Lebo Mashile is poetry’s hottest property.

This spoken-word artist and television presenter, in her late twenties, was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, where her parents were in exile at the time.

Since the family’s return to South Africa, Mashile has established the Feela Sistah Spoken Word Collective, acted in the international feature Hotel Rwanda, published the book In a Ribbon of Rhythm and launched a CD of live poetry mixed with beats called Lebo Mashile Live.

She is also the executive producer and host of SABC1’s travel series L’atitude. In 2004, Mashile was nominated for the prestigious DaimlerChrysler award for poetry. She holds a degree in law and international relations from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her first collection of poetry, In a Ribbon of Rhythm, won her the 2006 Noma award for publishing in Africa.

Her CD was released on her independent label, Mashile Productions.

Lunch Spot: Bismillah, Fordsburg; Nambithas, Orlando West; Gramadoelas, Newtown