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Episode 5

Listen to Season 3, Episode 5 of The ICA Podcast, featuring performer and multi-instrumentalist Nkosenathi Koela!

Koela reflects on his transportive 2022 musical performance ukuNqula kukuThandaza, which meditates on practices of prayer through sound. Focusing on the vibrational power of words, chanting and incantation, Koela explores healing practices, indigenous music therapies and ritual making. He writes: "The maxim ‘Umlomo uyadala’ (the mouth creates) is a warning and a reminder of the potency within the vibrations of words and sounds.... [This] work situates itself within an ecology, ontology, and methodology specific to a southern African decolonial framework of ritual making through the science of art."

Listen on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, on our website; or wherever you find podcasts.  

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Nkosenathi Koela, ukuNqula kukuThandaza. 2022 ICA Live Art Festival. Photos by Xolani Tulumani.

Nkosenathi Ernie Koela’s practice lies in indigenous music therapies. Using interdisciplinary practice, including his practice as an Afrikan multi-instrumentalist, Koela explores how healing practices through sound create space that manifests spiritually and materially. Koela has been a performer and instrumentalist for over 16 years. Alongside playing instruments, he also teaches others how to play traditional instruments. This he does as a testament to his ancestry — the long line/s of traditional instrumentalists, diviners/healers (amaGqirha namaXhwele) that run in his family who are masters of traditional San, Bantu, and Nguni music/heritage. He released his first solo “Inkaba,” an Afro-Spiritual collection of dreams and soundscapes, (Brazil, Cape Town) in 2018, and his second in 2021 (“Embo Ethongweni”).

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Nkosenathi Koela. Photo by Mzwanele Tshishonga.

About The ICA Podcast

The Podcast – launched in July 2020 – emerged out of the ICA's 2019 publication Acts of Transgression: Contemporary Live Art in South Africa and extends the work begun by the book through conversations with the creators and curators of Live Art. Each episode is alive with music and audio from artists’ performances, and the weight and emotion of their personal stories.

Season 1 looked at the bodies of work of 8 diverse artists. In Season 2, each episode focused on a single performance, and the creative processes that brought them into being. Catch up on any episodes you may have missed on SpotifyApple Podcasts or wherever you listen. 

Season 3 – hosted by writer Nkgopoleng Moloi – explores 7 performances featured at the 2022 ICA Live Art Festival. Listen to each artist bring their immersive and richly layered performance to life, and reflect along the way on how their upbringing has shaped their practice.

The 7 episodes of Season 3 dive into:

I AM by Tandile Mbatsha
Between my finger and thumb by Asemahle Ntlonti
We are everywhere by Qondiswa James
Ingoduko yamaNkazana (The Return of the Home of Harlots) by Lukhanyiso Skosana
UkuNqula kukuThandaza by Nkosenathi Koela
Ifu Elimnyama: The Dark Cloud by Russel Hlongwane; and
Reclaiming the Poetics of Indigenous Horns by Kolawole Gbolahan

Looking ahead

In Episode 6 we'll be speaking to artist and cultural producer Russel Hlongwane. Join us then!

Rate and review the podcast on Apple podcasts to help other listeners find the show. Or share The ICA Podcast with a friend! 

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Nkosenathi Koela, ukuNqula kukuThandaza. 2022 ICA Live Art Festival. Photo by Xolani Tulumani.
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