Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Halala South Africa ... Zolani Mkiva

ZOLANI MKIVA, His Royal Heritage, is one of the youngest practitioners of one of the oldest oral traditions in South Africa: the Imbongi, or Praise Poet.

Hailing from Idutywa in the Transkei area of the Eastern Cape, Zolani rose to prominence in 1990 when he was called upon to praise the recently released Nelson Mandela at his Welcome Home Rally in the Transkei. Zolani was then appointed Imbongi Yesizwe, or "Poet to the Nation". Significantly, in 1994 he participated in numerous performances throughout South Africa, including the Inauguration of President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. 

"Do business unusual"
 - Zolani Mkiva on the iStart2 Show

The role of an Imbongi is a responsible one in African society, for it involves articulating the feelings of the community, and encapsulating these sentiments in concise poetic phrases. Not only does the Imbongi praise, but must also ponder, even offer criticism.

We chatted to Zolani about his role, his views on sustainability, the role of art and traditional healing. Zolani believes we are at our best when we are original and that we are all born to be free. To hear his message to the nation, just click play:

Thought of the day:

Listen @17h30 on the iStart2 Show on Radio Today 1485 AM in Jozi, Nationally on DSTV Audio Channel 869 or worldwide on www.1485.org.za. 

Show hosted by Pierre du Toit and the beautiful Keitu Gwangwa. The show is broadcast every Monday at 17h30 and repeated on Thursdays at 17h30 (SA Time).