Bow, Women & Song

Bow, Women & Song – an engaging performance of indigenous bow songs – Wed, 7 October – 1.15 – 2.15 p.m.- at the WALL

The bow songs of women in South Africa have been a significant part of musical expression. From the likes of Princess Magogo to Miriam Makeba, women have used the instrument as a means to communicate different understandings of the past. Bow songs document various moments that have been significant in South African history, including early encounters with Europeans, migrations to urban areas and the brutalities of past laws. But bow songs also convey something more intimate, they sing of lost love by young women, children’s sleeping songs and travel-tunes of working men. Furthermore, bow songs convey an intense spirituality, from the voices of amagqirha (‘spiritual diviners’) to the biblical texts of Christianity.

The musical bow, used in the spaces we inhibit today can play a significant role in cultural negotiations: In the transformation of the city, in identity issues, in the imagination of a number of possible futures. 

Join us for a bow session in the middle of Wits campus & feel warmly invited to interact. It’s a performance!

If you have any questions concerning the bow or the event, please contact Thokozani Mhlambi at 0825328633 or at


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