“Just because you see them happy and dancing every day, [it] does not guarantee they are okay”.
These were the alarming words of renowned producer Araffath Muhuure in a candid interview with VIBEZ!, where he opened up about his mental health challenges.
“I have been going through that myself. Being a man in society has not been easy; women have also been abusive towards their partners. Then you would find that the male partner can’t talk about it. A lot of people are going through a lot in silence, which has not been easy to express and talk about. It’s a complex situation,” explained the Namibian award-winning music producer.
While continuing to deal with his emotional, psychological and social well-being, Araffath said depression has no colour, and it does not recognise social status.
“There have been times when suicide crosses your mind but you need the right people around you and God by your side. The pressure is very high, and things are not the same as they used to be. You get to see how unfair the industry is sometimes, or how things can be distributed unfairly. I have seen people become rich through my own hands and go to the top and never come back, or run away with the money. I guess it comes with every business – there is always that risk.”
On the business side of things, Araffath said things don’t become easier, explaining: “I started mixing business and pleasure, and it started affecting my business at some point. Being a producer, sometimes it gets to a point where artists become family or close friends. They tend to forget that it’s a business at the end of the day, which has been a problem over the years. The whole party vibe, alcohol drinking and smoking are things I had to put to an end – and I had to cut off unnecessary relationships that were not working for me”.
His focus has since shifted, and he is now putting in more hours on his new project, titled ‘Arapiano’.
“The Arapiano album will be out soon, and it is coming along really well. My production quality has improved, as I have been doing a lot of research and studying sound to make the next offering better.
“I started working alone, associating myself with professional people and changing my circle, which I believe has changed the environment.”
On the new project, he collaborated with Tequila – who happens to be his favourite vocalist – KP Illest, Joe Keys from Zimbabwe, Ziggy, Dickson and Manxebe – just to mention a few.
Asked about the way forward, Araffath said he has been surviving by God’s grace, and he also survived corona, adding: “The weather focus (atmosphere) in the music industry has changed drastically. I have been keeping strong in my private and business life – reshaping, refocusing and reinventing myself.”
His advice to those battling with what he went through is to be wise and keep God number one.
“Trust no one; it’s cold out there. People are there for their own gain. They are not there to help you grow – most of them. Trust God; put him number one.
Let business be business – let family be family.”
Arrafath further warned his peers to be vigilant, urging them to trust and believe in themselves, stay focused, have limits and not be afraid to learn new things in the world.
“That’s how you grow.
Don’t be comfortable with comfort.”
This interview with Araffath took place a few days before news broke that popular dancer Max Sibeso passed away in Windhoek by suicide.
Sibeso is known for dancing for the Gazza Music Production.
Another suicide that rocked the local music industry was that of Namibian rapper and producer Shilongo Peuyavali
Ashipala, also known as Kanibal, who took his life in Windhoek in
September last year.