President T Mbeki. The Gender Protocol is currently being implemented by member states that ratified the protocol.
Myesha Jenkins is a poet and spoken word performer, known for her feminist outlook and a writing style that is open, descriptive, revealing and sometimes challenging.
In 2017 she edited the ground-breaking, To Breathe Into Another Voice: A South African Anthology of Jazz Poetry, featuring the work of 45 poets, from all over the nation, writing about the impact of jazz in their lives, and published by Real African Publishers.
She has published two poetry collections, Breaking the surface, (Timbila,2005) and Dreams of Flight (Geko, 2011.) She has also been anthologized in We Are (Penguin, 2010) and Isis X (Botsotso, 2006).
As a founding member of the Feela Sistah Spoken Word Collective, Myesha encouraged women’s writing and she has curated projects and created platforms to highlight the work of black women poets.
For five years (2011 – 2016), she produced Poetry in the Air on SAfm to showcase poets in celebration of South African Women’s Month.
Myesha currently co-hosts the Jozi House of Poetry, a non-competitive, woman-friendly, monthly, poetry session.
In 2015, the Out There Sessions: Poetry and Jazz in Orbit was launched as another performance platform featuring the collaboration of poets and jazz musicians. It continues in the present.
In 2013, Myesha won the Mbokodo Award for Women in the Arts in the Poetry category.
Another highlight of Myesha’s career has been engagement with Arts for Humanity where poets collaborated with visual artists on projects focused on Children and another on the SA Constitution.
She has been interviewed in print and electronic media and been the subject of an independent short film and several research projects.
Myesha has lived and worked in Johannesburg since1993 when she relocated from California.
She died on 5th September 2020.
Professor Siphamandla Zondi is a professor at the University of Pretoria. He coordinates the Department’s Institute for Strategic and Political Affairs, which analyses strategic dynamics in national, continental and international affairs including decision-making, leadership, norms, values, and agency. He also oversees the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation and the Centre for Mediation in Africa. Between 2004 and 2016, he worked first as the head of the Africa programme of the Institute for Global Dialogue associated with Unisa and later as the head of the Institute itself. He was previously employed to lead research on regional integration at the Africa Institute between 2000 and 2003. His intellectual interests lie in the area of Africa's international relations as well as theory building in relation to decolonization and transformation of the modern world and its systems.
His recent published work focused on the diplomacy of common positions at the African Union, decolonising diplomatic theory and practice, south-south agency in global affairs, African voices in international relations and the paradigm of peace and dialogue. Zondi is the co-editor (with Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni) of the recently published book entitled Decolonising the University, its Knowledge and Disciplines (Carolina Press) – available on Amazon. He is the current editor of the journal, Latin American Report, and is on editorial boards of several international journals. He serves on the National Planning Commission of South Africa with a special focus on regional and international partnerships. He is also on the Steering Committee of the Council on International Relations, which advises the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on international affairs. He was appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture as one of the Social Cohesion Advocates, promoting dialogue and activities designed to help the nation-building and social cohesion endeavor. He recently submitted a book manuscript on NGOs, Africa and Global Power and is finalizing another on African Agency in World Affairs. He was recently appointed as a mentor in the NIHSS doctoral mentorship programme. He is a passionate mentor of young thought leaders and committed activists in the cause for decolonial diversal futures.
Prof Siphamandla Zondi has recently been appointed as the Chairperson of the South African BRICS Think Tank Council (SABTT) at the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and an official representative in the BRICS Think Tank Council (BTTC).
Africa's international relations/negotiations; Decolonial political thought including Afrocentric, black feminist, critical race theory, subaltern thought etc. and Critical studies of global south agency including IBSA, BRICS, NAM, G77, etc.
2013: ‘South Africa and Southern Africa: a question of leadership,’ FES Research Paper.