It has been a horrid week for Azania and her women. A gruelling time for Afrika, and a disgraceful moment for the negotiated state. None of it is new of course, but the simultaneous implosion wrought a pain too crude to fathom, and rendered this week, one of the most difficult in the past 25 years for Black people.
It is not business as usual in South AfriKKKa, however artists have always offered reprieve from the malaise. An occasion to reflect, a moment for collective mourning and an attempt healing. They remind us that indeed, “beauty is possible”. This week’s Gigs of The Weekend have been selected with Azania and her troubles in mind. In chronological order:
*Also Blacks, please stick around after reading about the gigs for poetry by Vus’umuzi Phakathi, at the end of this article.
Gig One: Modise Sekgothe - Dipoko tsa Dipoko
Date: 06 September 2019, 19h30
Venue: Soweto Theatre, cnr Bolani Link and Bolani Rd.
“Modise Sekgothe's debut EP, released in May 2017, finds its way to stage for the first time. DIPOKO tsa DIPOKO is a solo project that explores the use of one voice as its own instrument, lead and narrator.”
Further Reading: DIPOKO tsa DIPOKO Live
Gig Two: Meleko Mokgosi – Objects of Desire, Addendum
Date: 07 Semptember 2019, 10h00
Venue: Stevenson Gallery, 46 7th Avenue, 2001 Johannesburg
“Objects of Desire, Addendum exists as a postscript to Mokgosi’s acclaimed, long-standing visual essay, Democratic Intuition, of which Comrades, exhibited at Stevenson, Cape Town, in 2016, was the second of eight chapters.”
Further Reading: Objects of Desire, Addendum
Gig Three: Zoë Modiga Live - Kwasukasukela
Date: 07 September 2019, 20h00 | 08 September 15h00
Venue: Lesedi, at the Jo’burg Theatre
Charge: R120 Webtickets, R150 at the door.
Gig Four: Sibusile Xaba, Dj Bubbles, Nombuso Mathibela
Date: 07 September 2019, 21h00
Venue: Untitled Basement, 07 Reserve Street, Braamfontein. Charge: R140 Presales @Quicket, R180 at the door.
“With a vocal style that is part dreamscaping and part ancestral invocation, Sibusile Xaba divines as opposed to plainly singing. Combined with a guitar style that is rooted in expressive picking, Xaba's music shatters the confines of genre, taking only the fundamentals from mentors such as Madala Kunene and Dr Philip Tabane and imbuing these with a mythology and improvisational intensity all of his own.”
Further Reading: Sibusile Xaba Live
The Dark Shadow of Xen by Vus’umuzi Phakathi
Hunger sprouts atop the fertile soil of my apartheid's tomb,
Nurse thence the bleeding and panting I have in your being so soundly groomed,
Forsake not my love's yearning womb,
And rest your breath upon your yawning wound.
Sister, I am fearful me.
Please forgive me.
Be weary of a man inflicting pain upon himself as labour,
To his tortured temple you are but a seasonal neighbor,
He will love you if he so ever,
As he does himself, brother.
Thina we belonged never to ourselves,
Our fathers torched their oppressor's belongings in protest,
We torch our own now,
We belong to ourselves now,
Somebody forgot to tell us!
I beg you forgive me!
Me I am afraid me.
Heavy grape vines bawl of my inheritance of a fruitful season,
Yet, in sly mutters scarcity waters my hunger diligently,
My hunger has matured into Sundews and she is feeding on my reason,
No foreigner should dare come near any of my dues!
Oh my! Hunger becomes me.
She turns heart to brick and mind to stone she haunts me;