Pondo DrumStarz

One week ago, there was a blackout at Amapondo Backpackers and Port St. Johns. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves and Bongz came to the rescue. Bongz is a Drummer and a Barman at Amapondo Backpackers. I also secretly believe Bongz is a Healer, who uses drumming to heal people’s spirits.

This is how Mickey Hart describes my belief:

“Shamans are professional trance travelers, handling communication between this world and the spirit world. Across many cultures they come as healers, psychics, specialists in non-ordinary states of consciousness, clairvoyance and out-of-body travel; they lobby the higher powers to assure a good hunt, as well as diagnose and cure the sick and assist the dying in their transition to the spirit world. A shaman typically needs three things: power songs to summon his spirit allies, spirit allies to guide him to the World Tree, and a drum to ride there. The shaman uses incantation, drums, rattles made of membranes, wood and metal, or gourds wrapped with beads to change human brainwave functions. There are many techniques of the shaman. The one thing they all have in common is their ability to create trance. A shaman drives the trance and travels to deep sacred space, to cure a disease or foretell the next harvest’s conditions.”

One week later, I found myself chatting to Bongz about his drumming. Bongz is part of a drumming group with three other drummers. They didn’t have a name for the group, so Bongz tasked me with coming up with a name.I decided on the name, “Pondo DrumStarz“.

Pondo: The drummers originate from the Eastern Cape, a province in South Africa that is dominated by Pondo and Xhosa people.

DrumStarz: They are drummers, and they are good at what they do. They are the stars of drumming.Pondo DrumStarz has four members:


▪ Bongani

▪ Thotho

▪ Steve

Steve started drumming in 2003, and was taught by Richard.Bongz started drumming in 2007, and was taught by Steve.Thotho started drumming in 2008, and was taught by Bongz.The inspiration of their drumming is their love for music. They love the sound of the drum. They love the rhythm and the beat of the drum, and how its affects the human spirit.

The drum beats. The adrenaline flows. And we either dance or we fight.”

Mickey Hart

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