It might have not have been love at first sight but to Saskia Sheehama there was always a connection between her and Namibia’s musical legend Ras Sheehama, now her husband. The musical legend is turning 50, and Saskia together with the Namibian nation is ready to celebrate this monumental moment with him. Sabina Elago speaks to the woman behind the musical legend.
Although they had known each for 17 years they only started dating in 2007, which is six years now, and married in 2013, three years in matrimony now. At the different occasions they have been seen together certainly they could not be mistaken for anything else but in love. Saskia being a music lover herself, describes Ras as a wise, kind, sweet and talented musician who would not do anything else as music is in his blood. “I believe people should always be what they are and music makes Ras happy. When he is on stage I can see he is more alive, I wouldn’t wish him to be anything else,” says Saskia. He might be a national musical legend but to Saskia he is just her loving husband.
“He is just my man, only at times like this I realises he is a very well know man in Namibia but to me he is the man I wake up next to every morning,” she adds. Saskia adds that they live an ordinary life and her husband fame does not distress her. They do what other normal couples do, for instance attending live concerts and the fact that they both don’t have eight to five jobs allow them to spend more time together. “We got quite a bit of freedom because it just get busy at times like this when he got a show coming up, as there is a lot of interviews, rehearsal and preparation but most of the time we are just home. While I am doing my work, he is composing songs or watching movie,” explains Saskia.
She believes her husband can make music for as long as he lives. “I can’t believe he is fifty although I am also getting there soon, it feels like he is much younger than that. I hope he can remain in his music and remain hosting concert and keep on making new music.”
Although there is a believe that fame brings a lot of insecurity in many marriages this is not her worry as she chose and trust Ras to be her husband. “To some women fame is a challenge to their marriages because there are always women calling, wanting to be pictured with him or hugging him but for me that is part of the job, I don’t have a problem with that,” Saskia affirms relaxingly as if oblivious to ongoing massive preparations for the husband’s 50th anniversary concert, and the anticipated big occasion itself. Just like any other couples, they fight but that make them stronger. “It’s not always easy with different cultures. We might not always understand each other but we learn and grow together,” says Saskia.
The legend himself is extremely excited about the birthday bash-concert adding that he is not planning to retire from the music industry any time soon because he is only starting. Ras started his musical career while in exile in the 1980s. He brought out his first cassette with the hit single, Cassinga, soon after his return to Namibia in 1991. Thereafter he has released eight more albums, won multiple awards, and became a household name in Namibia. Towards the end of last year Ras released his ninth CD, Step Up, which won an award at the recently held Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) this year. Apart from achieving fame locally, his music and vibrant life performances are well appreciated outside the Namibia.
Ras has performed in countries like Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Czech Republic, China, Cuba, Senegal, Reunion Island, South Africa and Ethiopia, and has performed as the opening act for the likes of Manu Dibangu, Salif Keita, Don Carlos, Ismael Lo, Lucky Dube, and BrendaFassie.