Not much is known about Dr AB Xuma, the first black South African to become a medical doctor,
as well as a leader, activist and president-general of the African National Congress (ANC) from
1940 to 1949.
Dr Xuma’s house will be the site of a presentation by internationally renowned drummer and theorist Tumi Mogorosi titled Tumi Mogorosi Presents Group Theory: Black Music -Remembering Dr Xuma on February 17 & 18 2023 at the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown.
The show attempts to spotlight Dr Xuma’s often-underscored legacy. As a result of the demolition and forced removals of Sophiatown, there is only one house left – Dr Xuma’s house. “Within the historical memory of Sophiatown lies the debris of yesteryear’s urban Black life…” Mogorosi says. “We can think of Can Themba’s House of Truth and Bloke Modisane’s Shangri-la as such spaces that lie beneath the rubble of a once-was dream of freedom, perennially deferred. Dr Xuma’s house remains, within this historical memory of freedom fighters, as a site where Black theory as resistance was practised.”
Group Theory: Black Music as an interrogation of the “afterlife” of Apartheid will find articulation within the walls of Dr Xuma’s house. The Black freedom project (unfinished) is revisited by Mogorosi’s insistence on Black Music as socio-political terrain that drives, at its core, a meditation on continually deferred dreams of liberation.
The concert at the Trevor Huddleston Centre is dedicated to Xuma and his comrades and is a way of marking the ongoing struggle of Black people in so-called ‘post-racial’ South Africa. Dr Xuma was posthumously awarded The Order of Luthuli in Gold for his exceptional contribution to the national democratic struggle for freedom and his outstanding contribution to the struggle against colonialism on the African continent and the struggle for a free, democratic,
non-racial and non-sexist South Africa. The show on Saturday includes a tour of Dr Xuma’s house, a talk, and a performance by Mogorosi.
Friday 17 December: 19:00
Saturday 18 December: 17:30