The Namibian (Windhoek)

7 November 2012

Namibia: Jackson Wahengo Releases ?akutu Hewa?

One of Namibia’s most talented guitarists, Jackson Wahengo, recently released his debut album, ‘Akutu Hewa’.

Wahengo is based in Geneva, Switzerland, at present.

His music rooted in African tradition, blended with contemporary urban sounds and strong influences from jazz, rumba, zouk and reggae.

Wahengo’s story begins in Ndola, Zambia, where he was born in exile in 1978.

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

He grew up in a musical family with an early passion for song and harmony, guided by the freedom songs about his country he sang in the refugee camps of Angola.

Wahengo started strumming the guitar as a teenager and later trained as a jazz guitarist, honing his skills at the University of Cape Town.

He has played with numerous bands in Namibia and South Africa, as well as at a number of prominent festivals, including the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

The songs on ‘Akutu Hewa’ are performed in Oshiwambo and the lyrics poetically tell stories about contemporary and traditional Namibian society and politics, building on old Namibian proverbs.

A host of artists are featured on the album, including Senegalese songbird Farmara Mballo who adds new dimensions to the compositions with her suggestive singing.

The 14-track album has its very own sense of rhythm, expressed in strong harmonies and skilful guitar riffs, typical for southern Africa and yet blended with ultra-contemporary sounds and flavoured by traditional Namibian rhythm and song.

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