They say music is a universal language and one does not have to understand the language sung to interpret the emotions being shared, but have you ever heard a song in Oludhimba/Oluzemba?
No? Well, O.com667 is doing just that. O.com667 is a duo based in Windhoek that sings in their native tongue in order to preserve and protect the local indigenous languages and culture of the OvaDhemba people.
Oludhimba, aka Dhimba or Zemba, is a language native to northwestern Namibia in the areas of Epupa, Ehomba, Etoto, Opuwo and Ruacana, explained one of the pair, Samuel Mbalundu, stage name is Junox. Muakambithatji Katetu, professionally known as Wizzen, is the other member of the group. Junox added that it was an easy way to promote their tribe since many people do not know about OvaDhembas.
“There is no better way to fully express yourself beyond your native tongue and our native languages are so poetic and their rhythmic nature makes it easier to sing and flow in them compared to foreign languages. Nothing beats jamming out in the car or dancing around the kitchen to those Dhemba vibes,” he stated.
The pair also incorporate some Otjiherero, Oshikwanyama, and Oshindonga, with a dash of English and Afrikaans slang in their songs.
“We sing in Namibian native languages because it is one way to best connect with our audience in languages that are native to them,” shared the 26-year-olds of their Afro-fusion ballads.
Wizzen implored everyone to listen to their music through which they encourage vigilance and protection of oneself, adding, “There are those who want you to waste your own time and be irresponsible”.
They said music was born in them but they only started doing music professionally in 2018 by recording songs and making music a business. The ‘O’ in the name represents the Oludhimba language and where they came from which is Opuwo and Oruhakana, now called Ruacana.
The 667 represents the date both of them were born – 7 June 1996. The duo released a single on 10 August and a video on 26 August. Called ‘Omakutipongo’, the song aims to remind people that senseless people splurge while smart people invest their money (Omankuluntu aliwa kombwe yelai omunandunge hatendeke).
O.com667 has two albums titled ‘Kings of Kulture’, released in 2018 and ‘Ecstasy’ (2020) in addition to four singles.
Their music is accessible on YouTube.