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 THREE – ITYILENI
This is about the train from Mthatha to Cape Town and evokes people’s deep associations with the trains that used to cross the South African countryside. It is the song that introduces the Isitolotolo, the third instrument on which Madosini is a virtuoso. It has a driving rhythm and playful spirit and Madosini performs it in concert with a tight ensemble of other musicians.
Access the rest of the 11-episode series here.