While different genres in the Namibia music Industry have churned our jewels like Tequila, Gal Level, Blossom, Sally and Liz Ehlers, Kwaito has just not been that success option for female musicians.
Since transformation of the Namibian music industry from a predominantly South African dominated industry in the early and late 90s the country has seen the likes of Gazza, The Dogg, Mushe, Exit and Ees breaking into the limelight through Kwaito music but to date there is never a woman musician who has made it into that genre.
Most dominant male artist who spoke to the Villager this week believe the genres is just too tough and difficult for women to make it.
Kwaito master The Dogg argues “I think Kwaito is more like rap and rap music does not really accommodate women, it is about the street life, how you can take someone and rip them apart. A female Kwaito artist will not really survive the heat of Kwaito because they are all about the glamorous life and they like nice things. People are judged by how they dress and they can tell what kind of music you like just by how you dress and this is one of the things why many female kwaito artists have not made it big,” said The Dogg.
Renowned Music Producer K-boz however believes that the kwaito genre is not attractive for women and blames music managers for not marketing the genre to women.
“It all comes down to how kwaito is presented by managers. Problems faced by kwaito artists are not facilitating female artists. People like Zanele are not doing kwaito because they don’t get attention. Managers and record labels associated with kwaito doesn’t cater for female artists but if female artists decide to do kwaito, they will thrive although managers don’t know how to handle females because there is too much involved” he said.
Great Wings Owner and manager Ben Mulongeni believes women are bound by cultural beliefs and are reluctant to try new things.
“Any explanation could be on our conservative traditional beliefs. Kwaito is a bit of street music, it’s rough therefore it is not likely to attract women since they are soft beings. Kwaito is about jumping and shouting which won’t attract most women. It has an aggressive tempo and looking at women in my own understanding they are a softer gender than men,” Mulongeni said.
However it is not all women who do not have the drive to try their luck with the genre. A-kii who has tried her few seconds of fame said, “… It is something that I can’t let go of. I maintain my position in this industry because I do things for tomorrow and it all depends on time.”
Knowledge Ipinge, a musical promoter believes in as much as women have not made it in the genre theyreare few artist who are capable.
“I would say it’s because kwaito is more male dominant but there are female artists capable of doing kwaito like Sally. I have seen her in studio doing a track that was initially kwaito and she rocked it” he said.
Popular Radio announcer and socialite Che Ulenga believes the Kwaito genre is not ladylike and one that does not accommodate women success.
“Kwaito is difficult to pull off, imagine a girl doing kwaito. Zanele tried to do it; this was because of the influence she’s had growing up since she is Xhosa. Another reason is that girls either have a fear to do kwaito or they are just nervous. If women had to do kwaito though, they would make it big because it sounds sexier when a girl does it and it will keep many intrigued” said Che.