The Brother Moves On [abbreviated as TBMO] is a South African performance art ensemble from Johannesburg, Gauteng. The group was founded in 2009 officially by broad-based artist Nkululeko Mthembu and his brother Siyabonga Mthembu while watching an episode of the Wire by David Simon. The name The Brother Moves On derives from a grammatical misconfiguration of The Brother Mouzone, a fictional character in the American television drama series The Wire.


The name arose when both Mthembu brothers were watching the episode of The Wire entitled “The Brother Moves On”, which is the entrance of the hitman The Brother Mouzone. In their emerging and later stages, the movement interrogated the notion that members were each an impermanent part of the process. The brother’s were later joined by their cousin Zelizwe Mthembu on guitar and as a pivotal song writer. With the inclusion of Raytheon Orion and BJ Engelbrecht the collective solidified a collective that would later become a band with the arrival of Simphiwe Tshabalala on drums and Ayanda Zalekile on bass.


TBMO began as a self-proclaimed art movement mainly of graphic and fine artists and since began incorporating instrumentalists for the live performance environment. “ The Brother’s sound is a tradition-trouncing trans-Atlantic Afro-centric futuristically ancient fusion that jack knifes between offworld spectral dub-metal, hyperrhythmic rock psychedelia, indie-township and astro-afro-free-jazz. Taking a cue from that other “Brother From Another Planet” Sun Ra they embrace a multi-genre, multimedia aesthetic, re-challenging hip-hop’s five pillars (MCing, DJing, B-boying and graffiti writing) into a conceptechnic performance art project that incorporates historical, political, and sociological perspectives”. Stacy Pan from the African Space Station.