Ndaka Yo Wini’s concert project Ludongo no Lwandu is now in its fourth iteration. Photo: Supplied
Africa’s grandest gathering would not live up to its name if it didn’t feature artists from the rest of the continent on the line-up.

This year, the Cape Town international Jazz Festival (#CTIJF) will see Ndaka Yo Wini on stage.

Musician/ composer/ cultural researcher Ndaka Yo Wini was born Adriano Dokas in Lobito (Benguala) in Angola in 1981.

His first basic contact with music was through attending traditional community ceremonies as a child, where he learned about the dances, rhythms and rituals that collectively make up an integral part of the Ovimbundo culture. Also known as the Southern Mbundu, the Ovimbundu are the largest ethnic group in Angola, making up 40% of the total population. While overwhelmingly Christian, some do still retain practices from African traditional religions.

In search of where he fit into this world Dokas adopted the monikor Ndaka Yo Wini, which means Voice of the People, as he studied all that he could find out about his cultural background (as well as delving into engineering studies in Thailand).

Going back to 2011 he created a concert project called Ludongo no Lwandu which means Ancestral Rhythm of the Cradle. He has performed this around Angola and it is now in its fourth iteration.

Ndaka Yo Wini took part in the opening and closing ceremonies of the third Triennial at the Palacio de Ferro in Luanda, Angola, in 2016 and through the same exhibition programme he travelled to Porto, Portugal, to perform at the Casa da Musica as part of the Dipanda Forever project (this was part of the Triennial Cultural Magnetic Resonance Project which is an exchange to show the world the independence of the Angolan people). 

He also participated in the Africa Meetings of the Cultural Magnetic Resonance Project, hosted by the Sindika Dokolo Foundation in Niteroi, Brazil. That same year he was awarded a Top Radio Luanda Prize for Afro Jazz.

His first album, Olukwembo, was released in August 2018, the result of four years of research into Angolan folklore, myth and most importantly music history. The album is comprised of 11 tracks of original compositions. 

He merges traditional rhythms with modern sounds of jazz, blues, reggae and folk, drawing on music from ethnolinguistic groups such as the Ovimbundu, Kwanhama, Kilapanga and Tchianda for inspiration.

He produced a soundtrack for the film On the Other Side of the World, which was made by Angolan film production company, Generation 80.

In September 2018 he was a special guest at the Festival of Song, organised by Luanda Antenae Comercial, specifically because last year’s festival emphasised the fusion of tradition and modernity.

This will not be his first visit to Cape Town - he has played at Marco African Restaurant on the Foreshore at the invitation of the Marimba Vibrations Band.

Ndaka Yo Wini will play at the CTIJF’s annual Free Concert on Greenmarket Square on Wednesday, March 27 and then fans can catch him at the festival on March 30.

Cape Times