Dumama, born Gugulethu Duma, is a South African future folk performing artist, songwriter and cultural researcher. Inspired by issues around inequality and displacement, she experiments with notions of ancient sounds in a new world, with projects concerned with cultural preservation and the tension and harmonies present in intergenerational exchanges.
Reimagining folk music of ancestors, living and deceased, Dumama works with the voice, live loops, hand-made bow instruments and distortions. Fascinated by sound’s power, the tonal emergence and decay in certain frequencies and emotions evoked within these frequencies, Dumama passionately explores music as a tool for social transformation and healing.
In 2018, Dumama was a Moving Africa fellow with Goethe Institute for the Dak’art Bienalle and a USA touring artist with OneBeat, an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She has performed at Rocking the Daisies, National Arts Festival, Zeits MOCAA, Red Bull Studios, to name a few. She was invited to speak at the 2nd International Bow Conference in KZN in 2018, and facilitated a masterclass for A World Cultures Class at The College of Charleston, USA.
Dumama makes music that creates fertile foundations for the re-imagination and rewriting of our narratives. Her aim is to inspire transformation in African and global contexts around knowledge production, spirituality for disruption, reflection, and collective healing. Dumama’s musical performances have been described as haunting, hypnotic and harmonious, while un-shy and un-free from palpable tensions.