Tuesday 1st August:
Talk: AFRICAN GODDESS
The talk I will present is an exploration of the many faces of the African Goddess, guided by the following themes and questions:
- Who is the African Goddess, precisely?
- Where is She?
- Does She matter at all, and if so, in what way?
- Why are we, Her children, oblivious of Her?
- When did we forget, and why have we forgotten about Her?
It is a sad reality that we in Africa, once rich in Goddess culture, have managed to very successfully extract Her from our collective memory. We have mythologised Her into obscurity, and have left enough space for Her only within very few individuals and groups of people.
I feel an urgent need within myself to reclaim my space within Her, and to share this space with all. My complicit self-exclusion has cost me much, and it is time to fall to my knees and Honour Her, and clap my hands to Her, and call Her.
This talk is in fact a ritual performance infused with song and poetry, and some physical theatre.
Thursday 3rd August – morning
LUNCHTIME STORYTELLING by MAKGATHI MOKWENA: HER CALL IS SMALL, FAINT… CAN YOU HEAR IT?
Saturday 5th August – afternoon
Workshop: CELEBRATING THE GREAT MOTHER
This is a workshop dedicated to celebrating Her, our Great Mother Goddess, to connecting with Her within ourselves, and to giving her full embodied expression through our bodies..
We will dance, move, sound and sing, and ullulate Her through an African dance form. Ah, and all other dance forms are invited, of course!
In this workshop you will unfurl slowly into African dance and sound, take a movement journey to the inner spaces occupied by the Goddess, and experience your body as it expresses and celebrates Her, and you, through the various dance forms of Africa. We will experiment with dance and movement, with no need to get it “right”, only to feel it in your being. No previous dance experience? Excellent! You won’t need it. Just bring your feet and an open heart.
Dr. Makgathi Mokwena: Pilgrim In Heels
I am a registered Arts Therapist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, have taught psychology at two universities (Vista University- now University of Pretoria, and Rand Afrikaans University- now University of Johannesburg), work as an arts therapist and sometimes yoga teacher, occasionally perform on stage and at various events, design and facilitate various retreats, and leadership development processes.
Education and Training
I undertook my first degrees at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and Vista University in Pretoria, received my Masters Degree in Dance Movement Therapy at Antioch Graduate School in New Hampshire (through a Fulbright Scholarship), and my Doctoral Degree in Psychology at Rand Afrikaans University, in Johannesburg (2003). I spent last April and May (2015) in Rishikesh in India, participating in a 200 hour internationally certified yoga teacher training programme.
My work largely (but not exclusively) centres on personal development, and references the self within the context of a larger team/community/system. I make use of rigorous self-inquiry and reflection as tools for understanding and appreciation oneself, in order to serve self and, others. Meaning and purpose (or the search thereof) form a cornerstone of this framework.
The methodology I draw on is integrative in nature, and incorporates emotional, embodiment, spiritual and mental intelligences.
Rites of Passage Ceremony Priestess
- I hold ceremony for various passages, including:
- Marriage and commitment ceremonies
- Divorce and the cutting of the cords
- Transitioning, and coming of age
- Letting go of Fear and Limiting Self-Beliefs; Entering into the space of the Sacred Self
- Significant birthdays
- The passing of love ones
- Baby blessings
- Sangoma healing retreats.
How I Work
My work is influenced a great deal by the Expressive Arts and spirituality, and incorporates::
- (Performance) Art-making
- Movement and sound
- Meditation and contemplation
- Silent walks and hikes
The motto that guides how I live my life is “World Peace Begins With My Inner Peace”.