national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, August 5, 2011


(Ayanda Dlamini from Molweni – at 14 is the youngest participant in the Drumming Workshop)

A dozen young people from the Methodist Wesley Guild, led by Rev Luxolo Mantini, will give international and national delegates a very African experience when they come to Durban to attend the 20th World Methodist Conference (WMC). They will host a drumming workshop in an endeavour to encourage better understanding of the role of African drums as part of worship.

This assembly convenes every five years to bring together members of the worldwide association of churches in the Methodist/Wesleyan tradition. The 2011 World Methodist Conference marks the 20th gathering of the Methodist/Wesleyan family from 74 member churches representing more than 132 countries.

The two hour drumming workshop, to be held at the ICC on August 6 and attended by WMC delegates, is designed to demonstrate practically the theology, history, social context and complex role of African Drums in Wesleyan worship.

“The drum is an accompaniment to worship, it is a way of asserting African identity and is a reflection of African spirituality,” explains Rev Mantini. “Interestingly it has become more prominent in worship post ‘94 especially with young people re-asserting who they are. It adds to the life-giving energy and power of worship as well as it provides a point of focus and valuable entry point into Methodist Africanised worship,” he said.

The workshop will be lead by Bishop Mike Vorster and Rev Luxolo Mantini together with 10 young people who are regular drummers in their respective local Methodist churches. The purpose of the workshop is to enable WMC delegates to be introduced to the role and theology of African Drums and practically begin to learn how to play African drums.

As well as learning about the role of the drum, delegates will learn about the cushion; the gong, the whistle and the pipe (fondly known as the ‘Methuzela’: a cousin of the better-known vuvuzela, used in Methodist worship)

"It is quite amazing how such a simple looking instrument can represent such a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. What for me is hugely impressive is the way young people are attracted to playing the drums and the phenomenal talent displayed through the complex rhythm and beats. This instrument has a very positive influence on many of our young people," commented Bishop Mike Vorster.

For more information, visit or email or phone +27 31 368 8000.