A note to the reader: Mantombi Matotiyana is often referred to in the text by her clan name “Mangwanya”. The conversation was planned to be in IsiXhosa but what one will hear and see in the transcription is not the standard IsiXhosa language. Mantombi Matotiyana does not speak isiXhosa as she is a Mpondomise, and her language has Mpondo and Mpondomise aspects. The interview was then conducted in her own language.
Dizu Plaatjes: Khawusibriefe kaloku ntombi, ithin’into?
Dizu Plaatjes: Please brief us, what is it [that we are going to do]?
Pakama Ncume: Hayi, oh… eyonanto ngoku sibhala, sibhala ijournal, eh.. ezama ukulanda emva intokokuba seside safika kwi CD nje sisuka phi, imibuzo yam izakukuba kukuba seside salapha nje nisuka phi nale ntombazana.
Pakama Ncume: What we are busy doing now is writing a journal and we want to trace back your musical jouney and how it led to the release of the CD. My questions will revolve around that background.
Dizu Plaatjes: Singaqala?
Dizu Plaatjes: Can we start?
Pakama Ncume: Ewe, we need to start actually. Time is against us. Ngwanya, sisaliqhuba elibali, lencoko yalomculo wakho nalomlandu womculo wakho. So namhlanje sithe masiphinde sibuyel’ umva kuba ngoku besidibene kuqala besithetha ngecwecwe. Sesilapha nje, nadibana phi?
Pakama Ncume: Ngwanya, we are still continuing writing the story of your musical journey. Today we want to go back a bit because when we last met, it was more about the CD that was being launched. We would like to know for example where did you get to meet Dizu? For us to be here now, where did you two meet?
Dizu Plaatjes: Hay wena sis’Pakama, umam’uMangwanya ndimazela kuTsolo kuba utata, utatomkhulu – ifamily yam nathi sisuka kuTsolo, pha kuNomadolo, pha kanye uJence, ngoku ke .. eh..
Dizu Plaatjes: Sis’Pakama, I got to know Mangwanya because we are all originally from the same village, Jence (Nomadolo) in Tsolo. That’s where my family comes from, from my grandfather to my father, so now .. eh..
Pakama Ncume: Oh, ningabelali enye
Pakama Ncume: So you are from the same village
Disu Plaatjes: Ewe singabelali enye.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, we are from the same village
Dizu Plaatjes: Into eyenzekayo ke ngoku kwakho tata othile ekuthiwa nguNxotho, uNxotho ke ongu …eh.. Oonyana bakhe kulanyaka ndandisuka ngawo mna apha mna ndisiya ngapha ndiyokolukela kuTsolo …eh… babesoluka nabo, kodwa utata lo Unxotho kudala ndamazi kuba kulendlu, bekufikela amagoduka. Bekugcwala kuthi qhu kulendlu, kugcwala amagoduka. Nam ndibathanda kangaka nje abantu bakuthi, ndikhulele phakathi kwamagoduka.
Dizu Plaatjes: What happened was that I got introduced to her by a man named Nxotho whose sons I went with to initiation school in Tsolo. I got to know Nxotho because this house was a place where most people from home used to come to when they come here (Cape Town) to seek for jobs. That’s the reason why I love people from my hometown because I grew among a lot of them.
Pakama Ncume: Bebefikela apha?
Pakama Ncume: So this used to be their place of arrival?
Dizu Plaatjes: Bekufikelwa apha, kuhlalwe apha, umntu ongenandawo afikele apha, ahlale apha njalo njalo.
Dizu Plaatjes: People would come and stay here if they don’t have a place to stay yet.
Pakama Ncume: Andinandawo ngoku ndizakukhe ndifikele apha (kuhlekwe)
Pakama Ncume: I don’t have a place myself so I will move in here (joking – laughter)
Dizu Plaatjes: Kuba utata ibinguloo mntu ozivulileyo izandla. Elixhwele, eligqirha njalo njalo. Yaza yonke lonto yahamba yazochaphazela nam
Dizu Plaatjes: My father was a very warm, welcoming and generous man who was practicing as a traditional sangoma and healer. I inherited this generosity from him.
Dizu Plaatjes: UMangwanya njengoba ndandisitsho ndisithi ngamashumi mahlanu eminyaka sisazana. Eh, kodwa ke kwicala lomculo bendimazi aph’ekugwabeni, ndimva ngalotata kuthiwa nguNxotho kuba kaloku ngelaxesha wayetshotsha uMangwanya esithini
Dizu Plaatjes: As I said previously, I have known Mangwanya for fifty years now. But I only heard about her singing skill from Nxotho because according to him, she used to sing in the social gatherings held in the village.
Pakama Ncume: Wayehamba noNxotho aba?
Pakama Ncume: Was she singing in the same gatherings with Nxotho?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi, babendibona kaloku bebadala bona
Mantombi Matotiyana: No, they used to only see me because they were older.
Pakama Ncume: Oh utat’uNxotho wayemdala
Pakama Ncume: So Nxotho was older?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe, uNxotho noNobhokhwana
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, Nxotho and Nobhokhwana were older
Dizu Plaatjes: So bonke ke abobantu abo ke ngabantu abandibalisela ngoMangwanya
Dizu Plaatjes: So those were the people who told me a lot about Mangwanya.
Pakama Ncume: Okay. Bathi ikhona i’FM’ ekhoyo phaya kuthi?
Pakama Ncume: So they told you about this great vocalist?
Dizu Plaatjes: Kaloku into ebisenzeka kuTsolo, imvumi ebezisaziwa zininzi. KuTsolo kuyagwatywa, kuyaculwa. Kodwa eyona nto eh.. ibingumnqa pha kuTsolo yintoba umntu owashicilelayo yayingomnye umama ekuthiwa nguNomatshova. Umbuzo wam kengoku wabhekisa pha kuNxotho, ndithi yeNxotho, khawutsho tata kuwe leliphi ilizwi elimnandi uNomatshova no Mangwanya?
Dizu Plaatjes: There were lots of known musicians in Tsolo. There’s a lot of traditional music performance in Tsolo (singing and dancing). What was very strange to me though was that out of all the good singers, only one woman was recorded, Nomatshova. I asked Nxotho how that happened and asked him which voice was the best between the two (Nomatshova and Mangwanya).
Dizu Plaatjes: Avele athi lotata, “Dosini, uyatsh’uMangwanya, mandikuxelele mntanam, Uyatsh’uMangwanya.”
Dizu Plaatjes: He would respond, “Dosini, Mangwanya can sing, let me tell you my son. Mangwanya can sing”
Pakama Ncume: Wayetheni aze abe nelucky yena umama lo, uMatshova? Wafunyanwa njani, wafunyanwa ngubani?
Pakama Ncume: How did it happen that Matshova was so lucky to be recorded? How and who discovered her?
Dizu Plaatjes: Kwayoshicilelwa iingoma pha kuTsolo, washicilelwa ke ngabasasazi njalo njalo. Iingoma zakhe zimane zidlalwa apha erediyweni, eziFM’ini, erediyweni. Mna ke into ebendimane ndiyenza, bendizishicilela zonke ezangoma njengoba zidlala nje, ndiqonde ukuba ey ezi ngoma ziyandiphilisa ezi. Ngoku ke uMangwanya ke wez’u Mangwanya wazohlala nalapha, ngelo xesha ndiyeva intoyoba uyagwaba kodwa akazange khe andigwabele mna ngoku wayelapha
Dizu Plaatjes: Radio presenters went to Tsolo and recorded her songs. Her songs used to be played on the radio, in the FM (this is how people were calling the radio). I would then record them as they were playing because they healed me. Mangwanya then came to Cape Town. I only knew that she was a good singer although she had never sung for me while she was here.
Pakama Ncume: So ngoku eza apha uMangwanya neh sewuvile ukuba ungumntu ogwabayo
Pakama Ncume: So you are saying by the time she came here you were already aware of her singing abilities?
Dizu Plaatjes: Sekudala ndivile, intokunayo
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, I had heard, but …
Pakama Ncume: Kodwa awukadibani naye?
Pakama Ncume: But you had not met her yet?
Dizu Plaatjes: Hayi. Mh-m
Dizu Plaatjes: No. No – no
Pakama Ncume: Uneligama qha?
Pakama Ncume: You only knew the name?
Dizu Plaatjes: Ewe, seyilapha eKapa. Afumane indawo kengoku ezimbacwini eNyanga East ayotsho khona. Hay ke ndimane ndimvakashela ke uMangwanya ke njalo njalo
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, but she was here in Cape Town already. She then got a place to stay in the informal settlement of Nyanga East. I then started visiting her.
Pakama Ncume: So weva kengoku ukuba kuthiwa nanku useKapa kengoku, eNyanga, wanqondba uzoyilandelelela
Pakama Ncume: So after you heard that she was in Nyanga, you took that as opportunity to meet with her?
Dizu Plaatjes: Kangangokuba nokuya kwakhe eNyanga, eNyanga ndixelelwa yimpi yakuthi intoba hayi uMangwanya uhlala pha masambeni siyombona. Besikhwela itaxi apha ndingenamoto, ndihambe ndiyokubona uMangwanya. Sincokole noMangwanya kube mnandi njalo njalo kubemnandi. Esil’umqombothi kunzima, uba, intombi yayibilel’ emqombothini. Amadoda nanga amile, alindel’ umqombothi, esila nomnye umama ekuthiwa nguMadosini owayemhlophe. Oh! babevana kakhulu. Uyayiva ke ngoku lento le, nguMangwanya noMaDosini, nankomnye uDosini uyafika phakathi kwabo bobabini. Ndithi yeMangwanya, hayi maarn, lento yalomqombothi andiyiboni kakuhle maarn.
