Nobenguni Rises

Thobeka Kenene,

Live Performance

Nobenguni Rises is a set of poems performed accompanied by an African harp and a keyboard. Poet, Thobeka Kenene’s goal in her creative work is to raise awareness about black consciousness and feminism through poetry. She wishes to set an example to the youth that they too can learn how to play indigenous African musical instruments. Through incorporating music with her poetry, she works to inspire the black community to transform and exemplify positive ways beyond alcoholism, drug abuse, crime, and gender based violence. She is proud to represent Motherwell township during MBAF, to apply the knowledge she has accumulated from her journey as a university student.


Poet: Thobeka Kenene

Keyboard player: Mvuzo Mnyaka

Photographer: Nobulali Kenene

About the Artists

Thobeka Kenene is a stage poet with a rich history of performances at notable venues and festivals. In 2012, she graced the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex (MBTC) during the Praat Festival, sharing the stage with renowned poets such as Lebo Mashile and Lesego Rampolokeng. That same year, her talent shone at the Yiyo Festival, another significant event held at MBTC.

The following year, in 2013, Thobeka made her mark at the National Arts Festival Wordfest, an annual gathering hosted by Amazwi. During the same period, the National Library of South Africa recognized her abilities, inviting her to perform at their heritage celebration in Pretoria. Thobeka's academic journey led her to the University of Witwatersrand in 2014, where she pursued Drama for Life and successfully completed her BA Honours degree in Applied Drama and Theatre. In September of that year, her performance of "Unomsa" at Soweto Theatre was a highlight as part of the Drama For Life Mvuso Showday.

Beyond poetry, Thobeka Kenene is also a talented writer of children's fiction. Her short story, "Ezintakeni," gained recognition when it was published in the Nal’ibali Sunday Times Supplement in August 2016. The year 2023 marked a significant milestone for Thobeka as she received funding from ECPACC in July. This support allowed her to bring to life the project titled "Nobenguni Rises." Utilizing this opportunity, she launched two poetry books, "Ezintakeni" and "Praying Mantis," both of which contribute to the vibrant literary scene in Gqeberha.


  • Target Age Group
    18 to 21 years
  • Age Classification
  • Reason for Classification
    • Family

  • February 17, 2024
    17:30 - 18:10
    Athenaeum Little Theatre

  • February 24, 2024
    19:30 - 20:10
    Athenaeum Little Theatre
  • Name
    Athenaeum Little Theatre
  • Location
    The Athenaeum, Athol Fugard Terrace, Central, Gqeberha
  • Directions
    The Athenaeum has on street parking in Athol Fugard Terrace and Castle Street. The parking area and entrances have security while the venue is operating
  • Map Link
  • Accessibility Info
    There is step free access to the auditorium from the Castle street entrance. The venue has accessible ablution facilities
  • Wheelchair Directions
  • Primary Language
  • Accessibility Information
  • Event Format
    Live Performance