Kabelo ‘Jazzmeneer’ Mofokeng is a practising poet and a trained photographer with a deep love for music. He is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing Course (2014) offered at Rhodes University. He has published poetry, prose and photo-essays in a number of ‘Pan African’ literary journals, as well as written and produced the play, Taxi Poetry (2003), including self-published a volume of my poetry and photographs, Black Pen Vol. 1 (2007), with drawings by Wesley Pepper. Included photography exhibitions are Red Ants: Corner Bree and Harrison (2009), and the Soweto Photo Album Exhibition titled Fifiela ‘To See with Difficulty’ (2010), of a more notable film about music, Shwabada: The Music of Ndikho Xaba (2016). As a cultural worker and scholar, he has co-curated spoken word and multimedia performances, as well as interactive photography exhibitions within township areas in Johannesburg, a major Afropolitan city. Moreover, he has a good first-hand knowledge of literary trends and practices, particularly with regard to the dynamic literary traditions of South African townships, which are often marginalised and under-represented in the South African canon. In his own words, Mofokeng declares, “I am excited to participate in Botsotso’s expansion of urban, black, multilingual literature, in both its oral and written forms.”


Hungry on Arrival

by Kabelo Mofokeng


PUBLISHER:  Botsotso
ISBN:              978-1-990922-58-9
GENRE:          Poetry
FORMAT:        Paperback
SIZE:               148mm x 210mm
EXTENT:         100pp
PRICE:            R130
RELEASE:       2023



My collection embraces different kinds of poetry. Some poems come via my home in Pimville Soweto, the urban sounds and multilingual speech patterns as I move through it. Other poems draw on Sesotho culture and tradition, which still run strongly in my family, and at times, I integrate the different kinds of sounds and associations of Sesotho and English in the same poem.

Another important aspect is my retracing of the rural and forgotten footsteps of Mzanzi’s legendary artists, in the same way that Zim Ngqwana’s Abomagoduka narrates the journey of men leaving their homesteads to seek work in the mines and cities. I believe poetry, like jazz, allows one to knock on the void of silence. In this way I celebrate the lives of artists and poets such as Mafika Gwala, Jackson Hlungwani, Kippie ‘Morolong’ Moeketsi and Fana Zulu. Other poems are dense and self-reflective in the manner of Arthur Nortjie or Angifi Dladla.

Kabelo Mofokeng


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African Books Collective: Hungry on Arrival