Dizu Plaatjes: I actually heard from people from home that she was staying there and they suggested that we visit her. We would take taxis because I had no car then. During our visits, we would chat and have a great time. At that point, she was busy brewing ‘mqombothi’, sweating and making sure that customers got the brew. Men would be patiently waiting for their ‘mqombothi’ which she was brewing with another woman, a light skinned woman named MaDosini. They were best friends. I was also close to them as I knew Mangwanya from my village and on the other hand sharing the Dosini clan name with MaDosini. I then started telling Mangwanya how I wished she could leave this business.
Pakama Ncume: Nanibavumela phoff abaseli aba okanye niyasila qha? Anibonwabisi nangalomculo?
Pakama Ncume: Were you performimg for and in any way entertaining your customers?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Siyabonwabisa kaloku, babesombela bona kaloku abantu botywala kaloku…. Abandazi ukuba ndiyahlabela kaloku mna, abandazi uba ndiyahlabea. Bazosela qha bona.
Mantombi Matotiyana: We made them happy but they used to sing themselves. They didn’t even know that I could sing, they only came to drink.
Pakama Ncume: Nditshukuba kaloku …
Pakama Ncume: I mean …
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi, ndandingafuni kwalonto, ndifuna umqombothi wam endizofumana imali, nini, namhlanje. Le ndixelelwa ngayo, hayi.
Mantombi Matotiyana: No. I didn’t want them to know, all I wanted was to sell the beer and get my quick cash. I wasn’t interested in what Dizu wanted me to.
Pakama Ncume: But umqombothi njengokuba uthatha iintsuku ezingaka nje Ngwanya ukuwusila? Uthatha ixesha ukwenza. Yintoni le ifumanisa imali msinyane?
Pakama Ncume: But the process of brewing traditional beer takes long, what made you to get money quickly? It takes days to brew. How did you make a quick cash then?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Umqombothi kaloku walapha urhutshuza namhlanje umqombothi, ndandirhutshuza namhlanje. Uyabona ukuba ndivuke ndarhutshuza ekuseni, ndiyadidiyela emalanga ekuseni ndiyapheka, ndiyawupholisa, ndiyawuvubela, ndiyahluza
Mantombi Matotiyana: How we did it here was to mix (maize meal and malt) for it to ferment. If I woke up early in the morning and do the mixing, in the afternoon I would cook it, cool it, add the malt to make it ferment and strain it.
Pakama Ncume: So xa upheka omnye urhutshuza omnye?
Pakama Ncume: So when you cook that lot, you start a new mix?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ey
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes
Pakama Ncume: So iyalandelelana?
Pakama Ncume: So it was kind of an unending cycle?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Iyalandelelana lento yobu tywala. Ndikholwa yilonto ke. Futhi ke ngela xesha kwakusasetyenzwa, kusaphangelwa, kungekanqabi msebenzi. Umphanda omkhulu wawulala uphelelile tu. Ulal’uphelile umphanda ndinesixikixa semali.
Mantombi Matotiyana: It was a cycle. That was what I enjoyed. What made sales quicker was also the fact that people were still working then, there were no unemployment issues. A big container would be sold out quickly. By the time we sleep, it will be finished and I would be having a lot of money.
Pakama Ncume: Ndiyasazi nesikixika. And kaloku abantu bethu inoba babemnandelwa yilanto yokukuba babuyel’ekhaya
Pakama Ncume: I can imagine the lot of money you would be having. And I think people enjoyed the beer because it reminded them of home.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Eh babethand’ umqombothi. Babewusela nyhani, kugcwale.
Mantombi Matotiyana: They really enjoyed it. They drank it a lot and they would fill the place.
Dizu Plaatjes: Ewe babewusela nyhani, babewusela nyhani. Ezo zinto ke ezo zomqombothi, zoman’esila umqombothi njalo-njalo, hayi ndathi yeMangwanya uNxotho uthi kum, utat’uNxotho hey hey ndithi hayi ndiyayifuna ke le ntombi le, ndifuna ukhe ukhe ndisebenze nayo. Wathi hayi hambothetha naye. Hay ndayotsho pha kuMangwanya.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, they drank it so much. This whole brewing made me approach and convince her. I spoke to Nxotho about the fact that I wanted to work with Mangwanya and he advised that I should speak to her. I then went to meet with her again
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ndakhaba ngawo omane sana.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I totally refused my child.
Dizu Plaatjes: Ndathi yeMangwanya …
Dizu Plaatjes: Then I asked her ….
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yhoo-yhoo!
Dizu Plaatjes: … wenza malini kulo mqombothi wakho. Athi,”hayi wethu ndiyayenza nje loomalanyana ke”.
Dizu Plaatjes: ..how much do you make from selling this beer? She said, “I make that little money.”
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yho yakhe yachazwa.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Who has ever disclosed her income?
Dizu Plaatjes: Ndathi hayi wethu Ngwanya mna noko mna ngathi ndizokunika imali ethe xhaxhe wethu kunalento. Wathi uMangwanya “hayi hayi, suzondimosha emqombothini wam”, hayi ndathula, kodwa ndabe ndiqond’ba kodwa uncumo olu lwakhe lutheth’enyinto ifana noba diPaks xa ndidibana nawe, you know mhlambi masithi sidibana sobabini noba awundivumanga but oluya uncumo lolu luza kundixolisa.
Dizu Plaatjes: I told her I would offer a better income than what she was making. Mangwanya replied, “No, no, don’t mess up with my job”. I decided to leave but not that I was giving up. But what kept me hopeful that she would change her mind was the way she would smile when responding to my request, that smile you would get when proposing to a girl that is not totally against what you are saying but not ready to agree to a date.
Pakama Ncume: Uqondba hayi noko ndingaphinda ndiphinde.
Pakama Ncum: So that made you believe that you still had a chance with her?
Dizu Plaatjes: Ewe uqondba andivalangwa and kamnandi ngowakuthi lomama lona and ikhona indzalwano ethile njalo-njalo ndathi ha-a ndizaphinde ndiye pha kuye. Ndaxelel’utata ndithi, “heyi tata, mmh-m, ndifunukusebenza nalomama lona”. Athi “hayi phind’uye kwaphaya kuye, akukho nto sizayithetha”. Kodwa yave yavuthwa into kuba aph’ eZone1, apho khona impi yakuthi ibifikela khona, bekukhe ngeliny’ixesha khe ngelinye ixesha kukhe kudityanwe.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, at least you could see that there was still hope. Also the fact that we were from the same area and we were related made me persevere. I told my father how much I wanted to work with Mangwanya and he said, “approach her again, there’s nothing I can say”. After so much pursuassion, things took a turn because we used to meet as people from home in Zone 1.
Pakama Ncume: Uph’ uZone 1, uphi ulapha kwaLanga
Pakama Ncume: Where’s Zone 1? Is it here in Langa Township?
Dizu Plaatjes: Apha kwaLanga, eZone 1 kwa15. Bekukhe kudityanwe kutshiw’ingoma. Owu! wayengahlabeli lomama lo uyeva, ndathi tyhini Thixo, hayi akasindanga nali eli lizwi, eli lizwi
Dizu Plaatjes: Here in Langa Township, at house no 15. We used to meet there and sing. Oh! She would sing so beautifully I vowed that there was no way I could miss working with that voice, what a voice!
Pakama Ncume: So nanidibana phi, mhlambi nenze imicimbi?
Pakama Ncume: Where else did you meet? Were you doing any ceremonies?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Kwakudityanwa kwatatomncinci, wayesiza epheth’ibhlanti (brandy) etheni esimemile nabany’oomama. Sifike sixhentse ke ngoku apha kwatatomncinci, kwaphaya ematyotyombeni, sixhentse ke apho sithini aphinde ahambe, uyateyiphi el’xesha uyateyipha el’xesha. Aphinde futhi athi ngeny’imini ndizofik’apho siphinde sigcwale siyotsho apho. Kuthi mhla kunguMgqibelo kudityanwe. Ngulomntu ke lo usidibanisayo, uza ephethe into. Ulungisa leyakhe ayilungiselelayo kaloku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: We used to meet at my uncle’s place. We would be invited with other women and Dizu would bring brandy. We would sing and dance there in the informal settlement. Dizu would bring a tape recorder and record all the performances. This happened many times. We would fill the place and have fun. We used to meet on Saturdays. Dizu would initiate these gatherings. He would bring something (referring to brandy). He was in a way softening my heart.
Pakama Ncume: Uyakunyoba?
Pakama Ncume: Was it a bribe?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ulungiselela le ayilungiselelayo. Hayi ke sonwabe apho sombele sithini sithini sithini sithini. Kwazobakho kengoku nake ishow kengoku kwisiskolo sakhe.
Mantombi Matotiyana: He was trying to win me. We would sing, dance and have fun in those ‘reunions’. Then there a show in his school.
Pakama Ncume: Xaniyodibana phaya ngubani oshiyeka ethengisa?
Pakama Ncume: When you attend these social gatherings, who were you leaving behind to sell the beer?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi kaloku bakhona abanye abantu.
Mantombi Matotiyana: There were other people assisting.
Dizu Plaatjes: Wayekhona uMaDosini lo wayesila naye.
Dizu Plaatjes: MaDosini would be there to sell.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Sayotsho pha ke ngoku sadibana pha kwaxhentswa apho kengoku loo mini kukhuwizinto zeshow., yonakala yaqala apho kengoku indima. Sabe siyadibana kengoku ndingumculi wakhe, sidibana nababantu bakhe bangabafana namantombazana, kufuneke kengoku mandifundise aba bantwana bangamantombazana, ezi ngoma zam kaloku abazazi, kufuneke kengoku ndiqale ndiphinde ndilandele batsho bangene. Ndiphinde ndiqale enye baphinde balandele (PN interjects – “bade bazibamba”) bade bazibambe. Bade balhyayit (right) kengoku ndiqondba ey, yilento bendingayifuni ke le, ndifun’umqobothi wam ebendizisilela. Le mgoku yalo cumbelele wento endingayaziyo, endingaz’uba iyoze ilunge nini lento le.
