Lebo Mashile

Poet

It's hard to nail a specific title to Lebo Mashile. She's an author, executive producer, actress, record producer and a television series presenter. But she's mostly known for her role in the literary community as the sweet-lipped, funkadelic poet who infuses passion and politics into every word. Mashile has performed everywhere from Thabo Mbeki's presidential inauguration to the Yarri Yarri Phambari Writers Conference in New York City with African-American writers such as Maya Angelou and Alice Walker. Mashile was born in the United States to South African parents who lived in exile, and returned home in 1995. In 2005 she released a CD of her poetry Lebo Mashile Live and in 2006 won the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. Last year she self-published her second book Flying above the Sky. Mashile is the host of the SABC2 ethics game show Drawing the Line and is currently in rehearsal for Threads, a poetry and dance production she is performing in Grahamstown in July with Sylvia Glasser of Moving into Dance Mophatong. � Tanya Pampalone

Lunch spot: Bismillah, Fordsburg, Johannesburg