Mashile won the 2006 Noma Award for her poetry collection, In a Ribbon of Rhythm. She is a visual verbalist, and an icon of modern South African poetry. In addition to these given titles Lebo Mashile has been forging her own creative identity since she emerged on the Johannesburg arts scene almost seven years past. Lebo Mashile's tireless work ethic has earned her creative titles including published author, executive producer, actress, poet, independent record producer, corporate and independent event MC, life skills facilitator/speaker and television series presenter.
"If her pretty face and big Afro don't grab people's attention then her words will. Lebo Mashile is clearly talented, but what stands out about her is her amazing energy."
In an interview with City Pulse magazine Lebo reflects, "Walking into Feela Sistah, none of us knew that two years later we'd be one of the answers on The Weakest Link. We had no idea that we'd become an item of popular culture. We didn't realize that there was such a void, that people were waiting for our voices."
In March 2003, Mashile co-founded the Feela Sistah Spoken Word Collective alongside Napo Masheane, Ntsiki Mazwai and Myesha Jenkins. This foursome was the first poetry collective of its kind in South Africa.
In 2005, Mashile published her first collection of poetry, In A Ribbon Of Rhythm. In the same year Mashile self-produced and released a 19-track album, Lebo Mashile Live!, which combines the musical mix of poetry with hip-hop, house and R&B.
The album was released on her independent label, Mashile Productions, and was recorded live with a nine-piece band in addition to studio collaborations with artists such as MXO, Tumi Molekane (of Tumi and The Volume) and Zubz.
In 2004, Mashile debuted as a film actress in the Academy Award Nominated Hotel Rwanda, directed by Terry George, which illuminated the tragic 1994 genocide of the Tutsi and Hutu moderates in Rwanda.
Also in 2004, Mashile became executive producer and presenter of the SABC1 documentary series L'atitude, now in it's third season. L'atitude puts the host on a nationwide road trip in exploration and discovery of the position occupied by South Africans, the spaces they inhabit and the roles they play in the landscape of a developing South Africa.
Recent Highlights - 2007:
Began writing a column entitled "In Her Shoes" for True Love magazine
Named one of the Top Women in South Africa by the Mail & Guardian for the second year in a row.
Named one of the Top 100 young South Africans to have lunch with by the Mail & Guardian for the second year in a row.
Collected the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana.
Awarded City Press Woman of Prestige Award
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