The Africanist jazz band, Iphupho L’ka Biko, presents a sonic and spoken word tribute to the ancestors of resistance: “Ukubuya kukaNxele noMaqoma”. The show will be held on September 8, 2023, at the Chris Seabrooke Music Hall, Wits University. The show will feature poets, scholars, and singers who will bring to life the stories and struggles of uNxele and Maqoma, two of the earliest and greatest heroes of African resistance against colonialism.
uNxele, also known as Makhanda-the-itola, was one of the original inmates on Robben Island. He led the “Battle of Grahamstown,” inspiring his people to resist colonialism and fight for their freedom. Maqoma was the greatest general in the 19th century War of Resistance (the 9 “Frontier Wars”). He defended African land, autonomy, and independence for decades against colonial advances.
“The show aims to challenge and reframe the perception of uNxele, Maqoma and others like them, who have often been discounted or misrepresented by colonial documents,” says bassist and band founder, Nhlanhla Ngqaqu.
“The show also seeks to remind us of our origins and ensure we never return to that dark period. It seeks to reawaken the spirit of resistance that should guide our hearts and thoughts during challenging times. It nourishes us with the fruits of our hard-fought democracy while also celebrating Black pride and preserving our precious heritage in a sacred manner.”
The show will feature poets Makhafula Vilakazi, Sabelo Soko and Kgafela oa Magogodi, who will use words and metaphors to convey the emotions and struggles of uNxele and Maqoma. Scholar Mazibuko Jara will provide a historical account of uNxele and Maqoma, recollecting an oft-discounted part of African history. He will also give umrhabulo concerning these two important ancestors. On igwijo alongside Koketso Poho will be a daughter of the soil and liberation song rouser, Azania Tyahli.
Through this sonic exploration, iPhupho L’ka Biko aims to create a powerful and evocative experience that resonates with audiences, reminding us of our shared history and the resilience required to forge a better future. iPhupho L’ka Biko was founded in 2015 in the corridors of Wits University by alumnus Nhlanhla Ngqaqu. Through music, iPhupho L’ka Biko aims to conscientize and spiritually awaken the human race globally. The band fuses jazz with indigenous African music of imvumane and igwijo and elements of religious music. For those who have been to a live iPhupho show it is a coming together in healing, love, prayer, unity, history, and revolution. In this instalment of one of its idiosyncratic offerings, iPhupho invites aBahlali to journey through moments in history that are fundamental to where we find ourselves. It is also a symbolic moment for the band, as they return “home” to Wits having recently released their debut EP titled AZANIA.
PRODUCTION: iPhupho L’ka Biko
VENUE: The Chris Seabrooke Music Hall, Braamfontein Campus East
SEASON: Friday 08 September 2023 @ 19:00 RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes with interval
Price: R80 – R120 at Webtickets