Mantombi Matotiyana: We attended a show. We sang and danced and participated in other activities as well. This is how this all began, the beginning of us working together. I then became his singer. I started meeting with his group members (boys and girls). I trained them because they did not know the songs. I would take them through all the parts up until they mastered them. It was an ongoing process. Sometimes I regretted ever agreeing to this because it was tedious as opposed to my brewing. I would be anxious because it took long to see results, which was not the case with my beer. Once they mastered a song, I would teach them the next one. It was a long process, something that I was not sure when it could yield results.
Pakama Ncume: Kwakutheni ungayithembi?
Pakama Ncume: Why were you skeptical about this?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi ndandingayithembanga andinakuqhatha mntanam. Ndandithemb’umqombothi wam, ndithemb’umqombothi wam ndilale ndifumene isithonga semali kum
Mantombi Matotiyana: I never trusted it would work. I was fully reliant on my traditional beer because I would get a huge sum of money within no time.
Pakama Ncume: Senditsho ukuba kaloku andithi noDizu ngapha wayekuthembise ngesithonga.
Pakama Ncume: But Dizu was also promising you a huge sum?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Siphi? Sofika nini ndilambe ngoku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Where was that? When was that ever going to come when all I needed was quick cash.
Pakama Ncume: Oh wena awufuni lento siyoze sifike mhlawumbi ngempela nyanga?
Pakama Ncume: So you didn’t believe in monthly earnings?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Eh ukuphela kwenyanga, kumane, iyofika nini lonto leyo. Ngeliny’ixesha awukabikho umsebenzi uzawuphind’ufike kwakho, yimbambezela kum kengoku lento le, ndingayiqondanga. Sabe kengoku siyadibana ke ngoku sabe kengoku simane siyawucula kengoku. Kuzokwala thile-thile, andiwazi ke unyaka, uyabazi yena oonyaka, say’eZimbabwe sobayi two, sobabini, sashiywa nayi pleyini aph’enantsikeni saya late, salal’endleleni. Sahamba sayofik’eZimbabwe, sayotshw’apho sobayi 2. Sabuya eZimbabwe sabuya ngoLwesihlanu. Ndalala endlin’am ngoLwesiHlanu. NgoMgqibelo wafika esithi impahl’imkile yam, ezi zinto zakhe bacula ngazo. Ziyaphi ke ngoku – eJapan, uyeva kengoku apho….
Mantombi Matotiyana: That was going to be a long wait. Sometimes there wouldn’t be any performances for us and that was going to be a financial setback because I wasn’t really aware of how it was going to work. We then started performing in various places. One time, pity I don’t remember the year but Dizu knows years, we both went to Zimbabwe. We were so late we missed our flight and slept somewhere. We then got to Zimbabwe, both of us. We came back on a Friday. The following day, Saturday, Dizu informed me that my instruments had already been sent to Japan, that was where we we going.
Pakama Ncume: Yewethu, uyabalisa emakhaya uba sewuhamba nge …
Pakama Ncume: Tell me did you share these wonderful stories with your people, that you were travelling.. (by air)
Mantombi Matotiyana: Andikatsho eloxesha ndathi heke yenye kengoku le ayithethayo. Wathi sizohamba, sibheka phi, kwakho, ipleyini le ibindidike ngelaaxesha bendiyiqabele.
Mantombi Matotiyana: No-one was aware at that point. I felt what he was telling me was really something (I was not excited with the news). He told me were leaving again, on a plane that I was so tired of boarding.
Pakama Ncume: Udikwa yintoni?
Pakama Ncume: Why didn’t you want to fly again?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Nakuya bekuthiwe emapoliseni bendiqhathiwe kwathiwa ndizobanjwa ukuba andiyanga, ndisithi hayi andizuya mna.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Even the previous time I did’t want to, but I took it because they lied and said I would be arrested if I didn’t board.
Pakama Ncume: Ngoba?
Pakama Ncume: Why?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Kwathiwa ndizobanjwa ngamapolisa kuba imali seyibhatelwe le ndizokhwela ngayo. Yemntanandini, ndandisithi ipleyini, bayabotshwa abantu abapha, wathi uThixo uyaxoka uzoyibona ngamehlo wakho ebumnyameni, incwadi ke ngelo xesha ndiyijongis’ amagama ezantsi, ngoku ndizokhwela ipleyini ke mna, amagama ndiwajongis’ezantsi, andazi nenye kwezibethweyo. Ndahamba ipleyini ezinje (showing 3 with fingers) ndayofika kweyesine, ndibhek’ eJapan, ndingafaki nokutya apha emqaleni, ndingafuni nokutya, ndizibuza …
Mantombi Matotiyana: They said if I refused I would be arrested because the flight had been paid for already. I really believed that people got arrested there but God said you will see for yourself. Imagine me there, so illiterate that I was holding a book with words facing down, not knowing anything but I was in three aeroplanes. We got to Japan on the fourth one. I couldn’t eat through out the entire trip, asking myself a lot of questions.
Pakama Ncume: Yintoni, lixhala?
Pakama Ncume: Why, were you nervous?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yhoo, ujinge phezulu ungaboni noba undawoni ungaboni …, uyabona lamafu, hayi ulapha usesibhakabhakeni kulamafu ahamb’ apha, usesibhakabhakeni nje. Lon’izulu sozulibone lilelele kwaqaphaqapha aph’ungaziyo. Xa yehlayo, oh yhini ndafa kakubi abantabam.
Mantombi Matotiyana: It was like hanging high up not knowing exactly where you were, just in the clouds and thinking you could never even see the heavens. When the plane took descent, oh, what a bad way to die and I also thought about my children that I was going to leave behind.
Pakama Ncume: Unexhala labantwana bakho?
Pakama Ncume: Were your children your concern?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yhini Bawo.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Oh God!
Dizu Plaatjes: Singapha nangapha noMangwanya, phantsi phezulu kangangentuba uMangwanya ngumama wokuqala kwi South Africa jikelele owaqala wabonisa umrhubhe, isitolotolo ukuba sidlalwa njani ngabantu bakuthi, ngumama wokuqala. Abekho, akekho omnye umntu, ngumama wokuqala. Kengoku lanto yabangelintoba sibizwe njalo njalo kwiindawo ngeendawo kuba befuna ukubona lomama befun’ukuva ezi zinto njalo njalo. Ngelinye ixesha bendiye ndithi ishow makayivule ngokwakhe, asingeni thina esteyijini nguye yedwa.
Dizu Plaatjes: We went to so many places with Mangwanya, we were literally up and down as a result, Mangwanya is the first woman to show the world how umrubhe and isitolotolo were played and no one else. This is what made us to be invited into so many places. People wanted to see and hear her play. Sometimes I would let her open the show and even made her perform solo.
Dizu Plaatjes: Igroup eyi one, igroup eyi one kuba kukho lento ndinayo mna kum, eh, andithi ibhayibhile ithi “beka uyihlo nonyoko ukuze imihla yakho yoluleke emhlabeni”, now xa uhamba nomntu omdala, indawo yokuqala izimilo ezi niyaziqothola ningabantu, okwesibini, niyafunda kuba mdala lomama, okwesithathu intlonipho ayipheli kuba mdala lomama so besinezinto ezininzi ebesizifunda ngoku apho, apart nje intoba besicula.
Dizu Plaatjes: We were one group because I believe in the biblical scripture (commandment) “Honour your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” To me therefore, travelling with an elder taught us how to conduct ourselves, how to behave; secondly we learnt from her experiences and thirdly we learnt respect. We learnt a lot from her apart from the music that we were learning.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi yhoo. Andikhathali noba sidibene neegroup ezingaphi.
Mantombi Matotiyana: We were not scared of any group and how many they would be.
Dizu Plaatjes: Noba kuthiwa kudlala mhlaumbi uHugh Masekela phambi kwethu, akazulenz’ixesha.
Dizu Plaatjes: Even if Hugh Masekela was going to perform, we would still steal the show.
Pakama Ncume: Uba ningenile nje.
Pakama Ncume: Once you take the stage…
Dizu Plaatjes: Ukungena kwethu esteyijini, ukungena kwethu esteyijini, umzimba unyakama (ebonisa ngomxhentso), utshitshiliz’umzimba ube ngathi uxhonyw’impahla ecingweni, uth’umzimba (ebonisa).
Dizu Plaatjes: Once we get into the stage, we would perform (demonstrating with body movements), our bodies moving like clothes hanging on the fence, the body would move like this (showing the dance moves).
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hey sakhe sagqitywa apha, kwaba bantu bathi …, kwaba bantu bandwebayo kukhona omnye umfana owayefunwa ngunantsika, nguZungula, uNtsundu, ngowase nantsikeni.
Matombi Matotiyana: But I cannot forget this one guy we once performed with, these hyperactive types. His name was Ntsundu from…
Dizu Plaatjes: WaseNgcobo.
Dizu Plaatjes: From Ngcobo.
Mantombi Matotiyana: NgowaseNgcobo, uthi kufika umlungu uthi ufuna abantu, uthi kuthiwa ufuna abantu ababini, uthi kelomfana hayi, singalunga noNgwanyeyis. Ndithi mna nabani, athi ke yena nam. Ndithi kemna ungumpampampa ungakwazi nokukhumtsha uthi uzohamba nam, soze ndibatshiye aba bantwana, ndihamba nababantwana. Abantwana ndizohamba nabo. Ndingumpampampa mna, ndifuman’into kwaba bantwana. Hayi ke kwacacuba ke ngoku igroup yonke mayibe iyahamba yonke kuba ndithi angeke, ngeke mntuwabantu ndiye kaloku kule ndawo undibizela kuyo. Sibabini, naba abantu endizophila ngabo, akazuyazi lento ndizoyenza pha.
