MUSIC: Spiritual Realm
Review by GRACE MOYA
Music brings people together. For the group that makes up Spiritual Realm, it’s African spiritual music, beautifully sung from the stage in the Thomas Pringle Hall at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda.
Siyabulela Javu, Hlumelo Magodla and Andile Kopele deliver an amazing performance, both accompanied by instruments, and a cappella, with the songs, true to their genre, composed of short melodies repeated, interspersed with whistles and clicks. It’s all about the rhythm.
The clicks represent the Xhosa people and their unique language, with the whistle representative of African culture in general.
But Xhosa is not the only language they sing in; their repertoire included songs in Zulu, Sotho, and English.
“Sisenxakini (we are in trouble),” shouted Javu as her voice cracked and her eyes teared up, her poem by the same title blowing us away with the soft instrumentals in the background embracing the emotion in the poem.
“African people are vessels with spirits and spirits that have different languages. African people are in trouble because the majority of them do not practice spirituality anymore,” says Javu. “They have forgotten their ways.”
Javu and his compatriots do African culture proud.