Workshop on Music Masterpieces

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Namibian Musicians to Benefit

By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro

WINDHOEK

Forget the language and just go for the music! After all, as they say: music is a universal language.

This is no more apt than in the case of the music of Sello Galane who sings in his native Sesotho. I have been tempted since my most recent introduction to Sello’s music, to liken it to some music I think may be in the same genre.

However, with hindsight I thought it only fair to resist such a temptation and to take it for what it is – masterpieces in own right.

One thing is sure: Sello’s music is deeply cultural and ethnic. In the modern age with its technological trappings and cultural hegemony, Sello surprisingly and wonderfully manages to keep to his roots, not failing in the process to awaken the latent cultural animal in one.

I am rudely awakened by Sello’s music in which, as Africans, we have the same cultural roots that with time have diverged somewhere, only to re-converge and resurface. All along this cultural journey, Sello in no way ceases to entertain. Rarely do we associate our African cultural music with entertainment, a function we have abdicated to popular music.

Listening to Sello’s offerings, I realize this is only a state of mind induced by the cultural hegemony of our age. There’s no single song in Sello’s productions I have had the privilege of tuning into that cannot cause a storm.

But then, of course, you need to be in the right frame of mind culturally, not putting yourself in a trance first and then pretend to appreciate the effect of music.

If anything, Sello’s music is not the kind that renders itself to a drugged state of mind, because intrinsically it appeals to the mental and emotional being of a person. It goes to the essence of the original soul of an African. Certainly it is not for the faint-hearted African soul for whom existence is about urban superficialities.

To be honest, I was not an instant convert to Sello’s music. Not really. But that would only have been the case if I had lost my African soul on the way.

My African soul is not at all much in me. Cocooned as it may have been by the cultural hegemonic powers that be, Sello has just provided the right antidote.

This is why it will be a pleasure to have Sello, body and soul, on Namibian shores from August 10 to 11. This is an opportunity Namibian music-lovers should not miss when he appears at a workshop for business managers at the Government Auditorium at Government Park.

For the broader public, meet him on Saturday, August 11, at the Ovaherero Mall in Katutura where he will be spicing an act of local musicians.

Sello, an ethno musicologist and an expert in the Kiba music of the Bapedi, is omnipotent on the South African musical scene and has performed on various international platforms, among them at the North Sea Jazz Festival at The Hague, Amsterdam in 1999 as a Session Musician. His music is available in music stores in Namibia.

The Johannesburg-based Jonathan George Shaw, a professional record-producer who works with a multitude of independent artists and record labels, will be conducting the workshop. He recently started his own record label, Ibilion Records cc.

Among others, Shaw has lectured music and marketing on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)’s in-house Entertainment Industry Training course. Ibilion Label has signed the hip-hop artist, Ruff-Wan (Rough One).

Ultimately, the idea behind the workshop is to form the Namibian chapter of the International Music Managers Forum. Organizer, Rirua Komeheke, says unlike their singing colleagues, music managers in Namibia do not have a forum to harmonize and represent their interests.

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