Professor Madimabe Geoff Mapaya (NRF C3 rated) holds a PhD in African Studies – specialising in the study of mmino wa setšo (indigenous African music) ¬¬- particularly its implications on the discipline of African musicology. His education and philosophical outlook and research interests are undergirded by a Bachelor of Music (jazz performance), a Higher Certificate in Education from the University of Cape Town and a master’s degree from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Concerned by the prevalent academic tendencies of rendering African knowledge holders voiceless and faceless, his latest research work dutifully seeks to address this problem by foregrounding African indigenous knowledge systems and worldviews and basing it on the rising Ordinary (African) Language Philosophy. His numerous academic articles, book chapters as well as opinion pieces are all attempting to enthrone African musicology and views as opposed to those littered in the dreaded ethnomusicology.
Administratively, Mapaya has served the University of Venda as the Head of the Music Department for three 5 year-terms (fifteen years). He is a member of the University Senate and serves in the Institutional Forum. Mapaya was also the founding member of the erstwhile Indigenous Music and Oral History Project (IMOHP) which ran from the University of Venda. This project was the bedrock for many a PhD and master’s projects. It generated enormous amount of data resulting in several research articles, chapters, and books. It has also elevated the plight and highlighted the role the artists have in African societies.
As an educator, Mapaya taught and natured talented artists ranging from the internationally renowned Tutu Pouane, Mzwakhe Kheswa, Zizwe Kheswa to Lindy Maxolo and many more instrumentalists who are today the mainstays of contemporary South African music. In equal measures, Mapaya supervised and promoted educators and scholars such as Dr Joseph Malinga, Kgaogelo Mailula, Dr Martison Nhamo, Magalane Phoshoko and Mbuti Moloi to name but a few.
Apart from his university duties which include teaching, conducting research and promoting postgraduate studies. Professor Mapaya is also a performing musician with several albums to his name. As a recording and performing artist, he worked with musicians such as Themba Mkhize, Moses Molelekwa, Mcedi Kupa, Sydney Mnisi, Bongani Sokhela, Sandile Jwaai, Jimmy Mgwandi, Nkanyezi Cele, Selaelo Selota, Lulu Gontsana, Buddy Wells Marcus Wyatt and many others. He also served as the chairperson of the erstwhile Musician’s Union of South Africa (MUSA).
Department of Arts and Social Sciences
Qualifications: B. Mus (UCT); HED (UCT); M. Mus (Wits); PhD (Univen).
Office No: L2, Music Building