04/30/2020 - 00:00

The National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) has started a process of exploring the registration of the Isicathamiya music genre to be recognised as a type of intangible heritage that needs to be preserved and protected and a uniquely South African form of cultural heritage.
Promoting and preserving the intangible cultural heritage of this country is a mandate of the NHC. Isicathamiya music genre has been placed on a global map by Ladysmith Black Mambazo – founded by the late world-renowned Professor Joseph Shabalala. The Black Mambazo as fondly known under Prof. Shabalala’s leadership had collaborations with international artists and became the only African five-time Grammy Award winner. It is through these outstanding achievements that the NHC sees it befitting to recognise Isicathamiya as part of the national estate, and ultimately a world heritage resource.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has previously recognized the Irish harp, the Moroccan Gnaoua music and the Georgian polyphonic singing as well as Reggae music as part of the protected list of the intangible cultural heritage of the world.
“It will be unappreciative of us not to honour the iconic Isicathamiya musician in a way that he has carried himself globally and placed the country on a competitive edge when it comes to music. He deserves more than what we intend to do in preserving his legacy and promoting the Isicathamiya music genre” says Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa – Chief Executive of the NHC. 
Culturally and traditionally, Isicathamiya, just like any other traditional musical genre, is influenced by African indigenous beliefs such as: belief in communalism which is expressed in the Zulu dictum, "umuntu, ngumuntu, ngabantu". This musical genre is characterized by competition, strength and power associated with animals, reverence of the fireplace as a resource for food and warmth and, dreams for communicating with ancestors. The expression "umuntu, ngumuntu, ngabantu" which means "a person is a person because of other people", dominates Africans’ social organization and is used as a tool to strengthen social harmony. It is also perceived as a public platform in which people can establish a concept of identity in a community.
The Council will engage other relevant entities to initiate the process of a formal recognition of Isicathamiya for its role in forging the elusive social cohesion, nation building and national identity.
Issued by: The National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) and the South African Traditional Music Awards (SATMA)
For media enquiries, contact Danny Goulkan at 072 952 2260, danny@nhc.org.za and Media interview requests enquiries: Linda (082 657 7064), l.shilakwe@nhc.org.za

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 16:14

Back to Notices

Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.