PA participants-01 16Busiswa Gqulu’s performance poetry journey started when she joined the collective Young Basadzi Women of Poetry in 2005. Since then, she has captivated audiences across various stages, including the National Arts Festival, Cape Town National Youth Festival and the Poetry Africa Festival where she first performed in 2010.

A new-age performance poet and singer, Gqulu has opened the stage for singers Tu Nokwe and Siphokazi and shared the stage with such artists as Ntsiki Mazwai, Mak Manaka, Lebo Mashile, Gcina Mhlophe, Ernie Smith and Concord Nkabinde, among others. Some of her career highlights include performing at the Malibongwe Dialogues held in 2008 as part of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations and being the resident stage presenter at a major public viewing area in Durban during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Gqulu’s poetry was selected for a CD compilation called Sounds 031 – Best of Durban Women edition. Using her poetry as a means of reaching out across various platforms, Gqulu features as a poet on numerous community and nationwide radio stations. She also works for Art for Humanity (AFH) where she provides workshops for school children, as a means to help develop an appreciation for poetry and the visual arts. Gqulu’s development work also involved working with the Umlazi District Department of Education’s Youth Development Office, tutoring learners on public speaking, debating and performance poetry.

Gqulu heads the initiative which aims to link poets to economically beneficial opportunities and charity projects, 1st Word Poetry Project. 

As a musician, Gqulu is signed to Kalawa Jazmee/Universal Records in Johannesburg. She features on the dance track My Name Is, which has received extensive airplay on South African radio stations since its release.