Let It Rain
Exhibition project by Tumi Mogorosi in cooperation with researcher Kupakwashe Mtata.
Up on a neck of a sacred hill known as Njelele is a shrine comprising a level open ground, more or less the size of a basketball pitch, and, by its side, a cave with two chambers . With only two small paths approaching the shrine from opposite directions, the space around is covered by trees and large rocks, making it into an ideal natural sanctuary. It is here at the shrine that on special days during the year, usually in the darkness of night, the people that call to Mwali for rain and fertility gather for that purpose. Having slaughtered an offering bull, they roast the meat and eat it unsalted. Opaque home-brewed beer is shared and some of it is poured to the ancestors on a rock. The drinking and eating is followed by the beating of drums, singing and dancing, activities that continue to the early hours of the morning.
Tumi Mogorosi’s installation presents an aesthetic response to research material provided by Kupakwashe Mtata. Zooming into rain-making celebrations at the Njelele Shrine in Matobo, Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, his jazz composition enters into a conversation with the rough and shaky visual notes recorded during research trips. Experienced as patterns of images and sound they evoke an atmosphere of anticipation but also of presence, of the “future” being already there. Different spiritual registers are in action such as Metatron, a mythical angel of mediation, and Njelele-based rituals of rain-making which are calling a future into being. The rain asked for here is not necessarily water drops from a cloudy sky but invokes other showers of blessings, too.