Mantombi Matotiyana: From Ngcobo. He was asked by a certain white man to look for two people who could perform in an event. He suggested that the two of us would make a great pair. I refused because I didn’t want to go with someone who could not speak English like myself. I did not want to leave my group behind as a result we ended up attending as a group. I told him straight away that there was no way I was going to do any performance without my group.
Pakama Ncume: And kaloku awuqhelanga kusebenza naye
Pakama Ncume: And you were not used to working with him?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi. Sayotsh’wapho. Kwathiwa kengokunake kuzoqala legroup ibifuniwe kakade yabantu ababini, ndathi ke mna lomfo (exela uDizu) makabe ngowesithathu apha phakathi kwethu nalomfana. Andithi kaloku ngowa ebethetha nabelungu, kaloku mna andikwazi kuthetha. Hey, saxakana nobomi esteyijini!
Mantombi Matotiyana: No. We went there. They then asked the requested group (group of two) to perform first. I then asked that this man (referring to Dizu) be part of us. He’s the one who spoke with the white people because I couldn’t. Hey, things took another turn on stage …
Pakama Ncume: Kwenzeka ntoni?
Pakama Ncume: What happened (in what way)?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Satsho ke, ndikhalis’ umrhubhe, uNtsundu ukhalisa ikostina. Ngoma ndingayazi ukuba ebeyithatha phi, hey! Wasilahl’ umfana. Baxhum’ abelungu …
Mantombi Matotiyana: We started to perfom. I was playing umrhubhe and Ntsundu on accordion. All of a sudden, he started a song we didn’t know. We got so confused. The white people rose up..
Pakama Ncume: Naningapractisanga na?
Pakama Ncume: Didn’t you practice (before the performance)?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Intoni! Baxhum’abelungu babheka bephuzulu! Akombel’uZungula! UNtsundu ngoku ufun’ ukuyeka. Ndamthi ngamehlo, ndithi hayi, makangayiyeki le yakhe, makamyeke lo uphambeneyo (exela uDizu), singamazi ukuba uvukelwe liphomolo ebelithathaphi. Wenyuka, wenyuka, wenyuka. Ndithi .. aba baphantsi njingoba bephants’ eqongeni bebukele. Hey! Wabila yayekw’ into. Azange ndihleke mntanandini! Hangavuy’ umlungu, yaphum’ into yakhe ngoku le ebesenz’ eyakhe, yaphum’ ingentlanga, ingentlanga.
Mantombi Matotiyana: You know what! White people rose up. Zungula danced as if he he was possessed with some spirit that I couldn’t tell where it came from! Ntsundu wanted to stop. I signaled with my eyes to him not to stop, to just ignore Dizu and his energy. He performed …he was sweating! I so laughed afterwards! The white man who invited us was so happy with our outstanding performance, it turned out so beautifully irrespective of the fact that we did different things (we lost each other).
Pakama Ncume: Ayacac’ uba beningahlangani?
Pakama Ncume: Didn’t they notice that there was some form of a discord?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi, … ayifuni uba wenze into ongaziqondiyo
Mantombi Matotiyana: No. I didn’t like doing things I was not sure about..
Pakama Ncume: … wena mntu wengoma
Pakama Ncume: ..as a performer?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ha-a, sasiphil’ apha (ekhomba entliziyweni). Ndandingayihleki, ndandingayihleki ukugqiba kwethu ukuyenza lento, ndithi ‘yhemfana ndini, yintoni le ubuyenza pha?’ Uthi ndicinge ingoma yetshelu katata. Kuye kwafika nto, itshelu katata, yafik’ ingoma … (Kuhlekwe)
Mantombi Matotiyana: We were so content (literraly said – it went straight to here while pointing to her heart). I laughed so much after the performance and asked this man, “What is it that you were doing there?” He said he recalled a song that used to be sung by his father’s girlfriend.
Pakama Ncume: So le ngoma ayidlalayo yingoma eyayidlalwa ngulomama?
Pakama Ncume: So was the song he sang sung by this woman?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe, iye yangena kuye
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, it was in his memory.
Pakama Ncume: So akanayo kengoku into ethi nisenokungayazi nina?
Pakama Ncume: So he never thought that you may not know it?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi, akanaxetsha lalonto, akafuni… akakhathalelanga kulandelwa sithi. Thina senza le yethu. Emnadi enjani! … zange khe siyicule, uyicinge yena yedwa.
Mantombi Matotiyana: No, he never. He didn’t bother even if we didn’t understand it and we coulnd’t sing it together. The memories took over. We had to continue singing what we were singing. What a nice song! We have never sung it before, only he remembered it.
Dizu Plaatjes: Kangangokuba ufumanis’ ukuba kwelinye, kweny’ indawo kwapha kuTsolo izoculwa ngolunye uhlobo ingoma. UMangwanya ke uzawutshintsha ibe nguMangwanya.
Dizu Plaatjes: Sometimes you will find that the same song is sung differently in different areas. Mangwanya would change it to suit her.
Pakama Ncume: Okanye ithethe lento?
Pakama Ncume: Or change the lyrics?
Dizu Plaatjes: Ithethe lento
Dizu Plaatjes: Change the lyrics
Pakama Ncume: Ngoba ndiyazazi iingoma pha emakhaya, zivuk’apha
Pakama Ncume: Because I know our songs are composed according to the social contexts/topics of the time.
Dizu Plaatjes: injalo kanye.
Dizu Plaatjes: Exactly.
Pakama Ncume: Ngoba even nangoku xa ndigodukile ndifika kukho iingoma ezithetha imicimbi yelo xesha, umzekelo, kwenye igem endandigodukile kwakukhona ingoma eyayithi “Langen’ ikwerekwere … yithan’ andikho bantabam”. Ngoku kukhona ingoma ekhoyo endihlekisayo ethi, “Undivus’ ekuseni, undivusel’ umnqongo”. Amakhosikazi ayakhalaza caba ootata aba babenza kanye, engagcwalanga, bathi yhini ude undivuse ekuseni kanti undivusel’ umnqongo.
Pakama Ncume: I know because whenever I visit home, I will hear new songs addressing current topics, for example, one time I went home they sang a song that, loosely translated, said – when the foreigners come to people’s houses (to collect the debts as they move around selling), people would ask children to tell them they were not home. Now there’s another one I have recently laughed at that is trending. Women are complaining about men waking them so early in the morning, only to find that that it won’t be worth the waking (literally saying they are woken up for one round of love making).
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ixetshel’ iyi one (kuhlekwe), awundiphindaphindi.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Just once (laughter), no repeats.
Pakama Ncume: Uyayibona! So ke ithi zimameleni ezi zililo (Kuhlekwe). So ndizam’ ukuthi iingoma zethu ziyathetha, so nawe mhlawumbi bekuye kufik’ into.
Pakama Ncume: You see! These complaints are raised to be considered (laughter). I am bringing here the issue of the meaning in our songs and the social role the songs play. Maybe such influences could have informed your songs as well.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ndadibana naye ngolo hlobo uZungula lo. Ndafunda nto. Kuzothi phakathi, uZungula wadibana noMichael. Andiyazi nam lonto, ndandingayazi. Ndabona uMichael, sekusithiwa ndihamba noMichael ndodwa kengoku. UMichael ke yena akafuni bantu baninji, ufun’umntomnye (pointing). Hey, ndabuza kuZungula nithini. Bafik’ ooZungula …
Mantombi Matotiyana: That was how I met Zungula. I learnt something from him. He later met Michael and introduced me to him. I don’t know how and where they met. I was just told that I was going to travel with Michael, just the two of us. Michael didn’t want many people, he wanted only one person. I asked Zungula what he meant. Then they arrived…
Dizu Plaatjes: UMichael wava ngam ukuba, eh, ndikulo mculo. Now uMaDosini obesebenza bobabini noMangwanya. UMangwanya ngumama wokuqala ukusebenza nale group yam AmaMpondo, iminyaka, uMaDosini uza mva. Emveni koko, uMaDosini ubemane esiya ngapha eQonce ke, kukho mama uthile ekwathiwe nguNofinish Dywili owayedlala ke umrhube nohadi. Iingoma zakhe ke azihambelani kakuhle nezi zethu zabantu bakuTsolo nasemaMpondweni kuba…
Dizu Plaatjes: Michael had heard that I am into this music. MaDosini used to work with Mangwanya, the first woman to work with AmaMpondo. MaDosini used to go to King William’s Town, where Nofinish Dywili who was playing umrhubhe and uhadi hails from. Nofinish’s songs are different from our songs (Tsolo and Mpondo people)…
Pakama Ncume: Isingqi?
Pakama Ncume: The rhythm?
Dizu Plaatjes: IsiXhosa esi banokuzekelela kakhulu njalo njalo apha ekuculeni. Athi uMangwanya ey andinokulunga mna mntanam pha kwezingoma. UMichael ke undicele ke intoba mandifune umntu onokwenza ezi ngoma zikaNofinish kuba lo omnye lo akekho, uphesheya.
Dizu Plaatjes: IsiXhosa music is rhyhtmically slow. Mangwanya made it clear that she was not going to manage doing such songs. Michael had asked me to look for someone who could perform Nofinish’s songs because the other lady was abroad.
Pakama Ncume: UMaDosini?
Pakama Ncume: You mean MaDosini?
Dizu Plaatjes: Ewe, ndathi Mangwanya masiyenze maarn lento. UMangwanya ke ngeloxesha ke, uMangwanyana udlal’umrhube, udlal’isitolotolo.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, I then asked Mangwanya to do these songs. That time she could only play umrhubhe and isitolotolo.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ihadi andiludlali.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I didn’t play uhadi then.
Dizu Plaatjes: Uhadi akaludlali, ndenza uhadi apha ndilwenzela yena. Ndapractisa ezingoma zikaMichael. Zange ndimbonise kwaxesha lingakanani uMangwanya.
Dizu Plaatjes: She was not playing uhadi but I made one for her. She then practiced the songs that Michael wanted her to play. It did’t take long to teach her.
