Third-year African Music and Dance students recently performed their final public exit examination recitals at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music.
As part of the examination process, each student had to play different African instruments: the umakhweyana bow, timbila xylophones, percussion, Maskandi guitar, mbira DzaVadzimu and Mbira Nyunganyunga.
Apart from playing various African instruments, the recital programmes also featured traditional dances including the popular Zulu Umzansi and isishemeni styles, and choral/vocal items including isicathamiya and umshado, wedding songs. Modern dance items were also performed.
The 30-45 minute recitals were original compositions and choreographies and arrangements were done by each of the 10 students. Each student composed their own recital theme that tied together the items they performed.
Highlights of the two-day event were Sithwele Kanzima, a composition by Mr Philani Thabethe, and a percussion composition Badlala abafana by Ayanda Dlamini.
Dr Patricia Opondo, the module co-ordinator for the African Music and Dance Programme, said: ‘The third year exit exam recitals are an exciting culmination of three years’ creative growth of our students under the guidance of a dedicated teaching team. I'm grateful and proud of the professional quality of the recitals over the years, and wish our graduating team success in their careers.’
Student Ms Thobile Mbanjwa said: ‘We performed different African tunes, some of which are reminders of the old days while others are more modern and speak to how the new generation views African history while taking into account our perspectives. Through our exam recitals, we managed to remind people who they are and where they come from, showcasing African spirit and history in a whole new way.’
The students thanked their peers and especially Opondo for the support and guidance.