Madosini. Picture: Justin Sholk
Madosini. Picture: Justin Sholk

Music, workshops, theatre take the spotlight at vNAF day 8

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Jul 2, 2020

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Since the coronavirus pandemic, people across the world including artists, musicians and theatre practitioners, had to find new and innovative ways to share their work.

Using online tools including Zoom and Facebook Live, the organisers of the annual National Arts Festival ensure the show goes on, despite a few technical glitches.

As we enter day 8 of the Virtual National Arts Festival (vNAF), these are the highlights of the day, from exhibitions to webinars to live performances and film.

In the Works: Play reading for young audiences.

This is an initiative that seeks to develop new African theatre pieces made especially for children and young people through a combination of international mentorship and direct engagement with the intended audiences. 

The vNAF, brings the first two plays from the 2020 series: “Zwelitsha” by Sanelisiwe Yekani and “Little Fists, Big Heart!” by Lereko Mfono. 

"Zwelitsha" is about a girl named Zukhanye, who inherits superpowers from her mother. At first, Zukhanye doubts her gift, but with the support of her friends she learns to trust her power, and we witness her rescue the people of her township.

Set in 2002, “Little Fist, Big Heart!” is a play about Pula, a zealous boy on the cusp of teenage hood, who has to face his greatest battle, convincing his retired boxer father that he wants to be an astronaut rather than the boxing prodigy his family has set out for him to become.

An exciting webinar to catch is Avatars In Zoom - A Generative Jam.

Eyal Gruss, a new-media artist and a machine learning practitioner with a PhD in physics proposes that you can be anyone. Yes, you, and he will show you how it is done. Recent developments (as recent as mid- April) have made open-source code freely available which makes creating live real-time deep-fake in Zoom and Facebook Live entirely possible.

Music is the order of the day. Music lovers around the world will be treated to live performance by New Brighton born multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Bongani Tulwana aka KoraX.

Another live performance to look out for is RMBO, real name Tshepang Ramoba, a drummer, vocalist, producer and film music supervisor, known as a member of the alternative band BLK JKS.

For this offering, RMBO who is making his debut at the National Arts Festival, will be performing with Sibusile Xaba on guitar, Tebogo Seitei on trumpet and Xola on Bass, with Danial Jockob bringing synths and sounds in from Switzerland and Machume Zango bringing percussion from Mozambique.

Another not to be missed live performance is Madosini In Concert


Indigenous musician Madosini Latozi Mpahleni is named 2020 National Arts Festival Featured Artist.

The Festival always pays tribute to an artist who has made significant strides in the country’s art landscape and this year, the deserving recipient of the National Arts Festival's Featured Artist accolade is a world-renowned music icon, Madosini.

“Madosini is our national treasure. She has kept alive the tradition of Xhosa music rooted in oral tradition, in particular the distinctive sound of the uhadi (music bow), umrhumbe (mouth bow) and isitolotolo (Jew’s harp). 

"A musician, composer and storyteller, she also makes instruments, has performed and collaborated widely and continues to teach the body of knowledge she has carried over her lifetime. We are proud to feature her sonic and cultural legacy at this year’s National Arts Festival,” commented National Arts Festival Artistic Director Rucera Seethal.

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