Pakama Ncume: Wayibamba?
Pakama Ncume: Did she master the technique?
Dizu Plaatjes: Iveki yaba ninzi ndathi Mangwanya eziny’ iingoma uzoman’uzimamela, uzozilandela ngokwakho. Wazenza zonke uMangwanya, wazenza ukodlula umntu wazo.
Dizu Plaatjes: It didn’t take even a week for her. I asked her to keep on listening to the songs and practice. She did all of them, even better than Nofinish herself.
Pakama Ncume: Yima ke wazenza ngesiphi isingqi? Wasitshintsha okanye wazenza nje ncakasa ngobunjalo bazo?
Pakama Ncume: So which rhythmic pattern did she use, the original or she changed it to suit her style?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ndamane ndingena kwezi zakhe, ndimane ndingangeni ncam.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I would take from her and deviate sometimes.
Dizu Plaatjes: Angangeni ncam, aphume kwesi siXhosa njalo njalo
Dizu Plaatjes: She was not really using them as they were.
Pakama Ncume: Ngoba izingqi zethu azifani. Ifana nomxhentso, umzekelo mna ndixhentsa umxhentso wesiXhosa but isingqi asifani.
Pakama Ncume: Our music is different and so are our rhythms. This is also the same with our traditional dancing, for example, I dance IsiXhosa women’s dance but we differ within the IsiXhosa culture.
Dizu Plaatjes: Asifani.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes, we dance differently.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Bandifikela kungorhatya, nguLungile, nguZungula. Ndibabone bangene epheth’ihadi. Athi hayi ntombazana sihambele kuwe, hayibo nihambele kum ntoni. Bathi ke bona hayi nants’into, nants’icassette cassette (DP interjects)… uth’uMichael khawumenzele ezingoma, uNofinish uswelekile. Ndithi mna hayi andinokwazi kaloku, asifani kaloku ngokombela, andizuzazi ezingoma zikaNofinish kaloku mna kuba asidibananga. Bathi ke bona kungoba ke ngoku kuzokwenziwa kanjani, ingathi ngowuzama. “Ndizame ntoni?”. Batsho bafake kengoku le cassette ikhale pha, ndimamele.
Mantombi Matotiyana: It was late evening when Lungile and Zungula came to my house. I saw them carrying uhadi. They told me the purpose of their visit, gave me a cassette with the songs to listen to. Michael wanted someone to do Nofinish’s songs as she had passed on. I told them I was not going to be able because our styles were different. They asked me to give it a try and they played the cassette.
Pakama Ncume: Bathi mamela?
Pakama Ncume: Did they ask you to listen?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ndimamele, ndimamele, ndenze. Bandishiya sekusebusuku. Ndithethuba zange ndabubona ubuthongo, ndingcungcutheka ndiqond’ba ndiyazisola.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I listened and played. They left at night. I didn’t sleep that night, stressing about the task and regretting everything.
Pakama Ncume: Ukuba bendivumela ntoni?
Pakama Ncume: Were you regretting that you agreed?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ndalitsho, ndalitsho ihadi ndalala ndavuka kusasa ndangena kulo, ngelixesha kuyotshon’ilanga ndime kulo.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I played and played uhadi. I woke very early in the morning, played until sunset.
Pakama Ncume: Kamnandi into osowuyenza mos ngoku ngulo, awusasili?
Pakama Ncume: But at least your focus was only on music and not on brewing any more
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi, ndema kuyo lento ndayikhalisa lento ndayikhalisa, hey bathi befika zange bathi kwathini. Bafika ndingayikhalisi uhadi ndikrazula sana. Ndingakhalisi ihadi ngoku sekunzima, ubusuku bonke andilali iinyembezi, yazi xa uzokwenz’into, iinyembezi ziphume. Ndathi yho aba bantwana baye bandimotsha kakhulu ke ngoku. Le into, uMichael kaloku ngeyiye wakhangela abantu (PN interjects – “belacala”). Ewe kaloku…
Mantombi Matotiyana: I devoted all my time and practiced. When they came back, I was playing perfectly. I practiced the whole night, crying and regretting what they had put me through. I wished Michael could have used someone from that side (reffering to Nofinish’s home). By the time they came, I was a master player.
Interview Mantombi Matotiyana Dizu Plaatjes
Mantombi Matotiyana: Eh! Hayi ke ukhona umntu ozohamba nayo, batsho kum. Kanti ndihamba ndodwa tshu (pointing). Bazondibek’epleyinini mntakaSgaba, ndikhwele bandiyalez’ebantwini. UMichael kaloku ufun’umntu omnye. Ndizodibana noMichael endingamqhelanga, umlungu andiqhelanga mlungu.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I was told that somebody was going to travel with me, only to learn later that I was going to go alone. They took me to the airport and asked some people to look and take care of me because Michael wanted only one person. I was going to meet Michael that I didn’t know, a white man that I didn’t know.
Pakama Ncume: Wawukhe wambona?
Pakama Ncume: Have you ever seen him before?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Tyhini! Ndandimbona phi?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Where? No.
Pakama Ncume: So wawuza kuqal’umbona eGoli?
Pakama Ncume: So was it going to be the first time you see him in Johannesburg?
Dizu Plaatjes: Abazani noMichael.
Dizu Plaatjes: They didn’t know each other.
Mantombi Matotiyana: UMichael uzondibona xa ndehla pha, uzondithumel’abantu, uzobon’umntu ongamaziyo uzothathwa. Uzofika ke sihlale phantsi ke ngoku sixelise lent’uyenzayo. Ufuna ezangoma zikaNofinish. Ndithi hey, ezi ngoma zikaNofinish azizude ziphume ngelahlobo likaNofinish, mna kaloku …. Uyatolikelwa ke, avele atshintshaph’ebusweni. Yho! Angabi mbi ma etshintshile ebusweni. (Laughter) Ufunintwe’ethe (pointing straight). Ndathi hey uzodibana nam lo mntu lomntu ke lo. UZungula uzondibona kakuhle, undizise emlungwini ndodwa, andizisele lento le. Hayi ke ndakhalisa, ndamana ndikhalisa, ndamane ndikhalisa, ndamane ndikhalisa.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Michael was going to meet me there. He was going to send people to pick me up. He was also going to see a stranger. Then we were going to sit as we are doing now. He wanted Nofinish’s songs exactly as they were, I told him that was not possible. Someone was translating and I could see in his face that he was not pleased. He would turn ugly! He wanted them as they were. I told myself that he and Zungula were going to see the real me, Zungula for sending me to a white man alone and for putting me through that. I repeatedly played the songs.
Pakama Ncume: So udlalela yena kengoku ukuba amamele?
Pakama Ncume: Were you playing so that he could hear how you were doing them?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe kaloku ndifuna amamele, ayiqonde.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, I wanted him to listen to what I had come up with
Pakama Ncume: Ewe ukuba iphuma ngoluhlobo ayifuna ngalo na?
Pakama Ncume: Did you want him to hear if it was what he wanted?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe ndifuna ukuba makayive, ayive ndibonuba uyithandile ke le, ndiphinde ndithathe enye. Utshintshe aph’ebusweni. Ndibona ngoku ahleli pha (pointing) ndihlel’apha xa ndiqalisayo, ndimjongile aph’ebusweni, ndifike ubuso obu bakhe bungebuhlanga. Ey ndizoyithini lento madoda, le ndizoyenza apha.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, I wanted him to listen and tell me if he was happy with it. His face was so unpleasant I could see from where I was sitting. I was looking straight at his face and he did not look pleased at all. I was wondering what I should do and regretting ever coming here.
Pakama Ncume: Unayo umntu okutolikelayo?
Pakama Ncume: Was there anyone translating for you?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe kaloku, ubakhona umntu otolikayo, noba sihamba sobabini siye phi ufun’umntu omnyama ozonditolikela. Hayi ke sahlala ke noMichael wam, sabuya ke eRhawutini, ndabuya ndisithi kuZungula uyobona andiphinde ndiye.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, there would be someone translating, a black person. We stayed there up until we came back and I told Zungula I would never go there again.
Pakama Ncume: Kulanto kaMichael.
Pakama Ncume: You mean going to Michael’s performances?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Laa Michael wakho utshintsha aph’ebusweni, angandithengeli nokudla, ndilambe!
Mantombi Matotiyana: That Michael of yours who has an unpleasant face! He didn’t even buy me food, I starved.
Pakama Ncume: Oh Nkosi yam! Hayi ke, yabuhlungu intliziyo yam.
Pakama Ncume: Oh my God! Oh no, that breaks my heart.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Athi uZungula hayi hayi. Yhoo, wathuma inkosikazi yakhe bamfounela watsho, wathi uyabona ke uMangwanya uyondliwa ke yindoda yam, njengoba nje umbizela eRhawutini uzujike ungamniki ukutya, akazuphind’eze kulonto yakho. Kucaca uba uye wazicelela uxolo uMichael ndabuya sazodlala. Zungu-zungu-zungu, ath’uMichael kucaba kengoku unento, uneshow… yayisentoni Zungula? Kulandawo ingapha?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Zungula intervened by asking his wife to call Michael. She told him to buy me food if he wanted to continue working with me, something that Dizu was doing as well. It seems like he apologized because later on, I had to travel with him again for other shows in … where was it Zungula? What was that place?
Dizu PLaatjes: ERhini, eGrahamstown.
Dizu Plaatjes: In Grahamstown
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ha.a asikayi eRhini, sisaz’awuy’eRhini. Kukhon’indawo esasiye kuyo apha, esizawuqala kuyo siphume kengoku sibhek’eRhini. Kwakuthiwa kusenini, ndiske ndifun’ukuthi kuse Stellenbosch akho Stellenbosch…kuthwa kusenini… ingapha kweli cala lingapha (ekhomba)… bheka ngase Menanton (Milnerton), hayi ke.
