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It's that time of year again! The Word- The Front Line Grand Slam is going down this Saturday Nov. 7th at the Herald Theatre. We are down to the top 6 teams in Tāmaki Makaurau and these poets have had to work harder than any cohort in history to be here. Their voices are more important than ever! Make sure to grab your seats in advance. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster Here.
Our Judges for the Grand slam do not have an easy task ahead of them! Good thing they are such an incredible collection of artists. We are honoured to have them for this Saturday. Check them out and make sure to get your tickets!
Mazbou Q is a UK-born, Tāmaki Makaurau based Nigerian Kiwi rapper and producer. His unique musical background of golden-age hiphop, West African highlife and heavy metal forms the backdrop for his non-formulaic style of music. Inspired by the likes of Fela Kuti, The Roots and Oddisee, Mazbou Q is known for confronting his listeners with an unapologetic style of socio-political commentary, while engaging them in the complexities of his unique cultural identity.
With the release of his 2020 EP, AFROTERNITY, Mazbou Q established himself as a voice that consistently and fearlessly shines a light on issues of justice and afrocentric consciousness - a voice he has also become recognised for outside of the domain of music.
Jahra Wasasala is a world-builder, movement psychopomp and writer of realms. Jahra is of Fijian/European origins and within Viti, she hails from the provinces of Macuata and Ba. A student of mythology, world-building and her own bloodlines, Jahra utilises her training and specialisation within performance activation, movement techniques, poetry and voice soundscape as a psychopomp for her shape-shifting and storytelling through the body's memory.
Jahra's performance works have toured across Aotearoa, Australia, Hawai’i, Turtle Island/US, Berlin, Guahån and Canada, including a comissioned performance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2019.
Through facilitation, Jahra has mentored with collectives, training institutions and initiatives throughout Aotearoa and overseas including Rising Voices, Pacific Tongues, Sailing Solo and Action Education.
Jahra believes that we do not wait for the new worlds; we build them, with art as the ancestral gifting to be able to do that.
Local poet, writer and media personality Te Karere Scarborough (Ngāpuhi) has taught and performed poetry internationally and is a former member of the South Auckland Poets Collective.
Aotearoa-born Tokelauan and Samoan poet Luti Richards is the eldest of 12 siblings who was born and raised in Happy Valley, Wellington. She was a member of the critically acclaimed South Auckland Poets Collective and the visionary behind WORD – THE FRONT LINE, Aotearoa’s first inter-high school spoken word program developed under the leadership of Action Education in 2014. Luti has worked in varied roles in film and television production, youth development, business management and more recently in strategic advisory roles within faith-based organisations. She is a visionary wordsmith with an innate ability to reimagine a new and better world through poetry, picture and verse and has performed in various events and conferences including the Queenstown Poetry Festival; the Northern Easter Camp and the Every Nation Conference in Manila, Philippines.