Phura and Company excel on stage


By Esau Nowaseb WINDHOEK Local could not have been more “lekker” as was displayed during the last show of the 2006 Welwitschia Music Tour at the Windhoek’s Zoo Park Amp-hitheatre last Friday night. The show brought to a close a week-long music tour conceived and arranged by Welwitschia Music Productions jointly with Andre Gariseb, who also happened to be the MC for the night, and indeed, with a touch of smoothness and elegance. The show, which featured Phura, Stella, Stanley (Tse, Tse, Tse), Ralph & Pelle (of the popular local dance style called Marus’ di /Gereseb), Simon Amutjira and others, was a clear testimony that Namibian music has come of age. The amphitheatre was packed to capacity and showcased mostly the ma/khaisa (new form of damara punch) and the shambo music. It was, in all fairness, a true African party in the garden! Apart from the stunning performances of the likes of Stella and the dance craze duo of Ralph & Pelle, the show brought to the fore the magic that the acknowledged star Phura is made of. Once again, Phura, the main draw-card at the show, lived up to his reputation as the ma/khaisa music’s leading front man. Performing certified crowd-pleasers such as Durus Tsi /Hoas and Kagusandi, as well as the new hit song Ti Hana Tsa Xu-e, which has all the makings of a career song has made Phura a trendsetter on the local music scene. At a fairly young age, Phura seems to have mastered the craft of mixing and blending the different styles of local music to create his own unique sound called ma/khaisa, which is fast proving to be irresistible to anyone with love for local music. He urged on the crowd to join him to dance with his trademark “heba-boko-boko” and “ama-baka-baka” chanting. Phura’s rather fragile voice was ably supported by his backup ensemble which mostly comprised the former MOJs including Steven Alvin !Naruseb (on keyboards), Salomon Salex Haraseb (on the drums) and Erwin Amakhoe Gaweseb (on the bass), arguably among the best local talents in the country. Equally intense on stage was the performance of the newly emerging hit maker in the form of Simon Amutjira, who actually got the party started with his traditional or roots Damara music vocals and chanting. Amutjira got the party going as he took to the stage, less his T-shirt in the chil-ly weather, dancing from corner to corner, and enticing a well disciplined audience into whirling and leaping bodies. With Amutjira’s march-like melody dictated by his raucous voice, you don’t have to know anything about /Gais (the music he plays) to get you moving. Certainly, the performances of Amutjira along with Phura and the ever-elegant Stella Kavendjii last Friday night at the Zoo Park Theatre proved that the local Namibian music has proved that there is absolutely no need for spending enormous amounts of money to import artist from South Africa or elsewhere in the world to enthral the audiences.