Indigenous musician Madosini honoured

The third edition of the Van Toeka AF Living Legends Recognition Series event took place in Mkhankatho, Libode hosted by Department of Sport, Arts and Culture. The Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa honoured the matriarch of indigenous music and traditional instruments, Dr Latozi ‘Madosini’ Mpahleni.

The theme for this year’s heritage month is celebrating the legacy of Solomon Linda and South Africa’s traditional indigenous music. The series aims to honour and recognise South Africa’s living legends across the creative and cultural spectrum. Who have made a meaningful contribution to the arts and culture sector. The series wishes to create an intergenerational transfer of knowledge.

Giving his welcome speech to the guests, Chief Zwelicacile Ndamase said Madosini is truly inspirational to the nation. She is a true living legend, a role model to a number of young people, especially in our community.

The Chief also made a plea to the minister to develop the area. “There is a request made by the community to build a cultural village for Mpondo people in the Mkhankatho land in the name of Madosini, where the children will be taught their culture from the bottom up. So, when the children come of age, they are fully equipped.”

Ndamase continued and said O.R Tambo is one of the areas that experience high levels of teenage pregnancy. Children drop out of school because there are no outlets to give them guidance.

Minister Mthethwa gave a keynote address where he said a grand statement, that the soul of the nation is in Madosini’s hands. “Madosini tells us as a government that we have a duty to develop our nation. We will not develop only with houses or roads we will develop soulfully.”

Mthethwa continued, “We came to tell you that we love you, we have seen the work you have done, we can see that you are still doing remarkable things for the nation. You are not just teaching your children, you are teaching generations.”

The minister classified Madosini as being in the same league as Princess Magogo who also played traditional instruments. He said if we do not follow Madosini’s path, we will be a nation with no identity. “Madosini should not die anytime. Even if she is gone, she should live and be seen,” said Mthethwa.

The event also gave Madosini the opportunity to be officially robed. In the 2020 virtual graduation the Chancellor at Rhodes University, Justice Lex Mpati officially conferred the Honorary Doctor of Music to Madosini in recognition of her sustained and exceptional contribution in the Xhosa culture to the preservation and popularising the Xhosa bows. Due to COVID-19 and the restrictions, she could not be officially robed.

The Rhode University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sizwe Mabizela officially handed over the honorary doctorate to Madosini. The Musicology Head of Department, Dr Boudina McConnachie was present to facilitate the hand over. Professor Mabizela said Rhodes University offers honorary degrees with the aim of honouring people who excel in their professions and who have played a significant role in developing society.

He continued, “Madosini is an exceptional person, a worthy recipient of our university’s highest honour. A formidable woman, a woman of substance, a woman of great dignity and humility and a doyen of our cultural heritage.”

Madosini said: “I love this music very much. When I am no longer alive, I want to leave the youth with a strong, timeless tool that is manmade. I want to leave to the youth these traditional instruments which are the African bow, the African mouth bow, and the African harp.”

She expressed her gratitude while wearing her graduation gown and cap. “I am standing here without many words; I would like to thank you all. An uneducated woman like Madosini, today she was honoured in front of her whole village,” said Madosini in jubilation.

The newly appointed MEC of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture, Nonceba Kontsiwe was also present, along with Nyandeni Local Municipality officials to name a few. The event had performances from local traditional groups and school children. South African legendary musicians, Tu Nokwe and Madala Kunene also paid tribute to this matriarch of traditional music.