By Anna Cifani
The Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre’s main goal is to develop many activities and initiatives in the cultural sphere to promote both Francophone and Namibian cultures inside and outside Namibia.
FNCC sponsorship made it possible for Formula Band to represent Namibia in Durban at the Awesome Africa Music Festival 2007. Last year, Elemotho performed at the same festival, thanks to the FNCC’s support as well.
Formula Band, who blends traditional Ovambo melodies and instruments with rock and reggae, performed in Durban on September 28 and led an interactive workshop on September 27 in Kwa Mashu Township, where many people joined them.
Recently back from South Africa, Formula Band has answered few questions.
What impressed you most during the festival?
Nafidi: “The quality of the festival itself, especially the quality of the sound and the sound system.”
N’gatu: “I think the quality and the conditions of the organisation, especially from the French Institute from South Africa, were great.”
Tulonga: “I was impressed by the audience’s reactivity and there were a lot of people.”
What was the public and musicians’ response towards Namibian music, especially towards shambo music?
Nafidi: “Many musicians were astounded by the beat of shambo and some, who were listening to it for the first time, asked us questions to understand about it. This sound is definitely unique.”
N’gatu: “Many have never heard Namibian music so far. Some did not even know where to put Namibia on the map.”
Tulonga (smiling because of N’gatu’s answer): “The ambiance was very nice, especially because we had the chance to exchange with musicians from all over the world (Lebanon, Jamaica, etc). The musicians and the public alike seemed to like our music. Some were so curious that they even bought the CD before listening to it – on the contrary to Namibia.”
What have you learnt from this experience?
Nafidi: “I’ve never really been to school but I’ve realised I’m a good musician, even though I still have a lot to learn. At least, this experience gave me confidence about myself as a musician.”
Tulonga: “Those musical exchanges made me realise that Namibian music is ready to be heard outside Namibia.”
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