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Monday, October 3, 2022


(Above: Rogan Roams)

iSupport Creative Business, in partnership with the Music In Africa Foundation, presents its second exhibition as part of the Umongo Msindo project that aims to commemorate, showcase and bring the story of some of the unique musical heritage of South Africa to life.

The exhibition, showcasing indigenous instruments, is an interactive exhibition that can be experienced at the University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus, during the Poetry Africa Festival from October 6 to 12 and on October 14 and 15 at the Glenhove Events Hub in Rosebank as part of The Voice of the Architect Short Film Festival.

uMongo Msindo is a project that aims to take audiences and musicians on a journey through the unique musical heritage of KwaZulu-Natal – focusing on spotlighting its indigenous instrument players. This province bears a good supply of historical gems in some of the most rural areas of the region. These men and women trace the history, and Umongo Msindo tells these stories that may otherwise be forgotten. The spread of these musicians across the province brings forward an impressive additional reading of South Africa’s historical micro-narratives on musical instruments, history, and usages.

This installation, designed by exhibition architect Issa Wessels, brings musicians into conversations with their instruments through videos, textiles that function as interactive wall pieces, steel materials and a QR portal that expands on their work- all presented via a mobile museum structure.

Umongo Msindo seeks to embed and augment the contexts of the sound and instruments themselves and retell the story of sound itself, its waveform, its resonances, and its dimensions into a medium - all the ingredients to a recipe that the musical instruments share with us. Therefore, the exhibition becomes a portal of dialogue around materials and wastes specific to time contexts and sites - an aspect pertaining to this time in which we live and exist.

“It has been a long-time dream of our company to bring indigenous instruments, their players and the stories to life. This is such an important piece of archival work that we are beyond grateful to share outside of our own province with the generous support from Music In Africa”, says Mzwandile Ntsele, who co-curated the exhibition with his wife and business partner, Marlyn Ntsele.

They have big dreams for the exhibition: “We would like it to be seen by as many people as possible. We ensured it is a mobile structure so it can easily tour, and other instruments could be added to the concept. We will also make sure learners get invited to this exhibition to share the importance and endless possibilities of indigenous instruments with a younger generation,” says Marlyn Ntsele.

After this exhibition run, Umongo Msindo plans to launch its website featuring a digital exhibition consisting of augmented reality instruments that will also be extended into AR filters on social media.

This programme is a part of the Music In Africa Live project, which is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, Siemens Stiftung and Goethe-Institut.

Curators: Mzwandile and Marlyn Ntsele

Exhibition Design: Issa Wessels

Videography: Sthembiso Hlela & Jim Kagiso Nkoane

Musicians: Bavikile Ngema; Bhekani Ngcamu; Msayinelwa Biyela; Njeza Dlamini, and Sphelele Dlamini


Exhibition details

October 6 to12

October 6, 7 & 8 during the Poetry Africa festival open from 09h00 to 21h00

October 9 from 09h00 to 17h00

10 October closed

October 11 & 12 from 09h00 to 17h00


FREE Entry

Tunkie Studio, University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus, Auckland Park.

 October 13 - 20 during The Voice of the Architect - accessible from 09h00 to 17h00

Glenhove Events Hub, 52 Glenhove Road, Melrose Estate, Rosebank, Johannesburg.


For more information on the Poetry Africa Festival and the Centre for Creative Arts at UKZN click on the CCA logo to the right of this article.