For Msaki, Makhanda is a site of many personal traumas and small violences – as well as a historical site of trauma for black people. First entering the town as a child, and returning as a teenager and then a university student, the ruptures, difficult memories, and experiences have found their way into her music, and the songs she ‘catches’. Placing her personal story in conversation with the macro reality of violence that exists on multiple levels, in a town where Settler’s Monument stands over Rhodes University and further monuments to war heroes in town are placed in a perfect line with the Cathedral leading up to Makhana’s kop, Msaki will explore the interface between her personal story and Makhanda’s greater frontier history of violence.
With this deeply personal work, she intends to create a sonic portal for healing work that enables others to act as witness and move towards doing the same. Across the full Festival period and in different formats, she works through her existing musical catalogue as well as debuting new compositions, to activate an atmosphere of healing. In doing this work, she creates a dialogue between the past, present and future, she is planting a seed to enter a new season.
Ndiyozilanda are a series of site-specific healing rituals. Msaki uses Ndiyozilanda to fetch versions of her younger self from various sites of trauma and separation around Makhanda, accompanied by the healer and guide well-versed in these indigenous technologies, Makhosi KHYNSA. Armed with an arsenal of songs caught in the past and with an openness to catch new ones as a balm for the present.
The gallery becomes a ritual space where Msaki embarks on her journey in the first weekend of Festival, and where the journey comes full circle in the last weekend of Festival.
Note – There are two scheduled and ticketed Ndiyozilanda in Atherstone Gallery. Outside of the ticketed Ndiyozilanda in Atherstone Gallery, access to Msaki’s Del’ukufa Exhibition in Atherstone Gallery is free.
MSAKI AT NAF 2023:
This year Msaki returns to a town with which she has much personal history. For the Festival 2023 programme, she presents a series of works across disciplines:
Visit Atherstone Gallery for her exhibition Del’ukufa open throughout the Festival
She performs Ndiyozilanda to an intimate audience on Saturday 24 June and 2 July
In the Cathedral, as part of Spirit Fest, she presents the musical performance Bawo Khusela including a 23 piece choir, uHadi ensemble and a String Quartet.
Embo Time Travel Experiment, at the Guy Butler Auditorium is her largest musical performance at the Festival which also encompasses aspects of the work she presents across the Festival, she presents two shows on Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July.