Afulodidim Nikefolosi is a figure in answer to the challenge: show me a contemporary mixture of Amos Tutuola and Zora Neale Hurston.
She was born in the 1990s in a remote and flourishing matriarcal subsaharan village.
Against all advice, except that of her Chieftainess who had noticed her exceptional and spirited intelligence, she pursued her quest for alternative knowledge at a formal school, some one thousand kilometres away. This at a time she had already become familiar with the bleeding moon. She learnt to read and write in a few weeks and completed primary and secondary school within three years.
Believing that field experience is the inevitable complement to academic knowledge, she wandered through three continents and a number of jobs ranging from sales to care. Rejecting the idea of single authorship, she wrote articles, fiction and poetry under a number of pen names.
Her years-long observations of The Noisebringers formed the basis of her seminal trioethnogroahic piece, for which she received a university scholarship from The Council Culture of the Associated Chieftainesses of baLafuni. That made her the youngest PhD student in the UK, where she now conducts pioneering research in the field.
Tente, the mushroom that the crocodile ate, is her first film, signalling her move away from trioethnographic field work, as well as a poignant reunion with her roots.
Tente, the mushroom that the crocodile ate
Since the 15th Century, Geneva and its region have been exporting magical sticks and wands to shamans, sorceresses and magicians from as far as Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Their most precious sticks were coming with special instructions and rituals, in order to maintain their magic. The winter solstice ritual is one of those. In Zambia, back in the 16th Century, Her Royal Highness Chieftainess Tente – the mushroom that the crocodile ate; She whose spirit is slippery and appears like as a season; Sovereign of the chiefdom of baLafuni, those to whom water flows – made it correspond to their traditional rain ritual. In order to make this rain ritual more powerful, Tente has been traveling to Geneva, where the power of the stick is even stronger, every year for the past four centuries. For the first time on screen, we will show the preparation of this ritual with Tente, her assistant Iluba Lya Muyayaya, and an unnamed ritual musician.
A film by Afulodidim Nikefolosi produced by the Noisebringers.
Tente II – Dreaming restlessly
It is almost June season in baLafuni. In order to bring the cold weather from the regions of the Antemaria (otherwise known as ‘South’), Tente and her assistants have to dream restlessly for a month. They travel and join forces from all over the world in this exhausting and dangerous sleep. If they dream well, the temperatures in baLafuni will finally drop under 10 degrees.
Written and directed by Afulodidim Nikefolosi
Produced, filmed and edited by the Noisebringers and Jonathan O’Hear
Tente’s assistants’ names as civilians are: Cléa Chopard, Manon Parent, Maria Sappho and Tammy. Tente’s dream hand and feet are Davide-Christelle Sanvee’s. The hiker is Sylvie Kleiber.
Music composed, improvised, performed and mixed by Ludwig van Beethoven, Bristophe, Brutalust, Laurent Estoppey, Colin Frank, Xina Hawkins, Nikias Imhoof, Raymond MacDonald, Henry McPherson, the Noisebringers, Maria Sappho, Mariabrice Sapphocatherin, Christophe Schweizer, Dejana Sekulič and Tammy at Analix Forever Gallery, Switzerland, 3 – 9 May 2021.
Soundtrack available in the Noisebringer album is the new punk.
Beginning and end credits: images of Rudy Decelière’s The Wind You Never Felt (2017-2021), Pavillon de la danse, Collection Fonds d’art contemporain de la Ville de Genève (FMAC)
Special thanks to Rudy Decelière, the FMAC, José Manuel Rodriguez and the Mandafounis Corporation.