New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Oviritje Masters? CD a Nostalgic Journey Down Memory Lane

Windhoek — Enters Buale Kenamuinjo with the first track titled similarly on this offering titled Oviritje Masters Vol. 01 by a group of Oviritje artists that has been on the circuit for about three months or so.

Oviritje grapevine already introduced you to this compilation last week only stopping short of reviewing and rating it. Also known as Tjimbuaa or Hijanu¿ungee , this artist requires little introduction to the Oviritje fraternity having achieved stardom with the hit song, Ehinga. This song is also popularly known as purukuta hita motji hangasa (hurry up and go into the closet) from the Wild Dogs ya Haka¿e 2004 album Ombara Otjitambi (Paramount Chief), which was dedicated to the Ovaherero Chief, Kuaima Riruako.

Buale's tenor is unmistakable on this song, a nostalgic return to that period when the genre was starting to make its mark on the Namibian music industry, stealthily making its penetration into the psyches of especially the genre's slowly swelling legion of fans.

He recalls in the song fellow artists of the time like Max Tjiundje, Skelly Muuondjo, Kareke Henguva, Meisie Henguva and Kakazona Kavari. Buale seems to think these artists retreat inopportune, and that the genre still needs them, if only to show the current crop of artists the necessary ropes. Those artists who are no more, like Collin "Equize" Kaangundue departed in August, robbing the genre of one its able lieutenants, also gets befitting tribute from Buale through the song. As much on the second track, Dena Tjipura, in a song that can be titled Ondjora (Laughter), falls in line in the nostalgia that seems common to all the songs on the CD.

As much as he longs to the genre, he finds it difficult to come back with many of his peers lo more around, vanquished or retired. Nor does he find it fun full anymore to his liking let alone are there any artists around anymore who can match him in terms of his singing prowess.

Yvodia Nguasena, Dennis ua Nÿero, Henguva (eiher Kareke or Meisie), Kanjax Zemburuka, are some of the artists of yesteryears that Dena seems to be missing, and whom he would wish make a u-turn to re-energise the genre that seems to be quickly running out of classy, talented singers. But he essentially cautions against any explosive laughter, which instead of being pleasurably infectious, is irritating to others ondjora ohaura ndjimoyoro ondjora ombi (your explosive laughter is bad laughter) read the lyrics partially. He cannot but be grateful to the brain behind the Oviritje Masters initiative, Stephanus Ndjavera, who composed,arranged and mixed the music as well as recording it.

On the fourth track Kanjax Zemburuka of Bullet ya Kaoko fame, readies fans for the eventual destiny of their loved ones. Regretting only that their departure is not all the time the doings of the Almighty but of the evilness of humans.The song seems to be motivated by the loss of his lobed ones over the years. On this song the voice that has made Kanjax one of the foremost tenors in the genre is unmistakable, and given the seeming silence of Bullet ya Kaoko, and their relative absence from the the Oviritje scene, the song may just be necessary to meantime fill any void the group may have created with their silence. This is since the release of their CD, Ehoze, with the hit, Alex Kaputu back in 2010.

Enters the Oviritje man for all seasons, the unsung pioneer of the genre, Kareke Henguva on the fourth track. His message is unequivocal, that indeed he has pioneered the genre paving the roads for its progress and prosperity. His foremost message is that the genre as much as he has pioneered it, is not his individually nor of any other individual but that it belongs to all. And most importantly, that unbecoming words be removed from the lyrics of the songs and the genre be exemplary. "Veripi?" asks the artist in the song, wanting to know where all time foremost artists of the genre are, appealing to them to remobilise to continue entertaining the community. If there is anything that Oviritje is to the community, it is entertainment, Kareke, also known popularly as "Dr Sweet", emphasises in the song that could easily be title song, Oviritje Masters. "Dr.Sweet" because the name Kareke means sweet in the Otjiherero language.

Omumbiri mouye (I am still in this world), Meisie Henguva assures with the track number five, not only the world at large but very much specifically the Oviritje fraternity that may be missing her. Despite being inactive as far live performances are concerned, indeed the artist, one of the leading altos in the most recent history of the genre, and pioneer in her own right of the genre of Minora No. 1 fame. She released her last CD only last year, titled Ohamakari, with a bonus of a video. Some of her all time hits like Ovino' viwa and Tobias saw a rerun on this CD. But in what promises a deserved X-Max gift for her fans, the artist of Saamleef (cohabitation) fame, one of her hits of yester years, is due to release another CD soon. Just keep on watching this space.

By the fifth track Oviritje grapevine had already made up its mind that this CD cannot have been a bad bargain for N$100. That means the rest of the tracks are just a bonus. And can really imagine having songs by artists of fame like Murangere Kaaronda, Mutjangatjike Muundjua, Nguruvi Uanivi, Tico-Tico Kaetee, UaÃ?okuja Katjiruru and Uazuvaka Henguva as a bonus? Need one really say more?

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