Namibia: Artists, Selektas Relive and Revive Reggae
(Jamaica & U.S.A)
Windhoek — The Zenzo's Lounge Bar in the Gütenberg Platz in the centre of town may not have been congested Friday night but certainly turned out to be a close knit family affair of reggae lovers, fans, artists and of course the selektas themselves who kept the crowd spell bound for the night with their reggae selections and performances.
The event was hosted by Crucial Productions, Base FM and Zenzo's Lounge Bar and Restaurant that teamed up to pay tribute to the foremost pioneer of the reggae genre, Robert Nesta Marley aka Bob Marley, and other fallen pioneers of the genre like Peter Tosh, to mention but a few. It was on Friday exactly 31 years since Marley passed away and the selektas Tk, Rasty and Crucially Crucial took to stage not only to keep the crowd entertained and on their feet for a good deal of the night but also to serve the memories of Marley and company.
And they did not fail in this regard as the crowd responded positively to their various selections of some great reggae hits past and present including performances of own selections of Namibian Reggae artists such as Oye, Ten Ten, Mr. Simple and Buju Katjoko. One of Namibia's top Reggae Dj, "Crucially Crucial" said before the event that the idea was to increase awareness about Reggae music and its artists, old and new, and to put this genre of music on par with the rest of the genres in Namibia.
"Reggae music right now is so huge and popular and marketable in the Caribbean, America, Europe and the rest of Africa, and there are lots of Reggae festivals all around the world that take place annually and of late lot's of top Reggae artists have been touring and performing in Africa, especially Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and South Africa," he said. As much as most of the crowd who turned up for the event are already converts to the genre, with their electric performances and selections, it goes without saying that the event could just as well have succeeded in its ideal of endearing the genre to those who turned up, and certainly to a broader audience in the future if Friday's night event could be complimented by more sustained and regular events of its nature.
One could not help but reminisce about those days in "Babylon", the United Kingdom in the early 1980's when reggae had firmly taken root and when strictly Reggae shows called "blues" was the in-thing when reggae lovers would rave away the whole night in a dimly lit house reggae-ing to the great sounds of the genre. "Blues" would in Namibian social parlance resembles what were known as "bazaars" when kasie revellers would crowd a typical box tin house in Katutura to socialise to especially South African township genres' from Mbaqanqa ala the Soul Brothers to other genres of the likes of Brend Fasie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Lazarus Kagudhi, to mention but a few.
Genre's that were enviously labelled "bubblegum" music but which were own to the oppressed masses of the townships from Apartheid South Africa to its extension in the then South West Africa, as Namibia was then known. In fact these genres did not only become an important antidote to the souls of many oppressed masses which the Apartheid machinery so much sought to destroy, but like in the case of Reggae in the motherland of the genre, Jamaica, it also became music of resistance and can very much be credit as having delivered the masses from the yoke of Apartheid in South Africa, and colonialism in South West Africa.
Plans are also underway to create a Reggae Festival here in Namibia too, and if all goes to plan, they will soon see good international Reggae artists here performing at this festival. Doors will open at 18h00 pm and N$ 30 will be the cover fee. The event is also to celebrate the lives of other deceased reggae greats.
Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley was born in February 6, 1945 and died on the 11 in May 11, 1981. He was a Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician. He was the rhythm guitarist and lead singer for the Ska, Rock steady and Reggae band called Bob Marley and The Wailers (1963-1981). Marley remains the most widely-known and revered performer of reggae music, and is credited with helping spread both Jamaican music and the Rastafarian movement to a worldwide audience.