In the voluminous writings on South African cultural history in the first half of the twentieth-century which appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Umteteli wa Bantu, Ilanga lase Natal, Bantu World, Drum magazine and Inkundly ya Bantu, two New African intellectuals of the New African Movement fascinated and enthralled H. I. E. Dhlomo concerning the cultural construction of New African modernity. Across three decades of writing for the Ilanga lase Natal newspaper from the mid 1920s to the early 1950s, Rueben Caluza and Benedict Wallet Vilakazi seem to have been for Dhlomo the exemplary cultural proselytizers of modernity. This does not mean by any means that Dhlomo viewed them as stronger or greater intellectuals or artists than say Solomon T, Plaatje or S. E. K. Mqhayi. Whereas the great intellectual friendship between Dhlomo and Vilakazi as revealed in the portraits of the latter by the former was riven by deep tensions, the portraits of Caluza by Dhlomo are warm and indicate deep respect. Perhaps this respect emanates not only from the fact that Caluza was a brilliant composer, but also the fact that he was completely a cultural product of New African modernity. Rueben Caluza was not educated in missionary schools, but rather, was wholly schooled at Ohlange Institute founded by John Langalibalele Dube in 1901. Ohlange was wholly modeled on Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute: here the connection between New Negro modernity and New African modernity is direct. When New African intellectuals such as R. R. R. Dhlomo, Rueben Caluza, H. I. E. Dhlomo are recalled, and when Ilanga lase Natal newspaper and Ohlange Institute are remembered, it is practically impossible to overestimate the role of John Dube in South African cultural and intellectual history. In this context, Rueben Caluza is a direct descendant of John Langalibalele Dube. It was on the pages of this newspaper founded by John Dube in 1903 in an anonymously written Editorial that the intellectual and musical importance of Caluza was first given recognition: "One other aspect of this awakening is already showing itself in the creation of purely Native songs as several Native composers have appeared of late years prominent among whom is the late Rev. J. K. Bokwe and Mr. R. T. Caluza who have done much to save hymns meant for praise to be sung on all occasions, at marriage &, instead of using music appropriate for such purposes. These men deserve well of their people. Attempts should be made at once for the compilation and publication of all these songs in book form" ("Native Literature", Ilanga lase Natal, December 28, 1923). Even at the relatively young age of 28 years Caluza was already seen as continuing a legacy founded by Bokwe of bringing to the consciousness of African people the vitality of modernity through a musical form. From this moment Caluza was to position himself as one the central figures of the New African Movement. In all probability the aforementioned essay in Ilanga lase Natal was written by the young R. R. R. Dhlomo since in its intellectual approach and style of analysis is similar to two essays written under his name that were to appear a decade later in The Bantu World. Since the shorter of the two essays ("I Siyamu silahlekelwe yikolwa U Ma-Nxele ozala u R. T. Caluza", July 28, 1934) is amplified upon by the later and larger notation, it will not be referred to directly in this context. Since the biographical essay was the first ever written about R. T. Caluza and the kind of cultural profile it articulates is similar to that of many other New African intellectuals, writers and artists, it deserves to be quoted in full: "The history of Mr. Reuben Tolakele Caluza, the only son of the late Mr. And Mrs. Mordecai John Reuben Caluza, makes interesting reading. There are many reasons which make it so, but I shall only enumerate a few so as to give readers a readable account of this remarkable son of Africa. Mr. R. T. Caluza was born at Siyamu, a little village that lies about six miles west of Maritzburg, while Edendale Mission Station one of the oldest mission stations in Natal, lies about a mile on the South of Siyamu. Interesting features in the life of Mr. Caluza are that he was born of parents who, although they could not be said to be 'well off' were, at the same time, not poor. They were a Christian couple with enough to enjoy their quiet life. When Mr. Caluza was born, it did not seem to his devoted parents that he would be different from the children of Siyamu, so they prepared to send him to school just like other children. But it did not take them long to realise that by God's divine plan they had born a genius. For the young Caluza now began to show his musical talent while still at school. Fortunately for him his father possessed a massive organ which he played remsarkably well. The young Caluza seemed drawn to this instrument irresistibly until his father taught him to play on it. At this time Ohlange Institute accepted boys even for the primary standards. So to Ohlange Caluza was sent to pursue his studies as Siyamu at this time was not recognised by the Government. At Ohlange Caluza found his gift for composing getting full scope. He formed a musical company of four or five boys from Siyamu. With these he took Ohlange Institute stage by storm. Then began the musical tours which were to discover him. First, this company toured the neighbouring villages like