Dust of the Zulu: Ngoma Aesthetics after Apartheid
Louise Meintjes is Associate Professor of Music and Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and the author of Sound of Africa!Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio, also published by Duke University Press.
TJ Lemon is an award-winning photojournalist based in Johannesburg.
Brokering the Body: Culture, Heritage, and the Pleasure of Participation
Chapter 8 chronicles the efforts of South African entrepreneurs to transform their impossible dreams into workable ngoma projects. Local politicians also instrumentalize ngoma, variously utilizing performance events to build their constituencies. Both entrepreneurs and politicians trade on the value of the Zulu warrior and the idea of culture. Ngoma singer-dancers engage and redirect these cultural brokers’ nostalgic Zulu warrior figures in their efforts to make do in a precarious South Africa and to realize their cosmopolitan forms of aspiration. The chapter considers the daunting circumstances of postapartheid’s precarious neglect, searching for the pressure points where management might also be read as a form of resistance and hope, a masculine resolve to sustain becoming.