The Con would like to bring your attention to a new South African podcast and videocast, titled Mushroom Hour Half Hour, which just released it’s latest instalment Scamtho Shrooms. Below is what they have to say for themselves and the links you need to check them out.
The Mushroom Hour Half Hour began when three friends got together to do a radio show for Invisible Cities Pirate Radio, armed with their jazz, funk and soul vinyl and some mean rap lyrics. Their shows explore an array of grooves with guests joining in the adventures – notably Lesego Rampolokeng, Ben Sharpa, Qba and Projektah.
The latest show, Scamtho Shrooms, features a little-known yet important voice in the South African poetry and literary landscape – Mboneni “Bra Ike” Muila. Bra Ike has been active as a visual artist, poet and performer since the early 1990s, working with Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya, Isabella Motadinyane and Allan Kolski Horwitz as a literary collective called the Botsotso Jesters. He has published a number of works under Botsotso Publishing, including his first collection of poems, titled Gova. His other works include We Jive Like This, Dirty Washing, Purple Light Mirror in the Mud (audio) and Roots and Branches (audio), which were all released under the Botsotso Publishing banner with fellow collaborators.
Bra Ike’s poetry takes shape and is delivered in Isicamtho: “My narrative oral mix is in the 11 languages spoken in South Africa … the so-called Tsotsitaal, Isicamtho language alive and kicking … a mixture of languages into a witty lingo, a language of identity, a language of the ordinary person in the street …”. He may appear down to earth, but Bra Ike’s poetry is far from ordinary; like train surfing to the rhythm of The Movers, he weaves words poised with the flair of a pantsula dancer. Whether he’s recounting stories of gastronomy gone wrong in Inside of Me or reminiscing about his late brother in Bra Frisco, he provides a snapshot of an urban argot no longer in use, as well as of a character and texture of the township that is sorely missing. His true kasi prent shosholoza style is backed up by the slick, soulful selection of the Mushroom Hour Half Hour’s chairman of the groove, Radio Robert, and co-piloted by rhythm and rhyme partner Kool oNe Ebony.
The show was recorded at Bra Ike’s house in Mofolo, Soweto. Special thanks go to João Orecchia, Breeze Yoko, Nhlanhla Masondo and Mzwandile Buthelezi.
You can listen or download the podcast on SoundCloud below or watch the video cast on Vimeo, below that.
If you need to get hold of The Mushroom Hour Half Hour you can hit them up on twitter using the handle @_MindYourHead_ or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org