• Jeremiah Ndjoze
Two years after flirting with a reunion, Damara Dikding, one third of the award winning kwaito outfit, the Matongo Family before, has returned to the scene with renewed zeal in a deliberate quest to bring the best out of his solo brand.
Featuring in the Night under the Stars at Goethe Institut last Friday, Damara Dikding, real name Arthur /Nanub, maintains on the sidelines that the group’s attempt at a reunion did not go as planned due to irreconcilable differences. But still stresses that the childhood friends remain as close as ever. “Two years ago we decided to give the reunion thing a shot, but that did not go as planned. So I had to get back to pushing the Damara Dikding brand. I also went through a couple of personal struggles that actually helped me to reinvent myself,” the musician reveals.
He saw the performance as a perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with his fans, whilst bringing his music to a brand new audience that frequents the venue. “This venue always invites artist to perform as a type of cultural exchange programme. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to dish out some of my old songs while introducing a few of the new stuff,” Damara Dikding says. “The good thing was that Geothe centre already has a target audience, and blending them with my existing fan base made for a great night of interaction and networking – unlike the whole club banging type thing,” he adds
The self-produced musician used the platform to unveil three singles from the upcoming album, The Damalokie Project. All songs on this project has a story to tell in that they are inspired by personal experiences, and staying the unique Damara Dikding sound. “Going forward, my idea is to take Namibia to the world and what better place to do it than at the Geothe centre where the revelers are literally global citizens,” he enthuses.
The Windhoek native has been an active musician since 1999 and developed skills in songwriting, producing, and singing with the ability to play the piano and keyboard. His career started with the Matongo Family – a group he started with Strauss ‘Mr Makoya’ Lunyangwe and Themba Matongo. Together the trio bagged awards as the pioneering Namibian kwaito outfit.
He went solo in 2007 as Damara Dikding. The trio regrouped in 2016, a decade after their split promising to deliver a revamped and revitalised version of the original matongo brand – popularly referred to as ‘Motongoness.’ These were seemingly idle threats. Queried on the group’s ‘reunion’ Mr. Makoya opts to remain silent. “I’ve got no comment on that my bro,” Makoya says. Damara Dikding also refuses to dwell on the details only maintaining that they are still friends.