Lebogang Mashile

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Lebogang Mashile
Born (1979-02-07) 7 February 1979 (age 39)
Nationality South African
Occupation Actor, writer, performance poet

Lebogang Mashile (7 February 1979) is a South African actor, writer and performance poet.[1]


The daughter of exiled South African parents, Mashile was born in the United States and returned to South Africa in the mid-1990s after the end of apartheid.[2] She began to study law and international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand but became more interested in the arts. With Myesha Jenkins, Ntsiki Mazwai and Napo Masheane, she founded the poetry group Feela Sistah.[3]

She appeared in the 2004 film Hotel Rwanda and has performed in a number of theatre productions, including Threads,[4] which combined dance, music and poetry. Mashile also recorded a live performance album incorporating music and poetry titled Lebo Mashile Live.[3] She co-produced and hosted the documentary programme L’Attitude on SABC 1[1] and hosted a game show Drawing the Line on SABC 2.[3]

In 2005, she published her first poetry collection In a Ribbon of Rhythm,[5] for which she received the Noma Award in 2006.[3]

Mashile and musician, performer, writer Majola released an EP in 2016.[6]

Awards and honours[edit]

Mashile was named one of South Africa's Awesome Women of 2005 by Cosmopolitan[1] and one of the Top 100 youth in South Africa by the Mail & Guardian in 2006, 2007 and 2009.[7] In 2006, she was named the top personality in television by The Star in their annual Top 100 list, in 2007 she was the recipient of the City Press/ Rapport Woman of Prestige Award, and was also named the Woman of the Year for 2010 in the category of Arts and Culture by Glamour magazine. Mashile was cited as one of the Top 100 Africans by New African magazine in 2011 and in 2012 she won the Art Ambassador award at the inaugural Mbokodo Awards for South African Women in the Arts. Mashile performed at the Opening of Parliament in 2009.[6] She has been described as "probably the first name that comes to mind when thinking about a female writer making colossal waves in the poetry space".[8]

Selected works[edit]

  • In a Ribbon of Rhythm, poetry (Oshun Books, 2005, ISBN 9781770070455)
  • Flying Above the Sky, poetry (African Perspective, 2008, ISBN 9780620412414)[9]


  1. ^ a b c "Lebo Mashile". South African TV Authority.
  2. ^ Biography at Badilisha Poetry X-change.
  3. ^ a b c d "Lebogang Mashile". South African History Online.
  4. ^ Mpho Matsitle, "Lebo Mashile weaves her remarkable magic", The Journalist, July 2015.
  5. ^ "In A Ribbon Of Rhythm" at Goodreads.
  6. ^ "Lebogang Mashile". Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín.
  7. ^ Rufaro Samanga, "Celebrating 8 of the Most Influential Black South African Women Writers", OkayAfrica, 25 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Flying Above the Sky" at Goodreads.

External links[edit]