Nandi JOLA

JOLA Nandi



Nandi Jola is a poet, storyteller and playwright born in Nelson Mandela, South Africa. Growing up under the apartheid regime, resiliently and defiantly, Nandi started writing poetry at the age of fourteen. She founded the ‘nandijproject’ in 2010 with the vision of tackling women trafficking and sexual exploitation. She participated in a public performance and discussion with Raquel McKee reflecting on her work, the development of her practice and her experiences as an artist. She explored the place of performance writers in the field of artistic practice and public policies for the arts as well as discussing the challenges and opportunities facing these seemingly solitary artists in developing their work.

Living most of her life in Northern Ireland, her work reflects both Belfast and Africa, personal learning of her South African identity and the many connections that the people of Ireland have with South Africa. 

Nandi is highly praised in Northern Ireland and internationally. Her debut poetry collection, Home Is Neither Here Nor There, (a title taken from her Exhibition in Stormont’s Long Gallery in 2013) will be published in Spring/Summer 2022 with Doire Press. Her many published anthologies have been recognised and awarded, such as Arlen House “Her Other Language” and she is one of participants in the 2121 Ambiguities Project with Quotidian - Word on the Street.

Nandi is one of the 2021 BBC writer's room Hothouse chosen writers and one of the six writers on the Six Projects commissioned by the Arts Council NI and Brassneck Theatre Company to write a screenplay. Her play “The Journey” opened the prestigious International Literature Festival Dublin in October 2020.

Nandi is a cultural ambassador and works in schools throughout Northern Ireland delivering cultural awareness workshops. In 2018 she co-founded She-Wolf Theatre Collective, following a sold-out performance of “The Vagina Monologues”, giving a platform for female writers and performers and speaking up about issues women face today. She is also a creative writing facilitator for Projects such as Same-Difference, Ensemble Colours, Phenomenal Women and In My Own Words.

  • Permanent Representation of the Republic of Slovenia to the European Union
  • Ambassade du Luxembourg à Bruxelles
  • Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity
  • Commission européenne
  • Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the Kingdom of Belgium
  • Istituto Italiano di Cultura
  • Embassy of Sweden
  • Greenlandic Writers Association
  • Embassy of Ireland
  • Permanent Representation of the Republic of Estonia to the European Union
  • Spain Arts and Culture - Cultural and Scientific Service of the Embassy of Spain in Belgium
  • Ville de Bruxelles
  • Greenland Representation to the European Union
  • Leeuwarden Europan Capital of Culture 2018
  • Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the EU
  • Romanian Cultural Institute in Brussels
  • Scottish Government EU Office
  • Mission of the Faroes to the EU
  • Swedish Institute
  • LUCA School of Arts
  • Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Belgium
  • Yunus Emre Institute
  • Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
  • Czech Centre Brussels
  • Orfeu - Livraria Portuguesa
  • MuntPunt
  • Austrian Cultural Forum
  • Etxepare Euskal Institutua
  • Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren
  • Camões Instituto de Cooperação e Língua Portugal
  • Lithuanian Culture Institute
  • It Skriuwersboun
  • Hungarian Cultural Institute Brussels
  • Polish Institute - Cultural Service of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Brussels
  • Instituto Cervantes Brussels
  • Danish Cultural Institute
  • LOFT 58
  • Embassy of Andorra