Our Story:

On the 9th of November 2012, the Lingua Franca Spoken Word Movement was re-birthed by Lwanda Sindaphi and Mbongeni Nomkonwana out of Lingua Franca, first formed in 2009 by four young artists: Mbongeni Nomkonwana, Lwanda Sindaphi, Mawande Manez Sobethwa and Ncedisa Jargon Mpemnyama. Lingua Franca has its roots in the diverse community of Delft in Cape Town, South Africa. The goal was to help local artists mold their artistic gifts. The initiative was meant for emerging artists to challenge dominant narratives that only perpetuate injustices.

The name “Lingua Franca” means a universal or bridge language used to communicate between diverse communities that do not share mothertongues. Poetry and music are this universal language. Through our work, we bring together people to reimagine a common community. Today, we remain established and emerging poets in and from the community, honouring our diverse truths and the power of our creative imagination.


To speak truth to our collective and silenced narratives and to celebrate the profound and transformative power of young voices to invoke social change through poetry and music. Lingua Franca fuses spoken-word poetry with music in a manner that honours and preserves indigenous musicalities while reimagining an Afro-futuristic sound with a commitment to relevance and provocation.


Lingua Franca embarks on innovation, fusion, collaboration, and provocative art that promote new realities and challenge norms and accepted possibilities. We aim to improve skills in writing, performance poetry, and music in Cape Town by providing a support system for young emerging poets, creating innovative art of provocation, and providing a platform to unite diverse voices under a common purpose.