1 February 2013

Namibia: Sunset Ya Kaoko Bangs Back!

Windhoek — Perhaps one of Namibia's long-running Oviritje outfits, and one of only few, if not only two of the bands in this genre in Opuwo in the Kunene region with the Bullet Concert Group, popularly known as Bullet ya Kaoko, the Sunset ya Kaoko, a reference to Opuwo and surroundings as its was previous known as Kaokoand, hence Kaoko, has delivered its fourth album.

But the offering did not come easy this time around with the group having weathered many a storm that the group reduced and depleted to the core with most of the original members of the 16-person band reduced to only two, namely Ngonavandu Musaso, tenor, and Wahengisa "Makuasi" Kanduriko, a soprano. The name of new CD by design reflects the trying times that the group has experienced and which almost caused its total disappearance from the Namibian musical scene in general and the Oviritje genre in particular. It is titled Vatona omurise ozondu [azepandjara], literally meaning deal with the shepherd his flock will perish.

But thanks to the resilience and determination of especially two of the original members not to cow in to the wishes of doomsayers to allow the ship to sink, the group has been on slow revival.

And the CD not only speaks volume about their comeback will power, but also that they will be stopping at nothing in their way to greater things hence.

But the comeback has not been all that easy and sweet. This entailed the remaining two origiginal members of the band having to take dual, sometimes, triple roles. Ngunovandu who have been a vocalist all his life had to multi-skilled into also playing a keyboard with Makuasi having to combine singing with dancing as well among many other things as and when called upon to chip in given the thinness on the ground in terms of players.

But since the group has been fortunate to acquire three more players, dancers in fact, a girl and two boys, Maikaeta Kuvare, Diskis Muundjua and Kahimba Hepute. Today, after a relative absence in obscurity of all almost since their last offering, Oruriango in 2010, results are all, fans and sundry to see with the Vatona Omurise Ozondu album.

Against the best wishes of detractors, and their underhand tricks of seeing that the group was stripped of most of their talented players, here they land with yet another offering. The eleven track album, their fourth, the other two being Uanee(Unite) in 2006 being the first release, and thereafter Tjiratjiza (When a fool realises) in 2008, is currently available from the Ritungee 2 General Dealer in Katutura as well as from the Okambashu kOvahimba, Ovahimba Shebeen, also in Katutura near the single quarters.

In their native Opuwo, it is available from Manuel Situ (0814103110). Other than that it is available from both Ngunovandu (0818733729) and Zeripeke (0812265995). Fans at the coast can get the CD from the artists themselves when they feature in the two coastal towns of Swakopmund at the Medulethu Community Hall in Mondesa on February 8 and Walvis Bay in the Kuisebmund Community Hall on February 9. Fans and other Oviritje music lovers in the towns like Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Omaruru, Gobabis and Okakarara desirous of getting hold of the CD may also get in contact with Ngunovandu and Zeripeke on their cell phones while the CD is expected to reach Oshakati by February 11.

I am sure fans are dying to read Oviritje this Week's rating of the CD. Oviritje this Week does not want to pre-empt your judgment. So just go there and get your copy. Trust Oviritje this Week, despite some players living the band, amazingly they seem have taken nothing away from the group as the latest release well testifies. But for Oviritje this Week's rating, keep on following this column! Cheers until next week.

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