Considered a national treasure, multi-award-winning indigenous musician and the 2020 National Arts Festival featured artist Madosini Latozi Mpahleni, best known as Madosini, is currently in poor health and living in difficult living conditions in Langa. Due to the urgency of the situation Rootspring, a Cape Town-based non-profit, recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help build her a better home on her ancestral soil in the Eastern Cape.
Madosini has performed internationally for many years including at Womad Festivals where she was also documented in their Musical Elders Project. Over the years, she has performed as part of band Amathongo and with renowned artists Ringo, Thandiswa Maswai, Derek Grepper, Hilton Schilder, Gilberto Gil and many more.
Unfortunately, Madosini was too ill to perform virtually at the 2020 National Arts Festival so existing footage of old concerts and interviews were shown instead.
We were grateful that festival-goers could see footage of her in performance because she receives so much joy and energy from a live audience, something that cannot be recreated in isolation. The response has been wonderful with many people encountering her for the first time and being amazed by her as a personality and as a musician, composer and stage performer,” says Pedro Espi-Sanchis friend and fellow Amathongo band mate.
Indigenous musician Madosini Latozi Mpahleni - best known as Madosini - is the 2020 National Arts Festival featured artist. Every year, the festival pays tribute to an artist who has made a significant mark on the country's arts landscape...
3 Mar 2020
We sent a few questions to fellow Amathongo band mate and founder of NPO Rootspring, Johnny Blundell to find out more about the campaign and how the public, business and government can help.
Amathongo - back row Hilton Schilder, Lungiswa Plaatjies, Jonny Blundell, front row Pedro Espi-Sanchis, Madosini
What would be the ultimate outcome with this campaign?
We would like Madosini to have a decent house with two or three bedrooms and, hopefully, properly fitted out with all plumbing and kitchen appliances, and hopefully even furniture, carpets, curtains, etc. The idea is that this would be a home for her and her family into the future.
What exactly are you crowdsourcing?
We are trying to get funds into a bank account for the building of the house on Madosini’s existing land in Libode in the Eastern Cape. There are some basic existing buildings there that could possibly be incorporated into the plan. We are also needing and helping we can get in terms of donations (or discount) of building materials, paint, doors, windows, kitchen appliances, fixtures and anything useful to the house. Also any expertise – architect, municipal officials, etc.
What has the response to this campaign been like so far?
We have had enthusiastic written and verbal responses and people happy to share the information but, disappointingly, few people have actually donated money (21 to date). We have had a wonderful offer from an architect to do pro bono work for this.
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