Inanda, Emaoti, Mmzinyati, Matikwe. Caluza was now beginning to show that he was a coming composer, for most of the songs sung by this company were his tittle compositions. This placed him before the alert eyes of the Rev. J. L. Dube, who was even then as he is now, ever on the look-out for talented young men. The result of this was that when the famous Ohlange Institute Travelling choir began its first tours of Natal and Transvaal Mr. Caluza was chosen as one of its members. As this choir was augmented with a Brass Band, Caluza was given the cattle-drum to play. This was at the time when Mr. L. D. Bopela of I. C. U. fame and the Rev. then Mr. Walter Dimba were the leaders of the choir. Perhaps Caluza's genius caught their attention for they gave him full-scope to prove his talents, with results that soon after their retirement from these posts, Caluza became the conductor of the now popular Ohlange Travelling Choir. Now his compositions, which were becoming well-known among music lovers, had a good chance of being tested by the public. He composed noe feverishly and fed the choir with his brain-work. The outstanding thing was that even at that period Caluza seemed to feel the changes that were taking place in the life of his people, for all his best compositions were based on greast national events that affected his people. The 1913 Land Act brought from his fertile mind the popular song 'Silusapo Lwase Afrika.' The words of this song dwelt on the harsh provisions of this law and mentioned the congress deputation which left for England about that time. The Great Flu of 1918 brought from Caluza's brain one of his greatest and moving songs: 'Influenza.' The sight of a gesticulating and contortioning Rickshaw puller of Durban made him compose one of his most popular if not the most popular song 'Rickshaw Song.' Thus it can truthfully be said Caluza owes a lot to the Rev. J. L. Dube who gave him all the scope he needed to give his genius free outlet. For it should also be remembered that he lived and moved and had his being at Ohlange under the personal care of the Rev. J. L. Dube. It can also be said that to Caluza Ohlange Institute owes a lot. For his compositions and his musical association with the school earned it popularity and fame. Now let us jump a few years and come to Caluza now known all over South Africa as a composer of great promise. Somewhere near 1928 he published his first book of his musical compositions entitled 'Amagama Ohlanga Lakwa Zulu.' So great was the demand for this book that it was sold outright a few months after publication. Immediately after this Caluza got a unique opportunity of going overseas with his choir to make records of his compositions for His Master's Voice Gramaphone Company. This choir made a favourable impression in London where it was invited to sing in select London musical halls. The records made by this choir are very popular and are, even now, still enjoying large sales among Bantu people of all tribes. Now Caluza's greatest opportunity came along! After the choir had completed its recording and returned to this country Caluza proceeded to Hampton College in America to pursue musical studies. Well, Caluza continued to do well in America until just about a month ago news was received to the effect that he had obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in music and had entered Columbia University where he intends to prosecute further musical studies. He entertains hope of passing London when he returns to this country and spend a year there polishing off his musical attainments. Should this wish materialise Mr. R. T. Caluza will have had one of the greatest opportunities that come within the grasp of a Young African" ("The Brilliant Career of a Zulu Musician", R. R. R. Dhlomo, The Bantu World, October 6, 1934). To R. V. Selope Thema, architect of the New African Movement and editor of the Bantu World, Reuben Caluza was an exemplary New African who fully entered into modernity. To Selope Thema also, Caluza was a prime example in indicating that achievements of New Negro modernity were not beyond being emulated by New African modernity. To H. I. E. Dhlomo, arguably the greatest intellectual of the New African Movement, perhaps the fundamental significance of Caluza was in being wholly conscious of the historical transformations of modernity that was bringing into being New Africans, a New Africa, a New South Africa, and a new historical consciousness. Approximately a decade after his older brother's appraisals of Caluza, H. I. E. Dhlomo was to engage himself with this remarkable artist. In calling for the All African Cultural Movement in South Africa, H. I. E. Dhlomo was in all probability inspired by artists and intellectuals like Caluza ("Africans And Bantu" by X [H. I. E. Dhlomo], Ilanga lase Natal, October 23, 1943). Recognizing the originality of Rueben Caluza, H. I. E Dhlomo wrote two appreciative portraits of this remarkable artist. One of these portraits appeared in a series of portraits, including that of Benedict Vilakazi, which H. I. E. Dhlomo wrote between May and September in 1947: "We intend reserving one paragraph weekly for the purpose on introducing African men and women of outstanding achievement. Do not expect an analysis of character or a catalogue of things done by each person presented. With the space at our disposal we can only afford 'snaps' not portraiture. From his early childhood Mr. R. T. Caluza displayed his creative