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The Tafel Lager 28th Independence Celebrations on the cards

by Kelvin Chiringa

The Ondjila Y`Ondjaba Concert Agency, the Warehouse Theatre and Tafel Lager have joined forces to produce a memorable event around Namibia`s 28th Independence dubbed The Tafel Lager 28th Independence Celebrations.

One highlight will be the performance of an eleven-piece musical group-cum-dancers spearheaded by vocalist-guitarist Jackson Wahengo, a leading new generation Namibian musician with the rare ability to transform traditional music styles into a sound that attracts the Namibian youth of the day.

 The Warehouse opens its doors at 17h00 sharp with a feast of crispy Kapana, sundowner cocktails and live acoustic music at the Boiler Room, courtesy of Jacob & Taylor. 

At 20h00 Jackson Wahengo & The Homeboys will brace the stage in the Warehouse, with a two hours` musical program from Cuban ballads to South African Mbaqanga, from West African Wolof to highly danceable Namibian Shambo. 

  D-Jay Seboa will take revelers through a mix of West-African, Old School and Deep House and will offer a tribute to Namibian musicians, who have recently passed and to the great Hugh Masekela. 

Simultaneously another `hip` D-Jay outfit will get the party going at the Loft, whilst Jacob & Taylor will keep the vibe going downstairs.

During the entire evening the Warehouse Theatre will be brightly lit from outside – a shining invitation to city dwellers to make their way to the place, where Independence is being celebrated in style, event organisers have said.  

“Jackson Wahengo may rightfully be referred to as Namibia’s most celebrated current guitarist. His music is heavily rooted in the African tradition, blended with contemporary urban sounds and strong influences of Jazz, Zouk, Reggae and Afro-folk – or Shambo as we Namibians would call it,” said the organisers.

The musician’s life-story begins in Ndola, Zambia where he was born in 1978 as an Exiled-Namibian. 

He spent his childhood years in Angola and Congo (Brazzaville) until Namibia gained independence. 

After years of strumming the guitar with the Mighty Dreads, Jackson Wahengo honed his skills as Jazz guitarist at the University of Cape Town. 

He moved to Geneva in 2008 and is now based in Copenhagen. 

Jackson has played with numerous bands in Namibia, South Africa, Denmark and Switzerland and one of the highlights of his career was a concert at the renowned Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland

Wahengo takes a pause, once in a while, from performances in the Diaspora, to visit his beloved homeland Namibia. This time he came to Namibia with a vision. 

 He landed here early September 2017 with a song `in his luggage` – a tribute to Hugh Masekela.

 “Only a rough version existed at the time. The idea was to play it to Hugh Masekela in South Africa and to seek his assistance – either in the form of a musical collaboration or a co-production of sort,” said Ernst Herma, Director and one of the lead organisers behind Ondjila Y’Ondjaba.

  He says contacts were made with the Chirs Syren of Making Music in Cape Town, who has worked with Hugh Masekela on numerous occasions, to facilitate such exchange.

 “When the demo was ready to be sent to Cape Town, news reached Namibia of the untimely passing of Hugh Masekela,” he added.

  The recording was still finalised with the involvement of local musicians, Kali Kasinda, Esme Katjikuru and Romancia Shoonga and with a `Hugh Masekela style` trumpet solo filtered into the recording, courtesy of Cape Town musician Robin Cock. The song ``Masekela (Play your Trumpet) `` will be debuted and performed live on the 21st of March.

 The Homeboys Band consists of Amakhoe Gaweseb on bass, Brandon Nanub on drums, Tulonga Wahengo on rhythm guitar, Kali Kasinda on keyboards, Nangula Amwaalwa on backing vocals, Jesus Lasso Rey on violin and Wilbert Africa on trumpet. Also featured will be traditional dancers Ileni Kristian, Anna Kristian and Tracy Paulus.