Tuesday, 30 October 2018 was the second day of the Lecture Series and Symposium Programme hosted by the School of Human and Social Sciences. Prof Ndwamato George Mugovhani who is currently attached to the Department of Performing Arts (Dance, Musical Theatre, Vocal Arts and Jazz and Popular Music) at the Faculty of the Arts of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) spoke about the ‘Disability is not a deterrent: a case study of the enigmatic Mamphodo the Musician,’ and ‘Transformation in the teaching, learning and research methodologies in African institutions.’

Prof Mugovhani outlined a brief background of the late Mr Ntshengedzeni Mamphodo, a well-known traditional musician who used to play the Mbila instrument. He presented the late Mr Mamphodo as person who was born with deformed legs, whose short feet and toes pointed in an awkward direction, as an exceptional musician.

According to Prof. Mugovhani, Mr Mamphodo was a talented man who did not play only the Mbila indigenous instrument but also performed on the instrument called Tshihwana and Mushroom drum known as ngoma.

Apart from being a prolific musician, Vho-Mamphodo was also a resourceful person. “Mamphodo manufactured his own Mbila instrument in 1965 and used it to generate income and to support his family.” As a music legend, he recorded seven albums of indigenous music, amongst them, Nambi ya sialala in 1977, girl has been defiled in 1970.

The late Mamphodo brought forth the dynamism of people with disabilities in the music industry. Even though legends such as Vho-Mamphodo brought about change, people continued to take advantage of him because of lack of formal education.

By highlighting Vho-Mamphodo’s case, Prof. Mugovhani encouraged the audience to restore their culture and to support indigenous musicians; especially those who are at an advanced age and disabled.
In the second lecture, Prof Mugovhani opened by posing rhetorical questions aiming to show reasons why institutions of higher learning need to be transformed.

Answering some of these questions himself, he highlighted the need to tell our own history given past misrepresentations of the traditions and cultural practices of the previously marginalised communities.
His contention was that the current education system consciously aided the stripping of African culture and heritage resonated with all in attendance.

In his conclusion, Prof Mugovhani encouraged higher education to put more focus on the youth who stand a better chance of escaping the bane of European
Imperialism bedeviling older generations.

Group photo of attendees, speakers and organisers

Issued by: Department of Communications & Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: (015) 962 8525
Date: 06 November 2018

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