Featuring an in-depth interview with Sikhumbuzo Makandula, and including contributions from artist and art historian Nomusa Makhubu and music by renowned opera singer Mthwakazi, who has pioneered a style of music that she terms Xho-opera.
Sikhumbuzo Makandula is a multidisciplinary artist with a Fine Art degree from Rhodes University and a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary, Live and Public Art from the University of Cape Town. His recent performances include Zizimase, performed at the Infecting the City public art festival in 2019, and Ingoma ka Tiyo Soga performed at the ICA Live Art Festival in 2018 and at the 2019 National Arts Festival.
In this episode, we dive into two of Makandula’s performative works, Ingqumbo (2016) and Ingoma ka Tiyo Soga (2018-2019) to interrogate the areas of academic and artistic enquiry that have shaped – and which continue to propel – his deeply layered artistic practice: the violence of the missionary agenda in South Africa and its lasting effects, how to negotiate the intersecting influences of Christianity and African spirituality, and the necessity of excavating silenced historical narratives.
“The work really starts with music, before I even get to the image,” Makandula explains – and this powerful soundscape that inspires his work and fills his performances also threads its ways through our conversation as we journey between Makandula’s art studio, the South African National Gallery, and the city of Makhanda.