By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro
WINDHOEK– Is she the new kid on the block as far is the spoken word is concerned?
This is the question most revellers, friends and fans of Namibia’s Afro Pop start, Big Ben, were left with to ponder at the Warehouse Theatre last Thursday after a poetic rendition by Unotjari Mupurua. What was meant to be a birthday celebration of Big Ben, instead to the surprise and amazement of the patrons who turned up, culminated in foretaste of what Namibia may in the future have in store in terms of the spoken word. Unotjari briefly ascended to the stage taking all on a reflective and intense poetic rendition touching on an interrogation and critique of some norms and values, which the society most of the times takes for granted without pausing to consider the actual meaning to society of its norms and values which at times seem to be holding hostage the very society they are supposed to guide morally and ethically.
Big Ben took the risk of seeing how the audience would take to Unotjari’s spoken word and taking from the receptive welcome Unotjari seemed to be getting on the nights from the revellers, it seems a new spoken word protégé is not only in the making but has properly been borne. Typical of Big Ben shows, the fans were the usual participating self, especially giving their active self in dancing and singing to one of his new composition, titled Otjikaku, an old ravaged shoe. Revellers found themselves with shoes on only one foot as they paraded the other as part of the song’s antics which were caught video and of which the feed would go towards an upcoming video of the song.
The night could also be seen as Karaoke of some sort with fans taking turns on the stage to karaoke various songs of the artist. Among the fans was none other than Namibian boxer, Wilbeforce Shihepo, who proved a surprised draw card for fans on the night. Far from being Big Ben’s night, the night indeed was his fans’ who seemed to enjoy themselves all out on the dancing floor as well as the stage karaoke-ing.