The Xhosa musician Madosini Latozi Mpahleni
Following Latozi Mpahleni’s (Madosini) repeated request for assistance in setting up a structure that would enable her to teach traditional Xhosa instruments and transfer her indigenous cultural knowledge to a younger generation, the Department of Music at Stellenbosch University (DOMUS) is hosting her as visiting guest – together with an assistant and translator – at its Stellenbosch campus from 6 – 10 October 2009.
The visit will be coordinated by composer Hans Huyssen (currently a STIAS fellow) and the musicologist Dr Stephanus Muller in his capacity as head of DOMUS (www.domus.ac.za).
During the week-long tenure Madosini will be available for conversations, talks, interviews and planning sessions with persons or institutions interested in investigating feasible strategies and practical means and ways to facilitate the transmission of traditional Xhosa musical practices or any related topics.
The call to participate in this process of research in indigenous knowledge is aimed at music educators and interested students, instrumentalists, musicologists, arts and culture administrators, policy makers and journalists.
Madosini is a charismatic practitioner and representative of an age-old but gradually vanishing endemic culture. She is recognized as a ‘national treasure’ and important indigenous knowledge bearer, yet a huge discrepancy exists between the general admiration for her art and any close interaction or involvement therewith. It is therefore our wish that this opportunity should be used by as many interested parties as possible. Any respectful and inquisitive interaction with Madosini is encouraged, as her specific request and her role as a traditionalist in a fast-changing society pose challenges for research and exploration in indigenous knowledge systems that are of ongoing concern to South African intellectual and musical life.
January 19th, 2011