ABOUT MADOSINI : Madosini Manqina Latozi from the Transkei is the most famous performer of Xhosa musical bow today. She never attended school. She was influenced by her mother who was also an expert in the playing and making of traditional instruments. “Without nature there is no life and without life there is no music. These are the foundation stones for humanity,” said Madosini.
In one of her songs Utando Luphelile 'My son,' she sings. “Love has disappeared nowadays since money became the living thing. Modernism has taken us by surprise. Go anywhere in the world and you will find that people are hopeless, there is no self-reliance. People would just go past you without even saying hello. What is life then ? There is total destruction of mother nature through the lack of communication, in short no love.”
In Sazi Dlamini's masters thesis he writes, “Bow music was an integral part of female contemplation on the poetics of emotional relationships between and among individuals, society and state.”
MaDosini said in the interview with Sazi Dlamini : The origin of the bow came “Through God's ( Thixo ) revelation … since God reveals to his people what should make them happy. God then revealed umrhubhe to his ancient people who had no things to make them happy … He invented umrhubhe .”
MaDosini said in an interview in the same paper: “Umrhubhe is a girls' instrument. AmaXhosa girls then grew up making it sound, they did not attend school, their school was this thing. School was there, but it was something that was looked down upon. The thing that was focused on and elevated was umrhubhe .”
“The bow does not agree to be followed by many people since it has a quiet voice. It can go together with other musical instruments, it does go well together with segankuri [Sotho friction-bow]. It goes very well together with segankuri . I use amanqashela ankle rattles when I am performing on stage. I put them on my ankles.” MaDosini
Madosini (an amaqaba , (‘red' people) never learnt to read, write and speak in English. However, as she informed the interviewer in isiXhosa, pointing to the umrhubhe bow in her hands, … “I went to this school. When I was young, children who went to school to learn English were ridiculed. This [pointing to bow], taught me about life. This was our way of entertainment. It also inculcated good manners in a person. We were nurturing graceful manners. Because you are told with direct reference to it and you are told: ‘This is how you should hold umrhubhe bow when you meet an older person … Molo Tata, Molo Mama' [Hello Father, Hello Mother]. Not to ignore – when your mother and father are walking by.”
“I make this umrhubhe myself. This wood I cut myself. And this is lujiko (coil) of umliza (ankle bangle). Now we buy this wire. We used to wear it on our feet. So now you buy it and burn it over a fire to stretch /straighten it to be like this. Its name while it is still [coiled] is known as umliza . After burning it is called lijiko . Once you have got this ijiko and the stick you call it umrhubhe .”