WINDHOEK– “I have come,seen and conquered” Master of Ceremony Isaac Kaulinge used this famous quote by Julius Cesar in his welcoming remarks of international peace singer, German-born Wolfgang von Hildebrandt last Wednesday night in the National Theatre of Namibia (NTN).
Wolfgang offered a Christmas Benefit Concert with the Soli Deo Gloria choir of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia. And the famous quotes by Julius Cesar indeed encapsulate this concert. For not only did both Wolfgang and the Soli conquer the occasion but the audience as much conquered Wolfgang and Soli by the way throughout the performance which it appreciated the musical offerings. But surely while the night may have belonged to Wolfgang and Soli, children of parents of Soli who delivered a splendid rendition of the all time favourite by Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, We are the World, also conquered the night in their own special and innocent way. Not only this but there was no mistaking that Namibia has a wealth of talents that she can only do good to nurture while tender as it is. And of course not to forget Gisela Siririka who has not only been taking them through rehearsals in preparation for the big night but also ensured that they deliver as they did on the night. And deliver the children did on the night to both the amazement and pleasure of Wolfgang and the audience, not to mention their proud parents.
Indeed the night turned out to be a top-drawer entertainment night with the Soli Deo Gloria choir solidly looking as one entity in their trademark maroon and white colours setting the stage in the early stages with the Namibian National Anthem and the AU anthem. But it is no wonder the evening got off to a splendid beginning, and as much end, with Kaulinge setting the tone with his eloquent and jokey m-cing.
After the official opening which included a prayer following the national and Au anthems the Soli accompanied by its backing and under their able conductor, Faris Kamapoha, an accomplished entertainer in his own right opened the act with three songs, Loof die Here (Praise the Lord), Ouua norusuvero (Goodness and Love) and Njandeje (Rejoice in the Lord). And with the song Njandeje the choir led by their conductor did not only rejoice with their chords but with their bodies as well much to the ecstasy of the audience.
This opening act was followed by the Grand Welcome when Wolfgang joined the choir delivering together three songs, Let the Church, Okuhepa Ndjambi (Thank you Lord) and Eli Eli (Oh Lord why have you forsaken me).
This act was followed by a solo performance by Wolfgang opening with a classic Green, Green Grass of Home which he delivered as though this green grass of home was none other than Namibia the current drought the country is experiencing notwithstanding. But the Namibian audience was privileged to be the first to listen to his rendition of Neil Diamond’s I am sad which he has to release as yet and which he is set to release during a live performance ???
Following the break after Wolfgang’s solo performance, the children stole the show with their rendition of We are the world which they specially dedicated to Wolfgang. Wolfgang in appreciation also sang a duet with one of the children which they hurriedly composed to day before. This surely is a duet that cannot but launch this youngster to stardom. Then Soli, this time in their African attire, came on for their final appearance followed by Wolfgang final appearance for Paul Kisting and Wolfgang thereafter to conclude a grand concert with a grand finale.
By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro