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Research Residency SDC

In pursuit of Mtendere: a research project by Kresiah Mukwazhi

Kresiah Mukwazhi

1-25 October 2020

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Kresiah Mukwazhi is a multidisciplinary artist whose work interrogates concepts of cultural identity and female sexuality. Her practise comments on the female condition concerning patriarchal societal norms and raises questions around belief and conformity. In pursuit of Mtendere is a research project from 1-25 October 2020 which follows in the wake of Hesi Keresiya, an ongoing inquiry of the self in which Kresiah uses nostalgia to address intergenerational trauma, religion, erased narratives and death.

Kresiah explains:

My grandmother lived in Lusaka, in a small community called Mtendere. We nicknamed her Mbuya Mtendere, (Grandmother of Mtendere). This nickname was evidence of aalternative expression used to show appreciation and honour for one’s unwavering communal service; a habit common in a lot of African communities. Such respected people in the community usually became important wells of wisdom, they would often be approached and asked to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings between neighbours, as one does when they go to see the Chief of a village with an issue they need settledMy previous live art work reflects my interests in matrilineal lineage, understanding manifestations of the self and how the two shape and suggest ones identity, I see my body as a medium that carries memory and I use it to explore different elements of femininity. As I was thinking about the new life my project would have to take in these unpredictable times, the word community, stayed with me. I became interested in understanding the power that storytelling and images has on culture.

Working in collaboration with Modzi Arts Centre in Lusaka, Kresiah has invited artists and scholars working across performance, photography and live art to participate in discussions with her exploring themes of cultural identity and gender. Planned topics and contributors include: The interpersonal and how it connects one to their lineage through visual practice with Duduzile Mathebula; Body art, ritual and healing with Regina Magdalena Sebald; and Introducing the sonic in erased archives and paying homage to heritage with Sibusiso Chiloane.


Johannesburg-based multidisciplinary artist Duduzile Mathebula is continuously tracing the ancestral and how memories embedded in us are resurrected and given agency. Originally a writer and fashion designer, she blends many elements of herself to directly translate the spirit of the work. Her interests in African material culture and heritage allow her to create moments that can be placed in multidimensional spaces.

Regina Sebald is a Berlin-based artist. Her multidisciplinary practise focuses principally on performance art for several years, after having practiced painting, photography and photojournalism. Her main interest is humanity in its entirety, their underlying
connectedness within and related common grounds, which she approaches from different angles. Intercultural relationships and relationships between humans and the planet form the integral part of her research. Sebald’s practice reveals art as a catalyst and integral part of Shamanism, mythology and magic.

Sibusiso Chiloane is an aspiring bass guitarist specializing in fusion, African jazz, pop/electric/experimental and world music. With a decade of live music performance experience, Sibusiso has performed with many artists such as the late Hugh Masekela, Abigail Khubeka, Themba Mokoena, Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja, to mention a few. He has performed on well-known stages such as the
Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, Bush Fire Festival, Design Indaba Cape Town, amongst others.

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