from left to right: navneet, titi, zeona, catherine and akira
navneet – canada, toronto
Titilope Sonuga is a Nigerian born spoken word poet. She traces her storytelling roots to the oral tradition of the Yoruba tribe from which she originates. She is actively involved in the Canadian poetry community as a member of the Edmonton Poetry Festival Board of Directors, and the SpoCan (Spoken Word of Canada) Board of Directors. She is the founding member of the Breath In Poetry Collective, a group of poets and poetry enthusiast that create spaces for artistic expression in the Edmonton community. She is a dynamic performer with a captivating message, currently on a quest to reclaim her voice and unlock the stories within.
zeona – south africa, johannesburg
Zeona A Jacobs is the 4th daughter of Paul and Lily Jacobs. She has five sisters and 1 brother and very many nieces and nephews. She has a daughter Karlen and a grandson Kei-Tumelo. Her father Paul W Jacobs started a community theatre company called the Eersterust Performing Arts Council (EPAC). At 11, Zeona performed in her first stage production of “Kanna hy ko hys toe” in her community and at the age of 18 she again performed in this production at the State Theatre. Zeona is a senior executive with over 20 years of experience in corporate, governmental and communication agency organisations. Her last full-time position was as Chief Corporate Officer of Cell C. In recent years she has worked in startups, turnarounds and companies in transitions. These of organizations include the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Herd-buoys McCann, Telkom, Cell C, Lobedu Leo Burnett and most recently in Multi-Links Telkom in Nigeria. Although Zeona stopped acting in 1992, her love for theatre and the performing arts never died. In 1999 she was appointed to the board of the Joburg Theatre on which she severed for 10 years before she was retired. In 2009, Zeona was appointed as Chairperson of the Roodepoort City Theatre, a position she currently holds. She was also a director of the African Arts Institute for 2 years from 1998 – 2010. Zeona is a fellow of the African Leadership Institute in South Africa. She was also a director of Endeavor when the organization was introduced to South Africa. She gave generously of her time in the past in the selection, couching and mentoring of Endeavor entrepreneurs in South Africa.
catherine – zimbabwe, harare
catherine is a storyteller from harare zimbabwe whose grandparents come from mozambique. she is a vocalist, an entrepreneur, a mother, and an aunt. catherine most enjoys telling stories that are proverbial in nature; rooted in african oral storytelling traditions. she documents and retells the stories that she grew up with as a child and puts her own contemporary spin to them. catherine believes that stories can heal particularly when they give valuable life lessons. she is currently working on her premiere monodrama of stories from mozambique and zimbabwe.
akira – south africa, cape town
akira is a storyteller and jewellrey maker who thrives when she tells stories. here is one of her stories entitled water story which she created during the first part of her residency:
In the beginning there was only darkness for light had not been born. From that dark fecundness came water. Water was the pure creative potential. From the darkness the water flowed, it flowed in a magnificent waterfall each droplet contained pure creative potential..the nucleus for life lay within each drop. And so it was that water gave birth to light. Light and water were born to play together and so they created the moon and sun. These two being of polar opposites were drawn to one another through there reflections of each other and lovers they became. There children were the stars and the many planets you see today.