King George V Avenue
Berea, KZN
South Africa

The Bow Music Conference at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on 24 - 27 February 2016 is put together in consultation with southern African and international bow music researchers. Participation will include academics from a wide spectrum of indigenous musical arts, practitioners and cultural bearers of diverse bow music traditions in sub-Saharan and abroad.

  Latozi ‘Madosini’ Mpahleni


Latozi ‘Madosini’ Mpahleni

Steve Jones

Madosini was born Latozi Mpahleni in 1945 in Mqhekezweni (Libode), a village in Mpondoland in the Eastern Cape.  She is a great musician, composer, poet, singer, story-teller, teacher and a South African cultural treasure. She was taught to play the isitolotolo, uhadi and umrhube mouth bow from a very early age and is today recognised as the foremost living player of Xhosa musical bows. The music she produces from these instruments is unique in its variety and in the range of feelings it evokes. Her songs are poems which speak eloquently of a rich personal and cultural history and take the audience back to the music of the early inhabitants of Southern Africa. She has received several awards for her work in promoting traditional African music and has toured widely both locally and abroad, collaborating with musicians of diverse stylistic persuasions. In South Africa she regularly appears with local musicians including Cape Town-based Hilton and Eldred Schilder, Jonny Blundell, Pedro Espi-Sanchis and Wha Wha . 

Madosini has also collaborated and recorded songs with many famous artists such as Ringo, Thandiswa Mazwai and the renowned Brasilian musician Gilberto Gil. She also worked with British Rock Singer Patrick Duff in 2003 and went on to perform a number of successful concerts around the world with him. Between 2008 and 2009, Madosini performed at many WOMAD festivals (Reading, Las Palmas, Oakland, Womadelaide, Singapore, Seattle) and she was in 2010 the first person to be recorded and documented in the WOMAD Musical Elders Archives project.

Madosini has received many awards for her work in promoting traditional African music. The Imbhokondo award, the Metropolitan Lifetime award for best woman, the ACT lifetime achievement award, the Molteno Medal and the Lifetime Achievement award from the Calabash Conference at KZN to name a few.In July this year Madosini headlined the “Celebrating African Music” concert at the NAF.