“Little Godza”, an unsung musical icon gone too soon

by Carlos Kambaekwa

 “Little Godza”, an unsung  musical icon gone too soon

 

Windhoek

He might not have reached the heights of legendary singers such as that of late trio of Baby Tjirimuje, Johnny Adams and Skwana Louw, aka, “bra Squakes”.



Nevertheless, former Baronages squeaky voiced vocalist, the late Godwin Tjenae Humavindu, aka “Little Godza” amongst his musical peers has certainly left a long lasting mark amongst the local musical folklore. Without an iota of doubt, the distinctive voice of the now defunct popular Baronages pop ensemble in the mid-seventies belonged to the little maestro whose high pitch voice was the essential ingredient to the band’s adored repertoire.

With Cape Town import John Tito May (Klonkies) and Lesley “Ta Less” Kozonguizi on lead vocals, accompanied by the juicy rhythm section combination of drums, keyboards, guitars, bass and its famous moog synthesizer – the late arrival of Godza added a new dimension to the already smooth sound of the band. And while the seven piece Baronages band might slightly have lacked the rich sound of brass instruments so freely brandied out by fierce rivals Ugly Creatures – the band grew in stature and proved an inspiration for the entertainment starved African black communities in various towns across the length and width of the country.

His small stature and boyish looks belied his immerse musical talent while his squeaky voice blurring from the giant Katutura Community Hall was easily recognisable during the band’s popular live gigs on Wednesday evenings. Godza was born in Namibia’s commercial capital Windhoek in 1962 where he attended both his primary and secondary schooling, the latter the Augustineum Secondary School. While a learner, the ebony skinned young boy was bitten by the musical bug and joined the Baronages Pop Band.

He immediately announced his arrival in the dog- eat-dog musical industry making ecstatic girls scream and shouting from the top of their lungs whenever he collaborated with Ta Less, peppering the cover version of Elton John and Kiki Dee’s hit song, Don’t go break my heart.

But Little Godza only rose to prominence when he won a talent show competition sweeping aside his competitors in the best young singer at a packed to rafters and the then Khomasdal Cinema Hall. He had the appreciative crowd on the edge of their seats as he casually sunk his teeth through the lyrics of Dorothy Moore’s hit song Misty Blue – much to the delight of the crowd. Little Godza won the contest hands down and became hot property wherever the band performed afterwards.

Like many musos his age, Godza got carried away by his newly found fame and eventually went off the rails – a situation that sadly propelled him to unceremoniously part ways with the band. Though he tried to make a desperate comeback with other low-key bands in later years, his musical career never really recovered from the freeze. Godza took a bow from the game of life, aged 42, in 2005.  He might be gone but his musical legacy will linger on in the minds of those who were fortunate enough to nave lent an ear to his soothing voice. May his soul rest in peace.

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