Mantombi Matotiyana


Mantombi Matotiyana – born in Jenca location, Tsolo district in the far Eastern Cape where her voice and musical skill made her a revered performer.  She lives in Samora Machel, Philippi, a township on the outskirts of Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town.  Her vocals had been an important part of Diviner’s Traditional ceremonies where she often played the lead part.  Even during her youth, her voice was regarded as the sweet melody of a nightingale.  The skill of playing traditional instruments like uhadi (calabash bow), umrhubhe (mouth bow) and isitolotolo (jews harp) was passed down to her in the traditional art form with the full supervision of her mother.  She is among the few remaining icons the youth of today could tap on her knowledge.  She was discovered by music fundi Dizu Plaatjies playing some of her instruments entertaining her guests while waiting for the traditional beer umqomboti to ferment during Dizu’s rounds in the township.  She was eventually invited to play with the group Amampondo and travelling the world with the group.  Her life changed significantly and she constantly performed with several other traditional ensembles but was never recognized internationally as a solo artist.  In the 2009 winter months, Mantombi Matotiyana performed in The Bow Project with the Nightingale String Quartet which toured South Africa.