Death Talk Will Not Kill Her Spirit, Dr Latozi Madosini Mpahleni Lives

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Make no mistake. Warra! Ke re bona Samma, hard as it may be…,

Let no emotions and ezisematheni confuse you. Indeed, consequences of a state of mind mixing up matters of a spirit and its host (the body) might have you speak heedless of a soul-presence alleged to be no more. Of course, some souls die, even whilst still walking. Fela Kuti! Sing um, for dem…, Zombie-yo! Zombie! 

But the artistic energy we came to know as Madosini is nowhere near death. Ah! That quickly brings to mind a long-ago memory of Gibson Kente. Picture the skeletal body of the great thespian and theatre director trembling on a hospital bed. However, to a visiting preacher, his feisty spirit emphatically says…, ‘I am not the dying type.’

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Thus the indomitable essence of Madosini merely sauntered out, left the (body) building on 23 December 2022 and…, Yes, in the song titled Uhambile, Ringo Madlingozi…, Psss! He is the wanna-be politician-musician with the hits Sondela, Into Yam’ and Ndiyagodola. So, Madlingozi aptly and songfully emphasizes a part of the philosophy yabaNtu capturing the situation thus…,

“Uhambile, usishiyile” 

Aah! You see…, meaning akafanga. Ehe! Usaphila umoya kaMadosini, she just travelled without the baggage of the body. From time to time she might respond to a Hurry Up This Way Again of the Stylistics, Regina Belle or Patrice Rushen. Wadi jaja mos..., At least Madosini left her body behind with some sweet-treats of memories tinged with love, music, culture, and art shared on a platter. Indeed! We hear from the writings of Patience Bambalele at Sowetan that Phumza Mpahleni, daughter to Madosini, hoist the memory of her mother as a soul that shares indigenous knowledge and music. Go ahead, ask Thandiswa Mazwai. She sings, in Lahlumlenze, and dances in salute to the long-living spirit of Madosini…,

Pho indaba kabani bo, Indaba kabani mangilahlumlenze.

Bakwwethu, let it be known…, During heritage month of 2022, Rhodes University honoured Madosini for her role in preserving South African indigenous music. Ehe! As you can see, Madosini is a rare find that embraced and accepted the task of keeping alive the history of a part soundtrack, an accent and the identity of a people. All this in times of a formidable cultural onslaught against Bantus, even with the help and collaboration of some Bantus.

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Jonga apha sana…, The lifetime efforts of Madosini to preserve an authentic and endangered African style of performance art and culture is something special and worth ring-fenced millions of rands. You know, privilege things of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture – exclusive to the…, you know uhm…, The likes of the BongaNathi Mzansi Orchestra yekhethelo.

Angithi, after all…, The African National Congress’ dust gathering Draft National Cultural Policy of decades ago speak of ‘South African cultures deriving from African, European and Asian strands.’ Then the policy goes on about the necessity to ‘give particular attention to the promotion and development of the African strand. Furthermore, says the document…, 

‘More than any other, the African Strand has borne the brunt of official and social repression in the past.’ Mhh! What about the present?

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So, a heart attack in France in 2019 (remember Miriam Makeba) and two Covid 19 assaults weakened the flesh and bones of Madosini such that her body perished at a hospital. But the indomitable spirit of Madosini cannot be erased. Here, take a sip from her music cup. This time she is with Hilton Schilder, Jonny Blundell, Lungiswa Plaatjies and Pedro Espi-Sanchis. Their offering is under the banner of Amathongo and is titled Mvimbeni. (ubani, uNathi Mthethwa?).

Mramama, cala mos, the essence (say the high ones) continue to live through the work laid out on a canvas during a journey on earth. Indeed, the voice of Madosini features in recordings, hearts and memories of those still pushing itikiti le life ephasini. For example, nasi ingoma -umbhino- ka Madosini – wona ophila  in the heart of the writer and goes like…,

Madosini To The World

“Dizu Plaatjies and Mzwandile Qotoyi (founding members of the group Amapondo) introduced Madosini to M.E.L.T 2000 around 1997. At the time, they were recording the album Drums For Future,” Says Reggy Zikalala, the then marketing and label manager at M.E.L.T 2000. From the book The Rough Guide to World Music, we learn that…, Madosini made a few recordings in the mid-1970s. However, not much transpired. Fast forward to the mid-1990s -Robert Trunz of M.E.L.T. 2000 takes a…, ‘leap of musical (and financial) faith that could only have occurred with a non-South African record label (even a government, for that matter).’

The album Power To Women by Madosini came out in 1997 and features songs including Wenu Se Goli, Bafazi and Yaka Yaka.

Aw’! Mdabu wase aFlika. Izingoma with solo string sounds…, Sometimes paired with sans hostility guttural singing that takes one to scene yomgidi othize. In sooth, music from the soul of Madosini – jolts a casting of the minds-eye on glorious mountains (ezingomasithela) and rolling hills that flank the zig-zag flowing rivers lapho kuphuza khona izinsizwa nezintombi. In the background – fields are scattered with izinkomo zobaba

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Yekeke, the initiated shall continue to know Madosini for her singing from the heart and for ukudonsa intambo that jolt a praise singer to wax lyrical in salute…,

Sisho Siyathokoza kuwe Madosini odose intambo amazulu avuleka, lana izulu, lina ngani na? Ka mmino thoko omyoli.  Camagu! Akwande!!!!!



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1 year ago

[…] Death Talk Will Not Kill Her Spirit, Dr Latozi Madosini Mpahleni Lives […]

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