A music student in the African Music and Dance (AMD) programme, Mr Lindani Phumlomo, was recently awarded the prestigious Choreomundus: International Master in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage Scholarship.
Choreomundus is an Erasmus Mundus programme that investigates dance and other movement systems (ritual practices, martial arts, games and physical theatre) as intangible cultural heritage. It is offered by a consortium of four universities in Norway, France, Hungary and the UK recognised for their leadership in the development of innovative curricula for the analysis of dance.
‘Getting this scholarship is a dream come true. I will now be able to advance the knowledge I have gained in the performing arts industry and be able to compete at an international level academically as well as practically,’ said Phumlomo.
He believes that the scholarship will allow for the theoretical side of his performances to be sharpened and will enable him to participate in the world of arts performance in a more creative and innovative way.
Phumlomo’s love for dance began when he joined the KwaMashu Community Advancement Project (K-cap) in his hometown KwaMashu. K-cap taught him how to play various musical instruments, as well as to act and dance. He trained for four years and became a key member of the touring group Alive Kidz, formed by Mr E.Q Mhlongo, the founder and artistic director of Ekhaya Multi Arts centre.
With K-cap, he travelled to more than 25 countries. This impacted positively on how he viewed African Music and Dance (AMD). Phumlomo then decided to study AMD under the leadership and direction of UKZN’s Dr Patricia Opondo.
During his undergraduate studies, he received seven certificates of merit in AMD modules. In his final semester, he presented the strongest AMD exit recital with a programme that highlighted his mastery in four traditional African instruments, for which he choreographed two original pieces.
In 2015, Phumlomo was the recipient of the prestigious SAMRO bursary, and in the same year he opened at the 10th anniversary of UKZN’s African Cultural Calabash festival. At the beginning of 2016, he was appointed to the practical staff to teach Ngoma dance. Phumlomo successfully led an Ngoma dance workshop during a short exchange programme with students visiting from Brigham Young University in the USA in April this year.
‘Through studying, I was exposed to different kinds of instruments and dances from around Africa. It was exciting and I fell in love with it and my passion for it has continued to grow. I love my Zulu tradition and I am very proud of my heritage. I want to add value to the Zulu culture and tradition by being an African Music and Dance keeper,’ he said.
Phumlomo believes that scholarships of this nature are important because they broaden students’ thinking and their ways of seeing things. ‘I came to UKZN as an uneducated performer and now I am prepared to take on all the tough challenges that come my way. I will continue going forward.’
His Lecturer and mentor Dr Opondo added, ‘Lindani is a student of distinction and I believe this opportunity will further grow his talents. I anticipate a very successful career for Lindani and trust that his international profile will continue to grow. Congratulations and best wishes to him.’
He has already departed for Norway on a three-week orientation programme before spending 12 months in Norway, then to France mid-March for a two-week intensive dance analysis, six months in Hungary and six months in London where he will graduate at the Roehampton University in July 2018.