Introduction: The Politics of Participation in Ngoma Song and Dance
The introduction presents the figure of the Zulu warrior as a key component of the history of Zulu representation, and so also key to ngoma’s structures of feeling and its commodification. It tracks some regional history of ngoma and situates the umzansi Zulu style in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal. It describes Msinga’s overpopulated and impoverished living conditions as a consequence of the area’s history as an early African reserve, and more recently of the violent politics of apartheid. It introduces the book’s approaches to analysis of the moving body and the voice, and to ngoma as embodiment and lived history. It explains the shifting registers of representation the book’s narrative takes (including to photography) to argue that the force of aesthetics and finesse of politics are coproduced through violence.