When I meet him on a rainy Tuesday afternoon, Richard ‘Nozinja‘ Mthetwa’s trademark tasselled costume is covered by a puffer jacket, and he’s brandishing an umbrella, ready for his photoshoot with Tessela (the two have been working on music together). Seeing him standing still for a photo feels completely at odds with the incredible amount of energy he generates, both musically and physically, during a live performance.
When we talk later, he emphasises that the Shangaan music and movement are closely connected, describing them as ‘best friends’. “It’s the Shangaan way,” he says. More often than not, Nozinja’s live performances are flanked by dancers recruited from his home town, demonstrating the ‘no bones’ moves that Shangaan dancers have become famous for.Read feature