ZILIN: for the first and future African sonic stars

ZILIN is a musical journey with performance that highlights the notion of a borderless Africa through its musical explication. It is situated in the idea of audiotopia and music as a practice of borderlessness through the sonic power of travel across place and time. The intention of the ritual performance is to imagine a trans-temporal offering, singing towards the healing and future of Africa and its diaspora. The selected musical material will focus on singing into space, across borders and to the first and future stars to highlight the power of music as a migrating, moving and mobile force.

This project is an African restitution of sound because some of the material that will be used has been kept in institutional archives which are generally inaccessible to African youth. The project is a reclaiming of African heritage of song and musical production. Part of this process requires communality between performers and audiences, a standard practice in African performance. The work is titled ZILIN, an experimental vocal technique from Benin that is often used by leading African musician Angelique Kidjo. Zilin as musical style is also used in Vodun rituals and practices.

Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja is co-hosted by the Arts of Africa and Global Souths research programme at Rhodes University, which is supported by the NRF/DSI SARChI Chair programme in Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa.

  • Ticket Price: R40.00
  • Genre: Music
  • Duration (minutes): 50mins
  • Ages: open to all
  • Release Date: July 27, 2021 12:01 - July 31, 2021 23:59
  • Language: English




Conceptual Study & Composition: Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja
Guitar: Sam Batola
Bass & Keys: Raymond Mapfumira
Percussion: Chris Eiseb
Costume: Hafeni Frans
Visuals: Vilho Nuumbala
Production support: Zürcher Theater Spektakel

Additional material sourced from: Prof. Minette Mans’ Namibian ethnomusicology collection; Ernst and Ruth Dammann Collection in the Archives of the Basler Afrika Bibliographien; and the International Library of African Music at the University Currently Known as Rhodes.


Tschuku Tschuku is an ensemble of musicians from Southern Africa who perform a repertoire of love, migration and struggle sonics that fuse Afro-Beat, Jazz, Shambo and other sounds.

Previous records include Black Bantu Child (2012) and Trance !Namib Freedom Station (2017), and Ondaanisa yo Pomudhime (2021). The Tschuku ensemble is musically-led by performance artist and PhD scholar Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja whose archival research serves as a base for the work.

The work of the Tschuku ensemble has been performed in Namibia, South Africa, Switzerland, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Germany. Some of these notable performances were hosted at international festival platforms such as Infecting the City (2019, Cape Town), The Burden of Memory (Yaoundé, 2019), SpielArt Theaterfestival (Munich, 2019) and Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zurich, 2020).