Songs are like the Grass: Madosini in Concert – Episode One

Madosini Latozi Mpahleni

The fitting recipient of the accolade of the 2020 National Arts Festival Featured Artist is indigenous musician Madosini Latozi Mpahleni, best known as simply Madosini.

A series of 11 episodes (one released on each day of the Festival) offers glimpses of Madosini performing in varied settings – from grand stages to intimate rooms, solo and in conversation with other musicians. This series was made under Covid-19 lockdown, a process made even more complicated by the fact that Madosini herself fell ill and was in hospital for five weeks. This meant that filming her was not possible and, as a result, we have relied on existing and archival footage to create this tribute. There are great variations in the technical quality of the material, but they have been chosen to reflect Madosini’s powers as a musician, stage performer, storyteller, and icon of an extraordinary cultural tradition.

EPISODE 1 – MJEKO SOLO
The first introduction to Madosini playing Mrhubhe, in a lyrical solo performance, of a song from her youth.  It shows her with a cultural group from her home village and in a teaching role on a visit to Zanzibar, which includes a meeting with Bi Kidude, the late great queen of Taraab music.

Access the rest of the 11-episode series here.

  • Genre: Music
  • Format: Documentary Film
  • Duration: Various
  • Language: English, isiXhosa
  • Ages: All ages
  • Available From: June 25, 2020

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Indigenous musician Madosini Latozi Mpahleni, best known as simply 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), umhrube (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.