Mantombi Matotiyana: No, it was before we went to Grahamstown. We went somewhere first before the Grahamstown trip. I can’t remember the name. I am tempted to say Stellenbosch but it was not Stellenbosch … what was this place … somewhere that side (pointing)… on the way to Milnerton.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Eh, wath’uZungula uthi uMichael phambi kokuba nihambe kukho ishow enizokhe nizoyenza pha. Wathi ke yena uZungula, uyabona ke, ndicela uba kukhw’ingoma oyithandayo njengoba ndingazugwaba ezam iingoma ndizogwaba ezikaNofinish. Kodwa ikhona ingom’ayithandayo, awunozuthande na. Uzukutsho aqale ngayo ukhangele ukuba awunoyithanda, uzukhe uthi aqale ngayo. Wathi uMichael, “Hayi, ndifun’ ezikaNofinish.”
Mantombi Matotiyana: Zungula told me about this show that we were going to perform in before we left. He asked Michael to let me sing one song which I love before doing Nofinish’s repertoire and see if he was not going to love it as well. Michael refused and said, “No, I want Nofinish’s songs.”
Dizu Plaatjes: And ndaphinde ndathi, jonga ndifun’uMangwanya xa eyicula lengoma kuthi cwaka, abe yedwa, azayigwabe yedwa, ndifuna abeyedwa. Nizova ilizwi likaMangwanya, kuba ilizwi likaMangwanya lohluke le.
Dizu Plaatjes: I further asked him to allow Mangwanya to perform this song solo and to a silent audience. So that you can hear Mangwanya’s voice because her voice is unique.
Pakama Ncume: Ithini lengoma, ndiske ndayirhalela?
Pakama Ncume: What was this song? I am curious to hear.
Dizu PLaatjes: Ngu “Vukani noba nilele”.
Dizu Plaatjes: It’s “Vukani noba nilele”.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Wathi kengoku na ke hayi, andiyifuni. Hayi ke sahamba ke.
Mantombi Matotiyana: He said he did no want it. We then left.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Sathi sisawufika pha… ndizokuculela, ndizokwenzela… sawufika pha ke ngoku, sanikw’ukutya ke pha kugcwele, sadla, ayindim ndodwa, hayi ke sahlala. Ndaphuma ndathi chu apha phandle ndema ngasegeythini ndahlala phantsi. Ndabona sekukho umfana olapha ecaleni kwam, liyatshis’ ilanga. Uthi “yhe mama”, ndithi ke mna “yhe’, – “uthi uMichael mandize kuwe ndizokucela, kukho ingoma uDizu ebethe uyayithanda, eberhala ke noko zukh’uyenze”. Ndathi “mxelel’uba ubethe akayifuni, andizukuyenza”. Ndatsho wahamba lomfana, wayotsho kuye. Ndath’andizuyenza. Wahamba lomfana.
Mantombi Matotiyana: When we got there … I will sing it for you… when we got there we were offered food and we ate. The place was packed. I later went outside and sat next to the entrance. A young man came to me, it was very hot. He was sent by Michael to ask me to start my performance with the song that Dizu had requested. I refused, I told him I was not going to perform it because he had said he did not want it. I refused and the young man went back to Michael.
Pakama Ncume: Kutheni ngoku wateleka Ngwanya?
Pakama Ncume: Why were you refusing Ngwanya?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Uba! Yhini, ebezithandile, ebethe ngoku ngathi akayifuni, watshintsha ngoku!
Mantombi Matotiyana: He had said he didn’t want it, why change his mind now?
Pakama Ncume: Kaloku uphinde wacinga.
Pakama Ncume: He had reconsidered (your request)?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Wabuya, weza lomfana wathi… Kwancanywa kwafounelwa umk’aZungula elapha, wandicela wathi hayi Ngwanya, uyayicel’uMichael, intliziyo yakhe ibuhlungu ngoku, ngawuyenze lengoma. Ndathi ke mna “okay”.
Mantombi Matotiyana: The young man came back again and said… They had to call Zungula’s wife who pleaded with me. I then felt bad and agreed to sing it
***She sings the song “Vukani”***
Mantombi Matotiyana: Mandizovula nje ndiqale… yheke kwadlalwa kwadlalwa kwadlalwa… heke ndiya kulendawo kaMichael…wathi uMichael makuyomiwa, mandiyoma pha eqongeni. Kuthiwe cwaka. Wayengangcuchalazi! Wayigqib’indlu, ndatsiba ndakrazula ndabheka phezulu (pointing high up), ndasuka ndayibhekisa phezulu! Wagxum’ehleli pha, wangqunga wangqunga wangqunga, ndayiyeka. Yada yayophuma kengoku senz’ezinye izinto. Wayenqakul’abantu abafana nawe, abathetha isiXhosa afika ndithetha nabo asondel’ ecaleni kwabo athi yho yho yho…
Mantombi Matotiyana: When I was about to start… groups played…let me come back to the part about Michael… Michael requested me to go on stage. It was so quiet. He was moving up and down. I started the song and went high up. He jumped up with excitement and was all over the place. After the show, he came closer to everyone that I was speaking to who spoke IsiXhosa ….
Pakama Ncume: Emva koVukani wazidlala ezi zakhe?
Pakama Ncume: After Vukani did you perform his songs?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ndazidlala kengoku ezi zakhe, ndazidlala kengoku ndazigqiba kengoku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, I played his, all of them.
Pakama Ncume: Ngolu hlobo afuna ngalo?
Pakama Ncume: Did you do them the way he wanted them to be played?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Kwada kwayovalwa, caba ulindele nje uba ndide ndi… uyakhwaza, onk’amaXhosa alapha phandle ayakhwaza. Ayakikizela kugcwel’…. Aph’endlini bayakhwaza kugcwele kuphuma kwam bandinqakula ababantu, ndihamba ndichopha, hayi ke mntanomntu, ndiyichaza ndiyichuba, ndiyichuba, waza kufika kubo buthuba, wath’uMichael ndibuleleleni, ndifun’ukubulela. Bendingayazi le ngoma ngeelaxesha bendiyala (kunye no PN)), ndiyicelel’uxolo kengoku lento yale ngoma.
Mantombi Matotiyana: He couldn’t wait for the show to end, he was yelling and all the Xhosa people were also screaming with joy. The house was shouting and people ululating. People started talking to me and I got to speak to a lot of people and different groups. Michael came and was asking anyone who understood my language to tell me how grateful he was and how he wished he could tell me himself. He also asked them to apologize for refusing to let me play the song when the request was made and that he didn’t know when he was refusing that it was such a beautiful song.
Dizu PLaatjes: Waba bomvu uMichael in so much that akabisazithanda kakhulu ezaangoma.
Dizu Plaatjes: Michael’s complexion turned red in so much that he was no longer interested in his preferred repertoire as he used to.
Mantombi Matotiyana: EzikaNofinish ngoku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I mean Nofinish’s songs.
Pakama Ncume: So yashifter apho lento?
Pakama Ncume: Was this how this shift started?
Dizu Plaatjes: Yashifter apho kengoku, kulapho khona uMichael athi no, mandenze icwecwe likaMangwanya. Awukavi nto ntombazana, ndiyaliva eli, ewe limnandi gqitha elicwecwe lika Mangwanya, usazova elinye icwecwe ntombazana endalishicilela le ntombazana idibene, inguye notatomncinci wakhe ekuthiwa nguXhalabile, uyeva kukho – hayi yho … yiyek’into wena, yiyeke. Liyaphuma kulonyaka, jonga … yho … ucula iingoma zomguyo ezileadwa ngamadoda, uyeva atshintsh’ilizwi … yhoo. Kudala ndayenza ke lento sisi, ayiyonto yangoku. Kudala ndayenza, intonayo ungumntu ulinda ixesha lokuba into mawuyikhuphe ngoku kuba kaloku ngelaaxesha umculo lo wethu ubungakhatalelwanga, ubungahoywanga mntu.
Dizu Plaatjes: That’s how the focus shifted from Nofinishi’s songs and Michael felt that it was time to record Mangwanya’s CD. Wait util you hear another one that I will release soon. She sings with her uncle Xhalabile. It will be released this year. She leads on songs that are led by men and changes her voice to sound likewise. I have been working on this album for some time. As people we get to learn to wait sometimes for the right time to release our songs. It has been delayed by the fact that people were at some point not interested in this kind of music.
Pakama Ncume: Waqondba izovele ife?
Pakama Ncume: Were you worried that it was not going to sell?
Dizu Plaatjes: Izovele ife, abahoywanga nooMangwanya, sihoywe phesheya. Ubona kude kwathatha ixesha elide kangaka nje.
Dizu Plaatjes: It was not going to sell, local people are not interested. The only following we have is abroad, that is the reason it took so long.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Besingaculi kakhulu apha, besisiya kulawa amazwe.
Mantombi Matotiyana: We never performed much here, most of our performances were abroad.
Dizu Plaatjes: And ngelo xesha ke ngoku udlala nestring quartet, udlala nestring quartet uMangwanya.
Dizu Plaatjes: That time she was performing with a string quartet.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Kunabelungu sana, abelungu bakhe, ndikhalise mna azithathe uMichael ke yena ngezinto zabo, ngezi ziginci bazikhalisayo.
Mantombi Matotiyana: There were white people baby, his white people. I would play the songs then Michael would play them with those guitars they were playing (meaning the string instruments).
Pakama Ncume: Oh! Bathathe lento uyiculayo (MM interjects – “Eh!”) kodwa bayicule ngezabo
Pakama Ncum: Oh, taking the same music you were playing but use their instruments.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe, bayifaka ngapha.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, and playing it with their instruments.
Pakama Ncume: Iphum’iyiyo?
Pakama Ncume: Did it sound the same?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Izophum’iyilento ifunwa nguMichael kaloku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: It will sound the way Michael wanted it.