talents. Knowing nothing about music, he would yet gather the other boys around him and teach them melodies he heard inwardly. Like other boys of those days, Caluza read for a teacher's course. Completing the course but still totally unschooled musically, he began to win recognition as a writer of music. . . . relying entirely on instinct. His Ohlange touring choir gave that College fame and money, and initiated Bantu music concert programmes. Caluza published a book [of] his compositions. H. M. V. Company asked him to make recordings of his work. This sent him to London where he produced scores of records. At long last he was able to go to the States to study music. So far all his work was by pure instinct. In the States he formed a quartette that toured most of the country. He soon graduated (M. A., B. Sc.) writing some excellent string quartettes for the two theses. Coming back to South Africa he was appointed Head of the Adams College School of Music. May of our younger composers today (let alone other students of music) are his product. To make himself economically independent so that he could devote himself completely to his work, Caluza embarked on business. His versatility was shown by the amazing success he soon achieved in this new field, ranking today as one of our most able men in this sphere. Despite this record of achievement many things are still expected of this gifted son of Africa" ("Snaps: R. T. Caluza" by Busy-Bee [H. I. E. Dhlomo], Ilanga lase Natal, May 24, 1947). Three years later in 1950 when H. I. E. Dhlomo again wrote biographies of particular members of the New African Movement, Rueben Caluza was among those included. At this moment in the late 1940s H. I. E. Dhlomo was keen to inform the New African masses of the achievements attained and/or achieved by New African intellectuals. This was a constant refrain in many of his cultural essays at this time. These intellectual sketches of 1947 and 1950 by H. I. E. Dhlomo could be seen as an addendum to The African Yearly Register book that was assembled and published T. D. Mweli Skota in 1930; though directly acknowledged or recognized, H. I. E. Dhlomo practically wrote all the biographical sketches in the Second Part of this book. So, in a true sense, the biographical reflections of approximately two decades later were a continuation of this modernist project that had been incorporated into the historical vision of Mweli Skota. In the biographical sketches in the form of Weekly Letter(s) devoted to specific New African intellectuals, H. I. E. Dhlomo sought to interrogate them about their positioning of themselves in the historical experience of modernity. Through these interrogations H. I. E. Dhlomo was in actual fact theorizing his own understanding of New African modernity and New African modernism. Since the Weekly Letter to Rueben Caluza is more fascinating and more revealing of H. I. E. Dhlomo's thinking about the form and nature and structure of New African modernity, than those to say H. Selby Msimang or E. H. A. Made or Albert Luthuli, among others, it merits being quoted in its totality: "'O Dloz'elisezulwini, Wena Lukhoz' olubuthise Amaphiko emafini! Ufihlen'emphefumulweni Wesintu, olukhipa Ngekhono lamathalente Ezimbongi zemibala Yomhlaba nezulu, Lapho zihay'iz bongo, Zishukumbisa ingoma Zishaya ngemiqangala, Engiyizwe ifihlwe Ezicakafani zabelungu Beshay' imishini yabo? Zingifak'umona, Ngishishimezwe ubunjonjo We, maNyanda kaZulu! Vusa nakithina Sizwe sika Sobantu Esiyimisebenzi yezandla zakho, Izingcwet'eziphil'inhlokomo Yomphefumulo neminjunju yenyama Zibamb'imiyibe yezulu namafu, Njengo Shubeth', noBithovini, noPinsuti.' It is a cry of agony from the bleeding tender heart of a poet. It was deeply felt, nobly conceived and expressed with piognant sweetness. Will you not understand? Will you not respond? Know you not that time and tide waiteth for no person? Universal and impersonal in its message and appeal, it has you in mind. One knows because one was there. In a room with heavily shaded lights we had been playing deep into the night records of some Schubert and Beethoven string---quartettes and symphonies. There followed a 'shop' but enthusiastic talk on the mystery of creative genius, on the comparative merits and heights of poetry and music, and on the place of creative art in nation building and national liberation. There was no question about music being able to paint marvellous scenes and portraits nor its unlimited powers to express the deepest and highest human thoughts and emotions. Neither did those artistically based and sympathetical kinds doubt or a moment that music played an important role in nation building and national liberation. It was contended that music can tell with moving effect the tribulations and aspirations of the Race, its heroes and great events and inspire its leaders and masses. In operatic form, for instance, it could bring these things to the living stage and let all and sundry see and hear for themselves. Here was the task and responsibility of our musicians. Were they doing their duty? Were they betraying or serving the Race? Here was a universal medium through which our composers could win the Race fame and honour. The task involved is a double one---research and real creation. Much nonsense is being said about African music today. More cheapness is associated with it. Many of our so-called 'composers' are third-raters who know nothing about the vast and complicated field