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

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.

A song on the Uhadi with a religious theme, saying “God, be with me, be with me”. It is performed twice here in two very distinct styles. The episode features a collaboration between Madosini and classical composer Hans Huyssen, who created The Songs of Madosini.

If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, click on the play button and you will be redirected to purchasing a ticket. All eleven episodes of this series are available for just R50.  PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU PURCHASE A TICKET TO ONE EPISODE OF ‘SONGS ARE LIKE THE GRASS’, YOU GAIN ACCESS TO ALL 11 EPISODES.  

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 28, 2020
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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.