Pakama Ncume: Oh! Ingasafani ncam nale yakho
Pakama Ncume: Oh, it was not exactly similar to yours.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe ingasafani, abuze….
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes it would be diferrent and he would ask…
Pakama Ncume: So anikwazi kengoku ukuphinda, ngelixesha bakhalisa isiginci umzekelo nawe, niye nonke.
Pakama Ncume: Would you repeat the process or maybe play simultaneously?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Hayi, ha.a.
Mantombi Matotiyana: No, no – no
Pakama Ncume: Awungqamani?
Pakama Ncume: Were there any clashes in sound?
Mantombi Matotiyana;M: Ha.a. Akukho uba azingqamani qha zange akhe ayenze, yenziwe ngolohlobo, intokunayo uMichael … ndiyacula mna ndibeke phantsi kengoku ezi zinto, bathathe kengoku na bona, bacule bacule bacule, bayeke ndiphinde kwakho ndithathise ndiqale eny’ingoma, baphinde bathathe bacule, bacule kwezanto zabo. Azizuphuma zinje ngolwahlobo, uyaqonda. Azizuphuma zilelaa hlobo, abuze ken aye lento yenzekayo ilhayithi, ndithi ke mna hayi ilhayithi kuba kaloku nguwe.
Mantombi Matotiyana: No, it’s not because of that. We never tried it that way. I would play then they would imitate and so on. They wouldn’t come out exactly as I did them but that was how he wanted it. He would ask if what they did was fine and I would tell him that it was fine if it pleased him.
Pakama Ncume: Ngohlobo lwakho.
Pakama Ncume: If it was what he wanted?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Ewe kaloku yeyakho, ewe, ngohlobo lwakho. Enze lonto kengoku na, sathi kengoku na siphinde sibuye. Aphinde kwakho, sabheka … andisazi uba waphinda wandithatha sabheka phi na kwakho … hayi yhoo yitshomi yam ngoku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yes, it was his project so we had to do things the way he wanted. We went to … I can’t remember where… but we are great friends now.
Pakama Ncume: Nisahamba naba belungu?
Pakama Ncume: Were you still travelling with the same white people?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yho yitshomi yam. Hayi ke ngoku besendihamba ndodwa, sobabini. Hayi ubephinde wabayeka, ndaphinde ndahamba nabanye. Yhoo! Kwakunzima mntanandini! Akululanga, akululanga, bangalili abantwana abanye abantwana abangamantombazana! Ndingazi ukuba balila kuba betheni, andiva kaloku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Oh! he’s my friend now. No, he stopped travelling with them so it would be just the two of us. It was so difficult my child, it’s not easy. In one of the trips, there were these white girls who cried so much. I didn’t even know what was the problem.
Pakama Ncume: Awuyiva lento incokolwayo?
Pakama Ncume: Was it because you didn’t understand the conversation?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Andiva ukuba bekonakele phi kwaza kwathini, ndithuthuzele lonto mntanandini (demonstrates) ndiqondba yho, yho, yho.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I didn’t know the cause, what went wrong. I would then comfort and hug them
Pakama Ncume: Uthini xa uthuthuzela? Kha undixelele.
Pakama Ncume: Tell me, how did you comfort them?
Mantombi Matotiyana: UZungula lo ebendenzani! Ndiyabawola kaloku mntakamama ndibathi (showing comforting gestures). Andazi uba baxabana ngani.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Why did Zungula put me through all this! I would hug them and comfort them. I did not even know the source of conflict.
Dizu Plaatjes: UMangwanya kaloku into eyenzekayo, ngelixesha besiseParis apho besidlala khona, edlala eParis nal’ equartet khona apho badlala bonk eke ngoku, iquartet ibe nguMangwanya, uMangwanya usemrhubheni zangen’iiviolin, zangen’iicello, zangen’into zakhe zavele (demonstrates) zangqamana zonke. Wenza ingoma yokuqala, ukugqiba kwakhe ingoma yokuqala baqhwaba abelungu, amaFrench yaphela into enjenge 2 minutes. Ndaye ndayicounter ewatchini ukuya kwi 3 minutes abayeki ukuqhwaba, kwade kwamntu lo ungakwazi ukuthetha isiNgesi nesiFrench waphakama ngokwakhe, uMangwanya, wathi hayi, enkosi (showing bowing gestures) enkosi.
Dizu Plaatjes: When we played in Paris with Mangwanya and the string quartet, she was playing umrhubhe. She would lead and the violins, cellos and other strings follow and it blended so well. After her first song, the French people applauded for more than 2 minutes. I had set a counter in my watch. It went beyond 3 minutes to an extent that even Mangwanya, as much as she did not understand the language, stood up, bowed and thanked the audience.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Abayeki tu.
Mantombi Matotiyana: The applause went on without stopping.
Dizu Plaatjes: Akayeki amaFrench oko beqhwaba izandla bade behla, bade behla, bade behla, behla. Kwaphindwa eyesibini ingoma, yaphinde yaqala phantsi into. Uyabona ke sisi, now ezo zinto apha kulendawo yethu zinqabile. Abantu abazibonakalisi uthando lwabo ngomculo wethu, ngohlobo abantu baphesheya abawulangazelela ngalo. Yiyo kengoku lonto ufumaniseke into yokuba asizange sibe namacwecwe amaninzi esiwenzayo kuba ngoku uyazibuza ngokwakho into yokuba uza kuwuthengisa phi lomculo kuba nalo wethu uthengwa phesheya kuphela. So indaba yomculo wethu abany’abantu bangayithatha nje, bayithathe lula, inzima kuba kukhwa amaxesha ufika namhlanje sisi ngokuhlwa uyodlala. Ubuhambe phezulu i18 hours, ufika kwakho pha uzohlala nje eloxeshana utye, ebusuku …
Dizu Plaatjes: It was such a long applause. Even after she performed the second song, the applause started all over again. We hardly get this overwhelming response locally. Our people don’t always show their appreciation of our music. This is the main reason we never released much because we were skeptical of the sales. We made more sales abroad. Our people don’t really take our music seriously. It’s not easy for us musicians. Sometimes we would fly for 18 hours, took a short rest, had a meal then in the evening…
Pakama Ncume: Uyodlala?
Pakama Ncume: You perform?
Dizu Plaatjes: Uyodlala. Cingela ke ooMangwanya ke njalo njalo! Yonke lonto.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes. Imagine the strain for Mangwanya
Pakama Ncume: Sebekhulile.
Pakama Ncume: At her age.
Dizu Plaatjes: You know. Ngoku, into endimthanda ngakhona ngayo uMangwanya, wayiqhela kwamsinyane into yepleyini nokukutravellisha, zange abeyingxaki kuthi. Wayiqhela… kamnandi ke sihamba sibebaninzi. Kukho nomfo ke, le genge ihlekisa kakhulu pha kuthi egroupini ke, kuhlekwe okokoko, ukusuka apha side siyongena phesheya. So sendithetha into yokuba, eneneni nyhani akho ndawo singayihambanga. UMangwanya uyile eAsia, uMangwanya uyile eAustralia, uMangwanya uyile eSouth America, uMangwanya uyile eNorth America, uMangwanya uyile eEurope, the whole of Europe, West and Eastern Europe. Yiyo lento esithi akho lizwe angalaziyo, utheth’inyani kuba kaloku sitravellishe noMangwanya ukusukela ngo95’, ewe. Ukuqala kwethu ukuya phesheya noMangwanya okokoko…
Dizu Plaatjes: What I like about her is that she adjusted well with the travelling, she never gave us any problems. She got used to it ….and fortunately we were a big group. We had a colleague who used to entertain us with jokes throughout the entire flight. We have travelled the whole world with Mangwanya. She has been to Asia, Australia, South America, North America, the whole of Europe (West and Eastern Europe). There’s no country that she hasn’t visited. We started travelling with her in 1995.
Pakama Ncume: Then kengoku na ke le yale CD yazoqala phi?
Pakama Ncume: How did the CD project start?
Dizu Plaatjes: Le yale CD uMichael ngokubulela uMangwanya kuba uMangwanya wamnceda kakhulu kwiinto zakhe kuba wayengononcedwa nangubani na kuba kaloku.
Dizu Plaatjes: Michael wanted to give something back to Mangwanya, a gesture, as a way of appreciating her for helping him with his projects, something that not everyone would be keen to do.
Pakama Ncume: Ukuqalela kula project kaNofinish?
Pakama Ncume: Starting from the Nofinish project?
Dizu Plaatjes: Ukuqalela kula project kaNofinish, watsho kum ndisithi ey, ndizokwenza iCD kaMangwanya wathi Dizu ndiyakucela marn, khawuyeke ndiyenze iCD kaMangwanya. Umntu ke xa esitsho ke ekucela, celeka nawe, you know. Hayi nam ndazivula ezam izandla ndathi hayi qhubekeka Michael yenze iCD kaMangwanya, nam ndizobe ndikhona wethu njalo njalo, akazuyenza eyedwa ndizobe ndizobe ndikhona njalo njalo yonke lonto leyo. So, ndayithanda into kaMichael yento yokuba xa ufumene into emntwini akuxabise nixabisane, umbulele ngento naye angasoze ayilibale kuba ngoku bazizihlobo naphakade. Akhonto ingaze ibohlule kubo, akhonto ingaze ibohlule bobabini kuba umculo sisipho apha uThixo asenzeleyo uba masidibane, udibanisa abantu njalo njalo.
Dizu Plaatjes: Starting from the Nofinish project. He then asked me to launch her CD. I agreed because I saw it as a good gesture so we worked together. I liked Michael’s idea and offer because when someone has done something great for you, it’s good to show gratitude with something tangible. I believe that the bond formed can never be broken. The music gift that God gave us has created a strong bond and has united us forever.
Pakama Ncume: And umculo lulwimi!
Pakama Ncume: And music is a language.
