The festival is a result of shared interest in Dinaka/Kiba as both a close to home and rich practice for initiators: Mahlaga Molepo, Tshephisho Phala, Mpho Molepo and Rangoato Hlasane. Get some background information into Mahlaga Molepo and Rangoato Hlasane, the primary organisers.
Mahlaga J Molepo is a Cultural Practitioner, Author and Information Professional who has been involved in community development initiatives in the Arts and Information/Library Science sectors respectively. As a member of Molepo Traditional Dance Group he has overseen a number of projects, notably song arrangement on the Dinaka/Kiba studio recorded debut compact disc Modimo oa Fase. He has co-authored Northern Sotho children’s literature book Ke tseo ditaola kgaphamamila under label Mabutheto Heritage Restoration/Mabutheto Literature while diversifying in stage performances with the Spoken Word group Kulturadiks; the co- founding of a non profit organization Ba-Pedi Writers Forum (BWARF) – which has co-organized weekly poetry sessions and events together with Polokwane Municipality Cultural Services Unit, (notably Hip Hop & Poetry – a contribution to Black August of 2007) around Polokwane and the surrounding areas. He is also a post graduate scholar at the University of South Africa involved in multi-disciplinary research and development projects.
Rangoato Hlasane is a cultural worker, writer, illustrator, DJ and educator based in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a masters degree from the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. He is the co-founder of Keleketla! Library, an independent and interdisciplinary library based in Joubert Park, Johannesburg. Rangoato recently joined the faculty staff of the Wits School of Arts and Wits School of Education.
His design and illustration work includes the public campaign for the one-day only newspaper titled The Chronic (2011) by the Cape Town-based pan-African journal, Chimurenga. His independent publication, CCTV surveys current practice in Johannesburg and elsewhere, borrowing from the Medu Art Ensemble Newsletters (1979-1984) ethos and aesthetics. Rangoato was invited together with Keleketla! Library co-founder Malose Malahlela to guest author a Goethe Institut-commissioned report on art/s education in Africa, recently published by Kenya-based Contact Zones titled Creating Spaces: Non-formal Art/s Education and Vocational Training for Artists in Africa between Cultural Policies and Cultural Funding with Nicola Laure Al-Samarai.
As Mma Tseleng, he DJ’s and performs sonic lectures to expand his research into the social, political and economic significance of South African music, with Kwaito at the centre of this lifelong engagement. His research and writing into South African music histories is published in two books published in 2013; No Not Place by Dorothee Kreutzfeldt and Bettina Malcomess and the bilingual Space Between Us edited by Marie-Hélène Gutberlet. He has presented sonic talks at events such as the ’10 Cities’ public sphere symposium and concert in Kenya (Nairobi), ‘Year After Zero’ conference in Germany (Berlin) and the education symposium of the 9th Bienal do Mercosul in Brazil (Porto Alegre). Forthcoming include a history of South African dance music of the last six decades. Previous and ongoing projects include a mixtape and cassette sleeve publication titled Hillbrow: The Map, produced on occasion of the Independent Publishing Project and the Keleketla! Library project Thath ‘i Cover Okestra, an orchestra that investigates the meaning of Kwaito music for a new generation, co-curated with Malose Malahlela.