forgetting. and memory

vangile gantsho, Vusumzi Ngxande & Toni Giselle Stuart

An exploration of intergenerational memory and forgetting. This is how the forgetting begins : a child hears a song the adults of the daytime do not know. Because the adults do not know it, they tell a child she is singing it wrong. So, the child who can still hear the songs in The Great Symphony without needing to say the prayer, folds the song away, deep in the back of her throat.

This interactive meditation is an urgent search for the song folded in the throat of the child. Poets vangile gantsho and Toni Giselle Stuart, and filmmaker Vusumzi Ngxande present a 60-minute poetry and film performance, in the form of meditation, ritual and conversation. Working with the four elements, they explore our relationship to the past, asking, what must be remembered, to create new futures for us, especially in this moment of global uncertainty and change? The performance will include an interactive component.

** The content of this production is of a spiritual nature. If you feel that you might be triggered in any way, please ensure that you are in an environment that is safe and that you will have whatever assistance you will need to be able to come back safely.

Information for ticket holders
Thank you for joining us for this poetry meditation. forgetting. and memory has an interactive component to the show. To prepare for this, we ask you to create a safe meditation space, with the following:
a white candle
incense or impepho
a glass of water to drink and
something that grows or was found in the soil (if possible)
If you are able to, we suggest sitting on the floor. Put down a blanket, take off your shoes, get warm and comfortable.
Arrange the items in your meditation space, however you feel called to do so.
We would like to remind everyone that the content of this production is of a spiritual nature. Please move through the meditation at your own pace, prioritising your wellbeing at all times.


  • Genre: Poetry Meditation
  • Format: Video
  • Duration: 1hr
  • Language: English
  • Ages: PG - see note**
  • Available From: July 4, 2020
Content no longer available.


Original script: vangile gantsho & Toni Giselle Stuart
Poetry performance: vangile gantsho & Toni Giselle Stuart
Videography: Vusumzi Ngxande
Sound design: Vusumzi Ngxande
Film directing, editing & producing: Vusumzi Ngxande


vangile gantsho: vangile is a poet, healer and co-founder of impepho press. An unapologetically black woman, she has travelled the continent and the globe participating in literary events and festivals. vangile is the author of two poetry collections: Undressing in front of the window (2015) and red cotton (2018). She holds an MA from the University Currently Known as Rhodes (2016) and was named one of Mail& Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans of 2018. Her latest collection, red cotton, an exploration of what it means to be black, queer, and woman in modern-day South Africa, was named City Press Top Poetry Read of 2018, and long-listed for the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2020 Award.

Toni Giselle Stuart is a South African poet, performer and spoken word educator. Her work is widely published in anthologies, journals and non-fiction books locally and abroad. Her performances include Krotoa-Eva’s Suite, a Cape jazz poem in three movements in collaboration with filmmaker Kurt Orderson (Amsterdam and Cape Town, 2016); Poetry, Paramedics and Film with filmmaker/health researcher Leanne Brady (2018); I Come To My Body As A Question with dotdotdot dance (UK & Sweden, 2016 – 2020); and What the Water Remembers at Woordfees (2020). She is a Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans of 2013, and has an MA Writer/Teacher (distinction) from Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was a 2014/2015 Chevening Scholar. She was the founding curator of Poetica, at Open Book Festival.

Vusumzi Ngxande: A multi-disciplinary creative whose work explores a wide range of topics, Vusumzi is a qualified graphic designer with a BTech degree from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. As an avid writer, his work has been featured in prominent publications such as Destiny Magazine, Afropolitan Magazine as well as online platforms such as Marvin. In 2016, he had his first art exhibition in the 13th edition of the Festival International du Film PanAfricain. This work, titled I Am Patriarch delved into African symbolism and representations of manhood through digital art. For the past 6 years, Vusumzi has been using photography to document the evolution of African spirituality through powerful and intimate images of sangoma ceremonies across a spectrum of belief systems. In February 2020, he launched The Journey Kwantu podcast. This is an audio-documentary through which he explores questions around African spirituality and identity.

This is an entirely original work, created for the Virtual National Arts Festival 2020.