Dizu Plaatjes: Umculo lulwimi.
Dizu Plaatjes: Music is a language.
Pakama Ncume: Esiluthetha sisonke.
Pakama Ncume: That is universal.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes.
Pakama Ncume: Senditsho ukuba noba awuyazi ingoma itheth’ukuthini kodwa uyeva uba…
Pakama Ncume: I mean even if one doesn’t understand what the song means, but you can hear that…
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes! Kangangoba uMichael kwezinye iingoma sometimes, akaziva noba zithini, kodwa ube umbona uba aph’entliziyweni (tapping, his chest) uba yho (whistles), uyabona lengoma le, uyagungqa. Kukumqhela indlela acula ngayo, kukumqhela nendlela ebemane epractiser ngayo, esithini.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes. As a result and irrespective of the fact that Michael did not understand the meaning of the songs, you could see his heart (tapping his chest), and him moving to the song. He got to understand her style of singing through the practices (rehearsals) as well.
Pakama Ncume: So ubesiza kwipractice?
Pakama Ncume: Did he attend rehearsals?
Dizu PLaatjes: Ewe, eh. Kangangokuba uMichael ubenegalelo elikhulu. So nditheth’into yoba, ndiyayithanda shame into uMichael ayenzileyo, babini bathathu abelungu abazenzayo into ezinje.
Dizu Plaatjes: Yes. Michael played a huge role …. I mean, I really appreciate what he did, few whites would do such things.
Pakama Ncume: So wathini, wathi xa nizokwenza le CD? Wathi makakhethe iingoma azithandayo? Kwenzeka kanjani?
Pakama Ncume: So in the process of releasing the CD, did he ask her to select her favourite songs to be featured?
Dizu Plaatjes: Hayi, uMichael ubenengoma azithandayo ezigwatywa nguMangwanya wacela uba ey iingoma ezithile uba zingakule CD kodwa ke ixhomekeke kuMangwanya. UMangwanya ke kamnandi ke kudala emana ezigwaba ezi ngoma ezi njalo njalo wazifaka ke uMangwanya zonke, zonke ezingoma. Kodwa, uMangwanya yi international star sisi ngohlobo lwento yokuba uManganywa xa … uyabona kulaa CD, ungathi xa umva ecula nodadewabo neny’igroup le yam yoomama kuthiwa SikwaNtu, ezangoma eziya zohluke totally, ayizizo.
Dizu Plaatjes: No, since he knew her songs, he asked for those to be the ones to go into the CD but also indicated that Mangwanya should decide. Because she had performed them most of the time, it was proper to have them recorded.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Umculo, yho hayi unzima nyhani. Kulento ithethwa nguZungula, uMichael ndimbulela nyhani, uzuqondba ukuba bendikwazi ukuthetha ngendithetha naye ndithi into andenzele yona.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Being in the music industry is not easy at all. As Zungula has said, I am very grateful to Michael. I wish I could speak the language and tell him how grateful I am for what he did for me.
Pakama Ncume: Hayi kodwa ke siyamxelela ukuba uyatsho.
Pakama Ncume: No, we will tell him how you feel.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Into andenzele yona uMichael, sasihamb’endleleni, kunyanisiwe xa kuthiwa ngabula Zungula athi mayencumayo umntu vele uboyazi uba into lomntu uyayithanda. Ebethi xa ebhokileyo, ndibone uba ngumlungu lo mandifane ndincume, kodwa ngoku akafun nentwana ngam. Wathi mhla wayethe masiyocula ngapha eStellenbosch, sicule ezofaka eyakhe into, ezokhalisa yena ke ngoku, kwakuzokhalisa yena ke ngoku kwakuzobakho ishow, izokhaliswa nguye kengoku lento, wandifaka ndithi andizukwazi, wathi kanti uzokwazi. Akhalise lanto yakhe ayikhalisayo, ndivele kemna ke ndikhalise kengoku umrhube, ndikhalise ngelihlobi. Wa… kwangqamana, ayenze pha, into uba uthi mandiyezenze, ndiqondba ey, lento kengoku kodwa ndiyizame, athi edibana nam afike sendiyenzile lanto ilunge. Mzuzu, wazondithatha eSamola, ndaqabela ehamba nomny’umfana. Wavula lanto besiyenza, caba ubeyitephile, wayikhalisa aph’emotweni ndayilandela. Yiyona nto ke wafik’eStellenbosch ke wathi andisazuqala lanto bendiyenza, funeka ndingene ebengazi uba umntu uyakwazi ukuyiqala into aphinde azilandele, ndizilandele, ndalandela kengoku na ke lanantsika yakhe, lakhe, ndalandela ndalandela ndalandela ndalandela. Yho yho yho, undithanda egazini, kodwa ukuqala kwethu zazihlabana, yayibhokhwe negutsha.
Mantombi Matotiyana: It has not been an easy journey but it’s true that, as Zungula would say, if someone smiles at your work, you should know that he appreciates it. Whenever he was cross, I would just smile as a result now we are so close. I remember a time when wee went to perform in a show in Stellenbosch, he made me perform despite the fact that I was reluctant. He was going to play himself. He would play in his instrument and I would then play the same song with umrhubhe. It worked out so well he was happy. He was surprised that one could play different parts. Later, he came to fetch me from home (Samora). He was with another young man. He played a recorded tape of what we previously played on the car. When we got to Stellenbosch, we played according to that recording. Now, he likes me so much but at first it was a struggle (we were like a sheep and goat).
Pakama Ncume: Kaloku naningekazani, nanisakhangelana?
Pakama Ncume: You did not know and understand each other so you were getting to know each other?
Mantombi Matotiyana: Yho yho, ufun’istileyithi, lento istileyithi, yho, istileyithi. Ufun’umntu othe zava uMichael, othe, caba ke wayedibene noNofinish elhayit ke kuye. Ewe, ngoku wayefuna eziya zikaNofinish. Wathi xa ethi mandenze kengoku ndathi andizuyenza kengoku.
Mantombi Matotiyana: The thing is he wants things to be done in a certain way (straight). I could see that he used to get the same from Nofinishi. Yes, when he wanted Nofinishi’s songs, I told him I was not going to do that.
Dizu Plaatjes: Njalo njalo, kangangokuba nam njengoba bendisitsho ndisazokhe nam ndiphinde ndigoduke ndiyotsho ngapha, ndiyotsho kuTsolo kuba kaloku uyazi umntu akufunekanga udibane naye edolophini, udibane naye kwindawo ahlala kuyo, ebehlala kuzo edolophini, ehh … uMangwanya bendikubona mhlawumbi ndime apha ndibe ndikubona kuthiwe nakuya kamnandi ke ndandiphethe enye into, kusweleke omnye umfo wethu (demonstrating binoculars), ndamane ndisithi, tyhini naank’uMangwanya nyhani, ndiyambona. Abantu abayikholelwa lonto leyo. So sendithetha into yokuba ngoku imission yam yinto yokuba ndiyotsho pha kuTsolo, aph’uMangwanya azalwa khona. Ndithathe yonke ke lanto leya, nithi xa seniyidibanisa nale, uyawuyibona into kuba kaloku ngoku akhonto imnandi njengoba umntu umthathe kwindawo ebezalwa kuyo.
Dizu Plaatjes: My wish is to go back to Tsolo because it’s important not to only visit each other here in the townships but to go back to one’s roots. I want to visit Mangwanya’s home. I know it from a distance. The time I went to a funeral in Tsolo, I used my binoculars to see her home and I even saw her through it. People didn’t belive me. My mission is visit her home and collect more stories that we can use together with the ones you are writing.
Pakama Ncume: Enyinto yhazi, ave kumnandi ukumamela umculo wethu. Ave kurhaleleka into yoba ukhule, ungemi ndawonye, you know because ndinenkolelo ethi ehh… mhlawumbi ungahambeli phambili kakhulu yintoba abanye abantu abawuva. So yilento kubalulekile ubanalamacwecwe.
Pakama Ncume: Another thing you know, it’s so nice to listen to our music. My wish is to see it reaching more people because I believe that the reason it is not that popular is because some people don’t get to hear it, that is why it is important to have it recorded.
Dizu Plaatjes: Injalo.
Dizu Plaatjes: True
Pakama Ncume: Yilento kubalulekile uba sikhuthaze izitishi zeradio ziwadlale, zingawafumbi pha because omny’umntu wenziwa kukungayazi.
Pakama Ncume: That is why it is so important that it gets airplay in the radio stations because other people really do not know what is available out there.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Kungazi.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Some people are not aware.
Pakama Ncume: Abany’abantwana umzekelo bakhulele elokshini zange bayibone nyhani lento.
Pakama Ncume: Some children for example grow up in townships and they are not exposed to this music.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Abazazi ezi zinto.
Mantombi Matotiyana: They don’t know these things
Pakama Ncume: Ewe Jola, and kubalulekile ukuba abantu mabazifunde izinto zesiXhosa ngoba singamaXhosa. So yilento ke sizikhuthazayo, sizirhalelayo, sizithandayo iimini ezinje. Siyafunda, siyeva. Kaloku nini abantu abayaziyo lento so funeka kengoku siyive kuni, siyibhale phantsi sibalise ukuba uthi ke xa buthe kuzeke kuthe uyabona. Siyabulela kakhulu ngexesha lenu.
Pakama Ncume: Yes Jola. It is very important that we learn about our culture that is why we encourage and long for more conversations like this. We learn a lot and documenting these stories is very important. You are the people who know these things so that is why we need to hear them from you and write them and understand why some other things happened the way they did. We thank you so much for your time.
Mantombi Matotiyana: Nyhani, nani ngexetsha lenu and nilungise lento yam bantabam, hey ngendiyintoni. Ndibulela ngokungazenzisiyo.
Mantombi Matotiyana: I also appreciate your time and all what you have done for me. I would be nothing if you did not see to this journey of mine. I am really grateful.