Come, Mother Ocean

A beautiful ode to the sea from the minds at Mami Wata

“Mami Wata” is West African pidgin English for “Mama Water”, or Mother Ocean. She historically appears in African culture as a mermaid who takes her lovers hostage and transforms them with a new spirit, making them a more successful and better-looking version of themselves. Woza (“Come,” in the Zula language), tells the story of a young African surfer who is sieged by his attraction to Mami Wata, manifesting in the sounds of the ocean. “I hear it, day and night, like a heartbeat,” says the story’s narrator, played by the 22 year-old Transkei surfer Avuyile Ndamase. “It won’t stop.” He believes it to be a spell. Rather, an unnamed sage corrects him and reminds him that it is a blessing. “This is the sound that comes from the world of the spirits,” she says. “It is born from the power that has entered your heart. She has taken you. The power that we get from the sea will change you in strange ways.” A collage of aquatic testimony and traditional African storytelling, Woza is a beautifully fresh breath in a world that’s fed by the 30-second rip edit.