of musical technique. Others have been led astray and ruined by Church hymns, tonic solfa, cheap jazz, and the craze for part singing to the exclusion of melody, solo and instrumental music. Yet others fall for the myth that Africans are born musicians who need no training. In some quarters it is thought educated Africans are against the research work on African music carried out by Europeans such as those of the African Music Society. That, of course, is nonsense. Africans fully appreciate all genuine research work done in this as in other fields. That is one thing. It is quite another when research is prostituted to exploit Africans and build the selfish interests of those concerned; to glorify and perpetuate tribal, archaic art-forms and the past at the expense of originality, innovation, modern trends and the world of living creative artists. It is wrong to associate research with African policy and our warped ideas of race. True and objective research should be above these things and confine itself to technics of music. Africans are proud of their past heritage, want to dig into it and use it to create new forms. But tradition is not static. It is evolutionary and progressive. And that is where the creative African artist comes in. Upon him depends the future of our music. He should of course be thoroughly trained in technics, Western and African. But what he creates depends on himself alone. He cannot be dictated to and told what to do. Like Wordsworth and T. S. Eliot, for instance, in poetry, and like Wagner and the modern atonality composers, all of whom produced new forms, the African composer is free to use whatever material he chooses to produce his original ideas. The vast collection of tribal music and the material supplied by research workers present a useful store-house for him. He it is who will decide when and where to use African or 'Western' scales, African or 'foreign' art forms. He alone can blend these into great works of beauty. The conversation that night centred around your name. You have the talent and the training. Even as a child you lisped in music. In America you received a Master of Art and a Bachelor of Science degree in music. You studied Negro and Western music. You toured the States giving programmes of African music. You have the knowledge to score for a whole orchestra. Two string quartettes of yours were presented by the writer and others and received the wild approval of a critical audience in Johannesburg a few years back. You have contributed music for one of the writer's plays. You have poets who are most willing to write a libretto for any operatic work you m ight choose. Africans hath need of you in this direction. It is well known that you are doing great and commendable work for your people in the field of business. But the Race demands of you your rarer gifts. It calls upon you to leave behind great and original works of beauty. It was these thoughts on that night long ago that led the poet (God rest his soul) to write the moving appeal at the top of this short letter" ("Weekly Letter: R. T. Caluza", Busy-Bee [H. I. E. Dhlomo], Ilanga lase Natal, June 3, 1950). Dhlomo's call to Rueben Caluza to produce the great works of art expected of him by the New African nation was not only based on his appreciation of Caluza's talent, but it was also based on their collaboration in the theatre. Dhlomo's evaluation seems also to have been based on personal performance of Caluza's compositions. Three years after the Weekly Letter, in an essay tracing the development of African music, Dhlomo had another occasion to situate and appraise the contributions of Rueben Caluza to the New African modernity: "Just after the arrival of the well-known Zulu composer, R. T. Caluza, from abroad, another new development which was to have far-reaching repercussions was taking place in Durban. Caluza who had been the most popular name perhaps in music in the country, returned a deeply, if not totally, reformed person after his advanced studies abroad, where he obtained two university degrees in music and composition. The conversion was regards Bantu traditional forms of music. Not in 'raw' Africa his home, but in far-off advanced and sophisticated America he had discovered the wealth, meaning message, variety and great importance of traditional musical art forms. In America also he had composed original instrumental and vocal music based on traditional themes ehich came into his mind through recollections. Back in his country, he was deeply interested in the novelty and genius of tribal music. He was determined and made peliminary arrangements not only to make a thorough study of these art forms, but to use them as the source of his second and greatest period of musical composition. Unfortunately this was not to be" ("Development of African Music", Anonymous [H. I. E. Dhlomo], Ilanga lase Natal, June 20, 1953). In other words, for H. I. E. Dhlomo the astonishing paradoxical historical situation is that it is by making a major entrance into New Negro modernity that Rueben Caluza not only realized the true mission of his modernism but also understood the complex nature of the dialectic between tradition and modernity within New African modernity. In facilitating a connection between these two black modernities, Caluza was amplifying what Charlotte Manye Maxeke had initiated in the late nineteenth-century and Ezekiel Mphahlele was to continue in the middle of the twentieth-century.