Legendary traditional musician Madosini honoured

The Department of Arts and Culture raised the Heritage Month curtain with big stars, including legendary international musician, Madosini, at an event last week.

A list of local talent and celebrities lined up for a music extravaganza on Wednesday September 7, at Khayelitsha’s Lookout Hill, to form part of celebrations marking Heritage Month.

The two-part programme included the Living Legend Masterclass and launch of Madosini Indigenous Instruments Legacy Project and saw the audience dancing to mostly traditional music.

The star of the day was Madosini. She is the only living legend of Cape Town who was selected by the department to be part of its Living Legends Programme (LLP). Last year the Department of Arts and Culture announced the LLP, an initiative that seeks to honour the living legends of the arts, culture and heritage sector, document their contribution and provide opportunities for them to teach skills to the younger generations of artists. The department said it was from this vision and through engagement with the living legends themselves, that a programme of lectures on various topics and a masterclass incubator programme was developed.

The department with Calabash Storytellers, also launched a Madosini Indigenous Instruments Legacy Project, which will promote arts and culture, the transfer of skills, social cohesion, audience development, job creation and sustainability.

Thirty aspiring musicians stand to benefit from the project which will run over three months at the Lookout Hill Tourism Centre in Khayelitsha.

Born Latozi Madosini Manqina, Madosini hosted a masterclass at the centre. She shared her intriguing life story with the audience, which included Chris Hani Art School pupils. Madosini was excited to have secured funding to realise her dream to teach young people about her music and her traditional instruments uhadi, isitolotolo and umrhubhe.

Head of the LLP, Sithembiso Ntombela from the Department of Arts and Culture, said he was excited that his department is doing something for the legends and the future leaders.

“I am also excited that Calabash Storytellers managed to secure funding from us for Madosini. We want these legends to go out to young people and teach them culture and customs. We want them to learn these traditional instruments and improve on them. We know young people are such a talented bunch of people,” he said.

Mr Ntombela encouraged youngsters not to underestimate themselves.

Calabash Storytellers representatives Andrea Dondolo encouraged partnerships between the government and cultural groups, schools and artists. She pleaded with those gathered to promote social cohesion.

“Partnerships are important. Madosini worked with us to get the funding. Had we isolated her, we wouldn’t have seen the skills she is about to transfer to young people. I am happy that she will leave a legacy behind,” she said.

The speaker of the day was Heritage Resource Management executive officer, Dumisani Sibayi, who stressed the importance of culture preservation.

He pleaded with young people to love themselves and their customs and cultures.

“Let’s keep our customs and cultures not because it is Heritage Month, but simply because we care for them. It will not help us or generations to come to follow the West,” he said.