By Confidence Musariri WINDHOEK The goddess of Oshiwambo traditional music, Tunakie is back in the studio brewing a scorching album, which is destined to take Namibia by storm, Art Life has unearthed. Born Maria Tuna-Omukwathi Uushona, the two-time recipient of the Sanlam Best Namibian Traditional Award, has transformed her Otyaka music into a sure dynamite come 2006. She won the last two editions of the Sanlam best traditional awards from her two singles, Wameme and Ekalanyana. “I have managed to do that by being original and not borrowing anything foreign in all my music,” she claims. Tunakie will release her first album in early February, named after the ever-popular Ekalanyana, her first album. The new album will also feature the title track in a revamped version, which will certainly set next year ablaze. The singer will in future present shows backed by a live band. Tunakie has been wooing crowds at some of her shows, despite performing with a back-up CD. She stole the show at the Ongwediva College Cultural Festival, was the talk of the town after a splendid showing at the Oranjemund African gala, as well as the 2004 edition of the Sanlam Awards, among others. Members of the Mighty Dreads band will be assisting the 23-year-old with her live shows. Tunakie argues that she will be the exponent of Otyaka music, embodying national culture. Otyaka means beautiful woman. The music was sung by beautiful women and danced by physically fit men during ancient times in her AaWambo society. Originally from Onipa in the Oshikoto region, Tunakie blames her arrogance for not reading her fans’ minds when she “ignored registering” her video of the song Ekalanyana on the Best Music Video of the year. The video was explicitly showing members of her cultural group Tupanduleni Gospel and Cultural Group from the northern part of the country. The marriage between Tupanduleni and Tunakie has been intact for the last five years. A sample of her latest offering is a marvel to the ear, though still not yet completed for release, the next album will not only keep Ekalanyana on dizzy heights, but is a sure ticket to the next best traditional award. The song Ombwila is a mastery, coupled with those traditional ululations, drumbeats and clapping. Tunakie goes a step further in a traditional recitation, as if talking to the spirits. The song cautions women about climbing trees whilst wearing mini-skirts. “My music always is about women, women-HIV, women-education, women-crime, etcetera. If you are naughty you will not get a proper marriage,” she advises. A data processor at LLD Diamonds, Tunakie is still single. She has done an emotional song for her late mother, “Tribute to a mother”, in the forthcoming album. Her father passed away a month before her birth.
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