smallgirl rising: connecting the Divine Black Feminine is an intergenerational conversation through a series of writing, sharing, cooking and breathing installations designed to encourage deep listening as a way of speaking into the separation that has made way for (and feeds off) the oppressive hierarchical systems of race, patriarchy, capitalism and erasure. Using indigenous healing modalities – we are invoking the names of black women whose names have been swallowed by time.

We want to see a world that is healed, or at the very least…in a dedicated pursuit of communal healing.

Tour Dates & Venues

We’re coming to a city near you!


Fundraiser @Forge
Friday, March 31, 2023
7:00pm South African Time


@Penn State University
Friday, April 7, 2023
12:00 noon EST

Saturday, April 8, 2023
7:00pm EST

Washington DC

@Busboys and Poets
Monday, April 10,2023

New York

@NYU Steinhardt
Tuesday, April 11, 2023

PULSE: poetry and music offering
@The Billie Holiday Theater
Friday, April 14, 2023
Get tickets here

Morning of Meditation
@Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy
Sunday, April 16, 2023
Get tickets here

@CUNY LaGuardia
Thursday, April 20, 2023

Women Writers in Bloom
Private Location
Saturday, April 22, 2023

South African Fundraiser

Our Featured Events

PULSE: poetry and music offering
@The Billie Holiday Theater
Friday, April 14, 2023
Get tickets here

Morning of Meditation
@Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy
Sunday, April 16, 2023
Get tickets here

Meet the Poets

MoAfrika wa Mokgathi

MoAfrika wa Mokgathi is a poet, singer, curator, teaching artist and a serial civic leader. She is co-founder of Hear My Voice NPO based in South Africa, the author of My Tongue is a Rainbow (2019) and co-curated the Nobel Peace Prize Week (Stockholm 2022). wa Mokgathi has co-curated multiple HMV partner programmes including the EUNIC spaces of culture: Right to speak project lead by Goethe Institute (JHB 2022); and is co-founder and co-curator of the South African Saxophone Symposium (2020). She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's 2020 Top Young 200 South Africans, completed an Honours Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Wits University (2019); and is an alumni of YALI RLC (2017) and the VANSA Cultural Leadership Programme (2021/2022).

wa Mokgathi has shared her poetry physically and online in China, Sweden, Nigeria, Mozambique and the USA – where she launched her collection, My Tongue is a Rainbow, in Washington DC during the 2019 Azania to DC Tour. Music collaborators include Nduduzo Makhathini and Gabi Motuba. She is currently working on a music and poetry album.

Check out her content here and here

vangile gantsho

vangile gantsho is healer, poet and co-founder of impepho press. She is the author of two poetry collections: red cotton (2018) and Undressing in Front of the Window (2015). She holds an MA, with distinction, from the University Currently Known as Rhodes (2016) and is a graduate of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Academy (Pioneer Class). She was named one of Mail& Guardian’s 2018 Top Young 200 South Africans. Her poetry has been published in various literary publications, including Years of Fire and Ash – South African Poems of Decolonisation (2021) New Daughters of Africa (2019), The Atlanta Review (2018), and her collection, red cotton, was named City Press Top Poetry Read of 2018, and long-listed for the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2020 Award.

gantsho has participated in, curated and produced national and international programmes both virtually and in person since 2004.

She is Livulile’s mama and is passionate about using the voice as a tool to help build confidence and open doors. As a teaching artist, she has worked with organisations on three continents and continues to dedicate herself to creating and/or supporting spaces that encourage (black) feminine visibility and healing.

Check out her content here and here

Presented By

Bridges: A Pan-Afrikan ARTS Movement

Bridges: A Pan-Afrikan ARTS Movement: An arts catalyst organization, presenting opportunities for international arts exchange, community advocacy and global partnerships. Since 2015, this Brooklyn based organization has worked in collaboration with local artists and organizations in New York, Sudan and South Africa. A few events the organization has presented are: South African Freedom Day in Brooklyn (NY 2015), NY to Tshwane (2015), Kwanzaa (NY 2017), Arts Action for Sudan (NY 2019) Poetry in New Orleans (2017), World Poetry Day (Virtual 2020), Women of Words Poetry Festival (Virtual 2020), Sisi ni suluhisho • Siyizixazululo •We are Solutions (Virtual 2020), Black Love (Virtual 2020), AMPLIFY! Youth Arts in Action (Virtual 2020), Juneteenth: Lyrical Liberation (2021-22) Bridges has also presented at numerous workshops and performances for schools and community organizations in New York and South Africa.

impepho press

impepho press is a Pan Africanist, intersectional-feminist publishing house committed to the sincere telling of African and international stories, celebrating both the fragility and resilience of human experience. We believe in championing brave, particularly feminist, voices committed to literary excellence.

impepho has published four poetry collections and one anthology since its inception in 2018. As an urgent response to the COVID-19 pandemic, impepho press created a Virtual World Poetry and Women of Words Online Poetry Festival as an attempt to financially assist (particularly black women) artists. We have also created a digital archive of some of South Africa’s most prolific poets, as a way of increasing their visibility so they can continue to get some kind of work.

Meet The Organizers

Wéma Ragophala

Wéma Ragophala is the founder of Bridges: A Pan-Afrikan ARTS Movement. She has worked at the intersection of art and community for over 20 years. She is a director, performer, educator, and administrator. Wéma directed Sankofa Project, The Homecoming Queen, Grown Adorable Adult, a hilarious Haitian-American coming of age story, and In Her Memory, a play healing from trauma in four generations of women in one family. Wéma also wrote, performed, and toured her solo performance work, Roots, Rhythm, and Revolution. She organizes and collaborates with various artists and organizations to support and transform communities through the arts. She is the Executive Director of youth-led organization, IntegrateNYC and a member of the steering committee of The Arts for All Abilities Consortium. Deeply invested in youth justice, disability justice, and arts & activism, Wéma has presented at conferences and professional development workshops, created events, collaborated with partner organizations, and individuals; to empower people to work toward dismantling inequities and systemic racism, while building a space where people of all ages and abilities thrive.

Dr Mandisa Haarhoff

Dr. Mandisa Haarhoff completed her Ph.D. at the University of Florida in 2018 on a Fulbright scholarship, and currently holds a full-time position as lecturer at the University of Penn State. She completed her MA in Drama at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with funding from the National Research Foundation. She is a recipient of the National Research Fund’s Black Academic Advancement Programme for her first book project, Kaffirland/Vaderland: White indigeneity and Black Absenting in the South African Farm Novel. The monograph examines the ways in which farm novels and Plaasroman participate in constructions of white indigeneity and enact black absenting throughout the late-colonial and apartheid period. Haarhoff’s research interests are concentrated around postcolonial theory, black studies and critical race theory. Her teaching centers on African and diasporic literature.

Find out more here and here

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