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Systems of Governance

MoRa: Mogorosi meets Rampolokeng with ensemble live recording

Tumi Mogorosi meets Lesego Rampolokeng (MoRa) is not a word sound genesis but a word sound continuation upholding a sentiment of Black liberation. It is the meeting of different generations still musing on the fundamental freedom question, which is an absolute must within the current upheaval of world politics.

The question that sounds out the centre of this meeting is a question of “writing the ungovernable” (Rampolokeng: 2015) ringing true of the O.R Tambo request to render the country ungovernable in 1985. How might these ethics of ungovernability apply in thinking of freedom anew, in thinking of a way to bring forth a new world as this current world has continuously positioned the Black as the outsider to freedom and rights.

MoRa presents a cultural critique within the current field of South African culture that is determined by an amnesia driven aesthetic that fosters ethnic nationalisms that hinder the national project. MoRa brings in the historical, sociological and political implications of Black cultural work. The work sits in a cultural imaginary of what Frantz Fanon calls “national culture” that premises a decolonial sentiment, one that articulates the longue durée of wrestling with the question of national liberation. These are place holders in the Black arts of a people musing of freedom.

Due to word and sound holding a long history of social commentary, MoRa in terms of its transnational articulation upholds and is an extension of transnational Blackness. The Black radical tradition in its call to Black people worldwide still finds articulation in these rare cultural moments and MoRa presents such a moment.

With Rampolokeng’s “sewer bound poetics” the soundscape takes on a figuration of one who is bearing witness, an accompaniment from within the darkness bearing witness to the historical hurt. The ensemble that huddles around Rampolokeng is word and rhythmic centric with a lightness of voices that holds the bottom loosely thinking of a blues that meet the rugged South African landscape through Rampolokengs oeuvre. A sense of space between word and sound is created though sometimes open to the cacophony of all sounds as they blanket Rampolokeng.

This will be a meeting of word and sound that explores a different textural composition in vocals, the Tuba and Drums (western and african) that has not been heard in Rampolokeng or Mogorosi. The ensemble’s textural sits in the hold of the blues and the ostinato lines that keep the pulse of revolution alive.

The ensemble comprises Tumi Mogorosi (drums), Dalisu Ndlazi (tuba), Gontse Makhene (percussion), Themba Maseko (voice) Cecilia Phetoe (voice) and Sibongile Mollo (voice).

The show will take place at chiesa di PAZZO LUPi in Melville on March 22nd in Melville. Tickets are R350 per person and available at Quicket. Quicket. Patrons are requested to arrive at 6pm as the show will begin promptly at 7pm.
Introducing the Lesego Rampolokeng Foundation

MoRa is the foregrounding of the recently established Lesego Rampolokeng Foundation. A registered non-profit entity, the Foundation is born out of the idea for posterity-bound re-memory, vision-forming and rebirth.

It is no exaggeration that there is a degeneration and infantilisation of a generation within our (and greater) world being wilfully visited upon our people. From handed-down imagery, lacklustre theorisation, arrogance-driven ignorance, rapturous embrace and celebration of mediocrity. The ground has fallen out and there is a great need for grounding.
The research and excavation of texts; original, seminal and in other profound ways of consequence to our constant search for self-knowledge and being have been buried under mountains of neglect. Some of it has been sanctioned in the nefarious quest to create a palatable, sanitised, stage-managed ‘canon’; officially sanctioned in the quest for the manufacture of a user-friendly, state-beholden, synthetic, rainbow-dreaming ‘nationally-cohesive culture’.
Most of our greatest arts across disciplines, genres and forms, have never been disseminated beyond their creation. The greatest poets this country has ever produced, many of which are great inspiratory personages to Rampolokeng himself, have never been published or recorded and the nation does not have access to these unparalleled and priceless works. We could do an unending roll-call of tapes recorded in exile in the 80s that are out of reach to almost all of us and these names and works continue to gather in the dust. Extinction beckons. Memory faces death.
The Rampolokeng Foundation aims to counter and halt that hurtle towards oblivion, as a core matter of principle, with urgency. The bounty of the world’s multifaceted cultural expressions and the richness of our arts need preservation.
Thus, the Foundation seeks to build a site of commemoration, preservation and celebration; a sanctuary where our arts and history intertwine. It seeks to provide a valuable resource centre promoting learning for scholars and all whose concern is our lived experiences, both concrete, creative inspiration and imagination-driven.
It strives to establish a dynamic archive and display, becoming a beacon of excellence in cultural preservation. A heritage living through artworks, music, film and literature, historical photography spanning decades, serving as windows into our dynamic, though wilfully neglected and shunned, locked out cultural evolution.
It is an embodiment of cultural preservation, a living archive conceived to immortalise our rich history and memory. A museum alive with possibility. Its purpose extends beyond being a repository; it is a sanctuary, a nexus of art, history, and communal ties. Symbolically intertwines people through art, celebrating heritage and safeguarding artistic treasures for posterity to provide a canvas for creativity. A midwife to a re-birth – this is the Foundation’s heart-core vision.
To pick up from Aimé Césaire’s injunction, the vision is to (re)create the world in a manner that would bring us to humanity (where, given our history) we have never been, as a race.
Cell: +27 71 291 9959

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