Tuahupa at the Warehouse

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By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro WINDHOEK They may not have descended on the capital’s musical scene with a bang. They have as yet to endear themselves to a broader musical audience in the country. They have as yet to come tumbling down on the country’s showbiz arena. But one thing for sure is that they are by no means newcomers to strutting musical instruments and are gurus in their own right in this respect. It is just a matter of time and soon Tuahupa (Survivors) will be the talk of the town, and the Namibian musical scene enriched, entertained and educated to live up to the mission of this outfit of edutainor – that is to educate and entertain. Slightly after nine with only a handful of revellers, Tuahupa (Survivors) exhibiting true professionalism and not discouraged by a near-empty theatre, lured the revellers into a re-awakening musical expedition and into a musical trance of some sort. Guitarist Dr Corry McChris of Ndilimane fame, having been one of the founders of Explosives, as Ndilimani was previously known, opened the act with a solo ethnic song in the Oshiwambo vernacular. Emmanuel Jagari Chanda followed on his heels taking on solo a rendition of Neil Diamond’s 1966 song “I am a believer”. Muller Kazandu Kauraratjo, backed by Chanda on bass guitar and accompaniment of Congas, summoned the spirits of the great all time reggae artist Robert Nesta Marley, or Bob Marley, and the Wailers, reggae-ing the house down that lane with a cover version of “Keep on moving”. These opening acts signalled that Tuahupa is here to keep on moving, rocking and rattling and Griot-ing, whatever the odds. By then the theatre was pregnant for a total onslaught by the full-house outfit taking centre stage with a 1950-60s township jazz classic “Uupi ombweÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚­masaka”. Frederick Karetjie of Dakota Masters fame, an accomplished saxophonist, soon had some of the revellers on the dancing floor with the magical sound from his saxophone. “The beginning of the end”, an own composition, would have been anyone’s song of the night but “Tjituari nohange” and “Vetuiihamisa”, reflecting on past excesses of the colonial system, showed that Tuahupa is ready and steady for a release of their own. An impromptu guest appearance by veteran star musician Jackson Kaujeua crowned the night. If Tuahupa was an outfit from outer space that strangely landed on Namibian soil, one would have said those who missed it at the Warehouse recently, missed out on a lifetime musical renaissance of some sort. In the true spirit of their song, “The beginning of the end”, this is the beginning of the end of musical drought for ye folks not going down well with the youngish music of the times like kwaito and hip-hop. But if Tuahupa is to avoid playing to an empty gallery, publicity is a must. Except for a free ride on corporate big time advertisements and event information tucked away in the corners of dailies, there seemed little publicity on their debut at the Warehouse. Nevertheless, personally I was on a journey of musical expiation as were, I believe, the fellow revellers on the night. Tuahupa is a jazz, rock, blues, and ethnic music piece of South African musicians with a mission to entertain as well as educate. This was their first appearance at the Warehouse. It is known as Tuahupa, (we have survived), having survived the political turbulence of the 1950s and 1960s in Africa and its attendant de-culturalisation to be able to tell the story through their music today.

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