Ntaba kaNdoda has long been considered by amaXhosa as a place of sanctuary, a revered place that became a symbol of the former Ciskei. The Ntaba kaNdoda Monument, which was officially opened on the 14th of August 1981, sits on this Mountain, an enigma for visitors and locals alike, and a symbol of unity for the pseudo-nationalities of the former Bantustan. Its existence cloaks the graves of long dead warriors buried on its grounds, as their stories wither from our collective memory.
The exhibition ‘Forgetting Ntaba kaNdoda’ explores notions of place, memory and memorialisation at the Ntaba kaNdoda Monument. I perform for and with the camera, and I have produced a series of multi-layered photographs that respond to the urgency that is Ntaba kaNdoda’s memory. This exhibition seeks to translate for the viewers my own experiences at the Monument in reframing and reconfiguring this multiplex memorial, by knotting memories within Ntaba kaNdoda that enriches the meta-narrative of its history.
These photographs reflect my own performative commemoration, enmeshed in a lyrical labyrinth of memory and remembrance of Ntaba kaNdoda, which have been abandoned and forgotten. Unlike stones that are thrown esi-Vivaneni to be forgotten over time, my photographs of the Ntaba kaNdoda Monument counter the passing of time that has eroded our memory of this sacred place, and acknowledge the negligence that have robbed us of our heritage. The exhibition ‘Forgetting Ntaba kaNdoda’ not only represents a self-reflective exploration on the Monument through photography, but also affirms the memories I hold of Ntaba kaNdoda.