Johannesburg – Renowned artist and cultural doyen - Mbuso Khoza - with The Afrikan Heritage Ensemble (an acapella unit of 16 strong voices formed in 2015) will bring to life the story of the battle of Isandlwana, through a musical lecture, on 25 and 26 January 2019 at the Joburg Theatre.
According to Khoza, the triumph has been commemorated widely in the KwaZulu-Natal province, and it is time that it is spread to other provinces. “As a heritage and music lover, I have always been fascinated by songs and activities from the past. I conducted research on Amahubo – the 17th and 18th Century hymns that were sung by our people – and concluded that these are time capsules, fully encoded with vast amounts of knowledge on how leaders and their subjects responded to the advancement of colonialists, and how this has led to the kind of society we have today.
This conclusion sparked an idea of presenting the commemoration of the battle of Isandlwana differently, not as a Zulu man but as an African. Bringing this to Gauteng was informed by the cultural diversity of the province, and the number of Zulu-speaking people in the province. We want to open this up to audiences that wouldn’t ordinarily partake in the festivities of this historic moment,” says Khoza.
Patrons can expect a captivating story of 140 years ago, delivered in song and narration. “This is a first, and it is carefully put together to enable even a person - who has never heard of Isandlwana - understand the significance of this occasion where Zulu warriors outthought and humiliated the mighty British army on 22 January 1879. This is recorded as the only time where the British colonialists suffered a decisive defeat, despite its sophisticated weaponry.
“This lecture will expose a side not mentioned often. We will not be dwelling on glorifying King Cetswayo’s exploits but demonstrating how ‘unity of purpose’ has achieved what experts would have called impossible, as Africans bared it all and showed preparedness to lay down their lives in defence of their land,” explains Khoza.
Accompanied by the The Afrikan Heritage Ensemble, Khoza will captivate audiences with intimate details of the national psyche in the run-up to, as well as during the aftermath of this historical incident. He uses data gathered from the lyrics and harmonies written and performed during the Isandlwana battle.
Do not miss this one-night only musical lecture, purchase your tickets for R200 at Joburg Theatre or call 0861 670 670
Date: 25/26 January 2019
Venue: Joburg Theatre
About the Afrikan Heritage Ensemble
The Afrikan Heritage Ensemble was formed in 2015 following auditions for township youths who would be taught the art of singing and interpreting amahubo. Under Khoza’s leadership they have since recorded two albums of amahubo, the latest with accompaniment by the Netherlands’ award-winning jazz pianist, Mike del Ferro. Since inception the energetic troupe has toured both in South Africa and the rest of the continent to tumultuous applause.