Africa, Get ready for Gazza

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK He sees his first official musical tour into Africa as the realization of a long time dream and a stepping-stone to vigorously promote Namibian music on a continental basis. So said Gazza, the goodwill ambassador of the ministry of Education, and now continental music ambassador of Namibian music to seven countries on the continent, yesterday on the eve of his departure on a month-long African musical safari. “It’s a real honour and privilege to have been selected to go on this tour,” soft-spoken Gazza said during a press conference. “The FNCC has selected Gazza for this particular tour due to his exceptionally high quality music and captivating performance abilities, known throughout the country. He will now get a broader platform to expand his musical horizons into the heart of Africa,” said Alexandre Mevial, the Secretary General of the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre during the press conference. Gazza and his five-man troupe of male dancers and backup musicians will perform his own brand of music in Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, courtesy of the FNCC and similar centres in these countries. “I think I was judged under strong criteria and under purposeful ways to be a worthy Namibian music ambassador. We have stood the test of time over the past four years in which we turned professional musicians after which time I was proposed to go on this tour. It’s a dream come true from which my group and I have not really yet awoken from. I see the tour as a token of appreciation and recognition of hard work,” said Gazza, who was born in Oshakati in 1977, jovially. Gazza was last year proposed to tour Africa by the FNCC’s director Sebastien Lanoye, at an annual meeting of French cultural centre directors in Kenya. “Hard work has finally paid off because we are now living our musical dreams in a tangible and creative way. I will make full use of this opportunity to market and promote not only my own, but all Namibian music,” the young artist said unselfishly. All performances will be backed by pre-recorded music on backtrack. “What is more exciting is the fact that we will be entering new music territory of which we don’t really know anything about. “However, we are approaching the tour as a leap of faith into the unknown, but we are going to give it our best shot to help open doors for other Namibian musicians,” promised Gazza, to whom many young Namibian singers are looking up. The costs of the Namibian troupe of entertainers are collectively shared among the African French cultural centres.