The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Erna Poised for Le Kolatier Festival

ERNA Chimu received an opportunity of a lifetime recently, when she was invited to perform at the prestigious Le Kolatier Festival taking place in Yaounde, Cameroon from November 14 to 19.

The Namibian songstress will be the only representative from southern Africa in a lineup which includes some of the finest artists on the continent. Brice Mizingou (Congo), Jean Goubalf (DRC), Teriba Trion (Benin), Ibrahim Keita (Burkina Faso), Diva (Cape Verde), Sakira Issoufo (Comoros) and Kiriiah, Mary Lissom, Tizeu, Stypack Samo and the Lawal Band who are all from Cameroon form the star studded line-up.

“I am so excited by the invitation, at last I will be able to showcase my music at a big event outside the country. Playing at a festival like the Le Kolatier Festival is a dream come true.

“I have received the opportunity, now it is all up to me to make the best out of it. I believe there are going to be some of the world’s biggest producers and managers so this paves an opportunity to attract their attention.”

Local music guru Rirua Komehe, who made the invitation possible for Chimu said that he submitted several music materials from local artists at a music conference he attended in South Africa in 2009 and the organisers chose Erna’s music. “It’s as simple as that,” he said.

He pointed out that in 2010 Ras Sheehama was chosen as Namibia’s representative at another festival hosted by Senegal.

She will give her last performance before heading to Cameroon as part of the The Bank Windhoek Music Circle at Nice Restaurant on Saturday, November 10. Accompanied by Gerson Doeseb on keyboards, Sam Batola on guitar, Guichont Bikoumau on percussion, Jean-Pierre ‘Jipe’ Ntsika on bass and Lebo Motabeng on drums.

A song from her first CD ‘Imamakunguwe’, won her a Namibian music award in 2011 for Best Traditional Song, and is a homage to her mother, grandmother and all the mothers and grandmothers in the world.

Currently, Erna is hard at work producing her second album, assisted by ‘Handful of Namibians’ musical director Christian Poloni of Cabanon Music. The forthcoming CD, she claims, is guaranteed to ‘spin some heads and move some toes’. The songs have a traditional sound throughout and are sung in Lingala, English, Khoe-Khoe, Afrikaans and Herero.

Chimu is appealing to members of the public to assist her financially in order to be able to travel with her full band as the organisers can only pay for four members.

She can be reached on 081 294 8922.

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