The daughter of exiled South African parents, Lebogang Mashile was born in the US and returned to South Africa in the mid-1990s after the end of apartheid. An actor, writer and performance poet, she appeared in the film Hotel Rwanda (2004) and has performed in several theatre productions, including Threads, and recorded a live performance album incorporating music and poetry, Lebo Mashile Live. In 2005, she published her first poetry collection, In a Ribbon of Rhythm, for which she received the Noma Award. She was named one of South Africa’s Awesome Women of 2005 by Cosmopolitan and was named Woman of the Year for 2010 in the category of Arts and Culture by Glamour magazine. She was cited as one of the Top 100 Africans by New African magazine in 2011, and in 2012 she won the Art Ambassador award at the inaugural Mbokodo Awards for South African Women in the Arts.