The Isintu Foundation (aka "Isintu Productions") is a nonprofit organization founded by Zola Dube in 2006. In its inception, Isintu Productions presented the Isintu Festival; an annual event under the theme of "Honoring Afrika's indigenous thought and culture". Isintu has grown very passionate about building protections against cultural appropriation, misrepresentation of indigenous art forms and economic exploitation of indigenous artists. Self-preservation and self-representation of African art forms, namely Ubuhlalu "Beadwork", as well as ethical and environmental considerations are also deeply embodied in Isintu's mission.
In the interest of developing Isintu into an organization that is truly transformative, Isintu's work shifted focus from the Isintu Festival towards research, knowledge creation and knowledge sharing centered around the art form, Ubuhlalu "Beadwork". In line with this new focus, the name "Isintu Foundation" was adopted.
A key focus of Isintu's work is sharing how coded African art forms, like Ubuhlalu, are gateways to complex, dynamic and sophisticated intelligence and organizational systems. This includes the active teaching/practice of this art forms to the closest possible standard of authenticity. To this day, Ubuhlalu upholds a myriad of symbols and is a complex messaging system, capturing vast bodies of knowledge.
Isintu is an advocate for mindful, human engagement in and awareness of indigenous knowledge systems and their tremendous value. Isintu aspires to use the discipline of Ubuhlalu to authenticity present its function in the context of social order towards a collective purpose and outcome. Close to Isintu's Mission is the return of this art form to people of the African Diaspora, particularly those captured and transported out of the Delagoa Bay region of Southern East Africa.
Isintu: lit."The Way of the People"
The ancient philosophy, social ethic and cultural paradigm, including supporting rituals, ceremonies and art forms, that sustains our collective memory and collective well-being.