phillippa-yaa-de-villiers-south-africaPhillippa Yaa de Villiers, after studying mime and theatre in Paris, returned to South Africa to work as a stage actress and improviser for ten years. As an alternative source of income she developed a career in television writing; she has written for BackstageTakalani Sesame and Soul City among many other television shows, and collaborated with Pule Hlatshwayo and Swedish writer Charlotte Lesche to create Score , a three-hour miniseries for Swedish Broadcasting and SABC.

In 2005, Yaa de Villiers was the runner-up best writer in the Performing Arts Network of South Africa's Festival of Contemporary Theatre Readings for her play, Where the Children Live , which also received an audience award. She has performed with Myesha Jenkins, Napo Masheane and !Bushwomen.

 

In 2006, she appeared at the Jozi Spoken Word Festival, and was invited by National Poet Laureate of South Africa, Keorapetse Kgositsile to join James Matthews, Lebo Mashile and Khanyi Magubane at the 12 th Havana International Poetry Festival.

 

Recently she wrote and performed Original Skin , a one-woman show which showcased at the Market Theatre Laboratory. After winning a grant from the Centre for the Book in November 2006, she published her first volume of poetry, Taller than Buildings , which is now in its second edition.

 

Melinda Ferguson, writing in True Love Magazine, commented: “an extraordinary debut collection of poetry, that is provocative and original, mirroring the transitions of self and country.”

 

Yaa de Villiers is currently touring the country and beyond giving readings and performances – this year she has performed in Adelaide (Australia), Birmingham (England), Havana (Cuba), Cape Town, Johannesburg and East London.