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Traditional rhythm ad urban sounds to mark Night Under the Stars

02/07/2018
by Kelvin Chiringa/Lendl Izaaks
Vibe

Night Under the Stars (NUTS) will raise the bar another notch when it, on the evening of the 6th of July 2018, welcomes Namibia’s most celebrated guitarist, Jackson Wahengo, who has graced and ruled the stages of festivals around the world.

The reggae sensation’s music has not been touched by the vagaries of time and his relevance finds place in a fast-growing industry which has morphed into a tide in which those that do survive are the creatively-fit.

Asked by The Villager two years ago how music had changed his life, Wahengo said it had opened more doors and brought him in contact with many people globally.
The music landscape has changed, he admitted then: “We have many more musicians than ever before and somehow the industry is slowly opening up to all genres, which is a good thing,” said the crooner. 

In 1994 after Namibia’s independence in 1990, he united with his two brothers and formed the Mighty Dreads before going solo and launching his debut album in 2012.

Despite having lived abroad since 2008 and having traveled the globe to perform, Wahengo is known for combining traditional African rhythms in a contemporary arrangement of Afropop, zouk and reggae.

“Music is in the family and that will never leave my life. I travel, perform and encounter various styles, and even though I welcome new influences and experiment, my guitar riffs and strong harmonies of Southern Africa and Namibia will always be,” he said in an online interview from his house in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Maintaining that style is clearly not a challenge when part of the global village and Wahengo says his lyrics of freedom, struggles of the past, modern social issues and the Namibia of today combine to form a complex set of layers.

These layers, intertwined with his skills as a professional jazz guitarist, combine to produce an irresistible groove.

“My lyrics are reminiscent and very often build on old Oshiwambo proverbs that highlight aspects of human behavior and carry on wisdom. It is the language that I sing in and my mother tongue, but I also use my language to sing about social and political issues of an independent and modern Namibia,” he said.

The public are invited to dance and sing along to the music of a musician who takes pride in his work and through it acknowledges his heritage from Namibia on the global stage.

Entrance costs are N$20 and refreshments are always available.?