Meet the children of the wind

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Photographer: Nhlakanipho Nhlapo

This is definitely a good time to be alive if you’re a poetry lover. The poets are amazing and there’s always a good show to look forward to. Then…every now and then, an event so amazing hits your timeline and you can’t help but wonder if it’s too good to be true. Well fam, Modise ‘Perfect-Poem-Nominee’ Sekgothe and Itai Hakim are most definitely putting on a show and the MD, Qhakaza Mthembu, can’t wait to see it. She caught up with these fine gentlemen ahead of Children Of The Wind’s opening night at the Africa Freedom Station next month.

What is Children Of The Wind all about?
Itai: It’s about being a wanderer, and finding your own sense of comfort in the discomfort of vacillating between being an at times tethered and untethered child, attached to everything and nothing at the same time.

Allow us to propose it as an adjective:
Child of the Wind // //adj. // 1 One who seeks to re-establish their childlike sense of wonder about their inhabited planet 2 One who appears briefly only to return to their obscurity

Modise: It’s also about a relation, with each other and with the process of creating. Our collaboration has been mostly about going where the wind takes us, riding the wave, allowing ourselves to be guided by the force that is created by our collective energy.

Why did the two of you decide to work together on this show?
Modise: We came together initially with the idea of working on a play early last year, coming around to developing it has been somewhat delayed, but we’ve been jamming together a lot and decided to develop and share those jams with the masses.
Itai: But also, the work decided to use the two of us.

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What challenges have you come across in putting together the show?
Itai: N/A
Modise: Lol…The wind never blows in the same way twice, this makes preparations for the show slightly complicated because structure is important while finding flow in the midst of that is tricky.

How and when did you guys start working together?
Itai: In early and late 2015 we would meet to chat, and hang out. Much like, bras on a washing line. There was a drum, there was a guitar. There was a Modise Sekgothe. There was a Itai Hakim.
Modise: Yeah, early last year, when we started conceptualising the two-man play we want to develop. Itai came to my place while I was still living at the Rubix-cube, he took out his guitar and started playing while we were hanging out with some of my friends, I brought out my djembe and we really vibed.

What draws you to each other’s work?
Modise: Itai Hakim is going down in South African music history, I have no doubt about that. Wherever he comes from, it’s a beautiful place there. Something happens when you experience his work…something that changes you every time you see it.
Itai: First and foremost his genius, and sense of craftsmanship in relation to intuitively knowing what a piece of work requires from the vessel of an artist. On another level fede uYinja ye game uNtanga, so game recognize game uYabo.

How would you describe your collective sound?
Modise: I would say, that it sounds like two songs playing at the same time but merging so seamlessly that you can’t tell. Two interposed paintings, the picture even more clear in the seeming confusion. It’s a mess…with a very clear message.

So…will we be hearing some melodies from Modise and some poetry from Itai Hakim?
Itai: Yes.
Modise: Indeed, not only melodies from me but some djembe rhythms as well. I’ve been playing indoors for some time and feel ready to explore it in performance.

Modise, the last time we saw you was with Metropolar, how is the project going? Will we be seeing more from it or from you and Jotam?
Modise: It’s been going well, we’ve been doing a lot of work on some audio and audio-visual projects set to be simultaneously released early this year. We’re concluding the recordings and will have a CD and DVD product in the next few months. We’re taking it to Grahamstown as well.

Itai, last I checked you were jet setting with the Brother Moves On. What have been the highlights of your travels and working with that phenomenal band?
Itai: Travelling internationally to sing and play in my home language. It was my first international tour and not even an EP out. Kanjani US selling out a show before our arrival in the UK. Playing with family always kicks ass, any time of day and any day of the week. Being interviewed by the Radio Station at the University of my Dreams, SOAS (The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London).

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Itai Hakim and Modise Sekgothe is a killer combination. What other collaborations would you love to see unfolding on stage?
Itai: In Principle those which are guided to find a genuine synergy between the collaborators.
Modise: I saw a short collaboration between NoLife and Xabiso a few weeks ago, their energy was mad, I’m excited to see how that relation develops.

Give us 3 reasons why we don’t want to miss this show.
Modise: It’s happening on the 11th, it’s happening on the 12th and it’s happening on the 13th, those are three reasons why you cannot possibly miss the show.
Itai: [Modise Sekgothe and Itai Hakim ] X 3

Catch a young promo of the show at the WNS Awards this Saturday and get all the show details for Children Of The Wind here.

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