A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

music
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (article first published : 2002-10-24)

NoFinish Dywili, the founder of The Ngqoko Women's Cultural Group, has been posthumously honoured for her contribution to traditional forms of South African music with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Arts & Culture Trust Awards 2002, held in association with Mail & Guardian and Nedbank.

As the doyenne and central pillar of Ngqoko - a group of traditional bowsingers from the Eastern Cape - Dywili took the traditional music of the abaThembu people from obscurity into the admiration of the public eye, both locally and abroad.

Dywili recognised that the musical traditions of her village Ngqoko (between Queenstown and Engcobo in the Transkei) and surrounding areas were dying and, in a personal 40 year crusade, kept the music - and customs associated with it - alive through a core group of singers.

Considered a national treasure of South Africa, the performers of Ngqoko encompass the richness and extraordinary depth of a centuries-old art form, with their music including the range of gentle bow patterns, soft overtones, astonishing musical scale, rich harmonies and a unique, highly-developed form of overtone singing.

Presenting the award, Professor Andrew Tracey, director of the International Library of African Music, highlighted Dywili's passion for sustaining traditional Xhosa music: "She was outstanding in her own way, but also representative of many, many other outstanding, unsung women who can be found in every small community in South Africa - people who have the courage and the power to live their life as they know it should be lived, and to influence others to do the same," he said.

Tracey continued by signalling the cultural significance of Ngqoko at a time that South Africans are rediscovering their artistic heritage. "They have made a tremendous impression. It's not only their music, the polyphonic singing, the three types of bow they play, the umngqokolo overtone singing. It is also their presence, their dignity, their gaiety and their seriousness, the sure knowledge they give to an audience that they are part of an ancient tradition which means something to them, and something of this meaning comes across to every audience."

The Ngqoko Women's Cultural Group has performed extensively both locally and internationally, recording a CD - Le Chant des Femmes Xhosa - for the Musee d'Ethnographie de Geneve in 1995. Amongst the many awards bestowed on the group are the Premier's Award for Indigenous Music and the Zolani Mkiva Humanitarian Award for Efforts to Promote the Arts.

The Arts & Culture Trust Awards recognise significant and sustainable contributions towards the advancement of the arts and culture in South Africa. The awards validate the Arts & Culture Trust's philosophy of the development, promotion and celebration of South African arts and culture. Award winners are chosen for the implementation, sustainability, success and innovation of projects or work which have lent themselves to the expansion of cultural horizons, and the nurturing of South Africa's rich cultural heritage.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was received by Dywili's daughter, Thulisa.

More information from Tsolwana Mpayipeli, manager: The Ngqoko Women's Cultural Group on 082 594-0206 or 083 490-1653




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart