Luleka Mhlanzi

Luleka Mhlanzi is the author of Confiscated Identity and an award-winning, published and performing poet, actress, creative writer and youth facilitator from Pietermaritzburg.


She is a change agent, and her footprint is spotted in various African youth change programs such as gold Youth Agency, Enke, PACSA, and Activate Change Drivers. She is currently a youth programmes facilitator at Heartnet, curates poetry sessions, volunteers at the Institute of Afrikology as a youth facilitator and co-hosts Bambolunye Poetry Spell at the Mazisi Kunene Museum monthly.


She has been appointed as one of Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young 2021 and has done commission work on a global campaign, A Letter To Nature for C40 Climate Leadership Group. Mhlanzi has recently won a Sunday World Unsung Heroes 2022 Award, nominated internationally for a Women Of Inspiration Award 2022 by Universal Women’s Network.


Luleka established a project called Beauty Revised that responds to a stereotype about beauty standards set by society. Growing up, she was bullied about her dark skin colour and was deemed ugly. This project seeks a return of confidence for little girls and women excluded by society.

Luleka observes human behaviour daily and seeks to see the best of what humankind can offer. She deliberately advocates for the rights of women through her writing.


As a poet, she has written, read and performed for national and international festivals like Poetry Africa, Artfluence, JazzIfact, Poets You Should Know (Kenya), SA Women’s Arts Festival, 7th African Women Writers’ Symposium, UMzimkhulu Tourism Festival, Poet In A Suit, No-One’s Enemy, No-Ones Victim, Maritzburg Film and Arts Festival, Ramsgate Book and Arts Festival, Burton Naidoo In Concert, Songs And Poems of Love and more.


Her poems; Make Me Forget, Living Black, Fearful Gods, Much Better, Behind The Apron and Dancing The Pandemic Away have been published by Austin International Poetry Anthology (USA), Papertrail Literary Journal(SA), Sunday Independent newspaper(SA), and Poetry Potion (SA).


As an actress, Luleka starred in an international and award-winning short film; The Beast, directed by Samantha Nell (SA) and Michael Wahrmann(Brasil) and in a music video; Thando Uyini Na, by Nomangungu(SA), directed by Nontobeko Nazo.