In Southern Africa, where I was researching and visiting friends and family, I experienced a somatic epiphany; recalled something that wasn’t my own lived experience. This remembrance didn’t take place in the form of dejavu or in present time, but a pre-birth memory which took place in my body. I fell into my African body and now I feel as if I'm carrying the post-colonial body of my ancestors. Like I belonged to a people and a landscape. The vibrations and frequencies of African syncopated rhythms, cross-beat rhythms and heavy singing, ring through my body. Singing is its own universal language. We imitated the sounds from nature. Those sounds then developed into meaningful, communicative singing which was a crucial step to the creation of spoken language. Whilst I was in South Africa, Communication through singing and dancing, felt more natural to me then talking. Rhythms represent the very foundation of life in South Africa and embody the people's interdependence in human relationships.
Perhaps all humans carry the prosthetic memories of the people before them, but I can now say for sure this is something I always carried but could never put my finger on. My father is Swazi ,with Zulu ancestry but I grew up in North London and had never been to my father's home as an adult. My battle against 'double consciousness’ seems hopeless but music and my art practise is helping grasp onto pieces of the puzzle of my identity.
Racism and oppression in Southern Africa s is not just historical, it is contemporary. We carry around our history in a unique way, as bodies of the post colony. Continental and diasporic Africans, are inhabited by and carrying around experiences that aren't our own; they are inherited.
Christianity, in South Africa is used by many as a crutch, to help with coping with life's challenges, but It was used as a way of justifying colonial oppression and assisting white supremacy. Before the colonisers came, with a whip in one hand and the Bible in the other, African Spirituality was dominant. The Sangoma, like a Shaman, is a practitioner of traditional Southern African medicine, they heal spiritual, physical and emotional illness and fulfil different social and political roles in the community. They practice though rituals and look to ancestors for messages and answers.
Where would South Africa be if Africans could naturally thrive and progress in their own culture on their own land without being disturbed. From a Afrofuturist perspective, I am trying to imagine where South Africa would be had it not been colonised; in terms of music, dance, spirituality, art making. In my work I am progressing toward, I take on the role of a modern Sangoma, healing people with music and taking inspiration from Body Frequency Alignment Massages. I use my voice, the Mbira (a traditional Zimbabwean instrument also used in African Spirituals to heal), syncopated and cross-beat rhythms, binaural beats and specific frequencies to heal people.
The frequency blpha 7-13Hz is associated with Relaxation, calm, meditation, creative visualization and Theta 4-7Hz is associated with deep meditation, problem solving and self-healing.