Namibian multiple award-winning gospel artist and actor, Naftalie Amukwelele popularly known as D-Naff said his aim of joining gospel was not to become a full-time artist but to bring as many young people especially celebrities close to Christ as possible.
“I enjoy preaching, life coaching, acting, motivational, and doing the inspirational talks, however, I mostly just wanted to use music to reach out to someone who needed help and God but then all roads went open and I could not resist,” he told Entertainment Now!
Many people might know the ‘Oshagwana’ hitmaker as a motivational speaker and gospel artist but this highly decorated artist is more than just that, he said he is also a preacher by calling and have graduated from the bible school of ministry.
D-Naff started singing in 1990 at Jan Jonker Afrikaner Secondary School under the Glamour Boys band, which led him to become a gospel artist.
Even though music took over his life, the 45-year-old husbands and father of five dream was to become a police officer.
“I have always been a fan of police movies and officers in uniform,” said D-Naff who studied private investigation.
In a chat with Entertainment Now! D-Naff described himself as a quiet individual compared to the flamboyant D-Naff in the spotlight and the most celebrated one.
“Offstage, I am Naftalie, the preacher, husband, father,” stated D-Naff.
From gangster to a born again
D-Naff is one of the few artists who opened up about evolving from a life of crime to a reborn Christian.
From theft to violence, the singer described his past as unpleasant, adding that he has committed crimes which however shaped the man he is today.
“We were high school teenagers at the time, so the most popular thing at the time was mostly gang on gang violence. We would sneak out of our homes and schools just to go attack other gangs from different suburbs and they, in turn, did the same in retaliation,” he recalled.
D-Naff further added that they were young, stupid and feared no death, and valued no life compared to now.
“In those days if we spot someone wearing nice and new expensive sneakers, we took them. You get beaten up just by staring at us. We were not into big crimes like murder or hijacking, just high school gang violence,” he explained.
He said his criminal activities came to an end in January 1998 when he gave his life to Christ and never looked back.
Asked if he has any regrets, he said: “Every mistake and every scar made me into a different person and today, I share my story around the country.”
He advises his fans to value life.
“Not everyone lives to see another day so value your life for you only have one life and no spare life. Guard your heart because out of it flows the issues of life,” urged the motivational speaker.
D-Naff says he is more of a family man “after a long and exhausting day, the first thing I would want to see is my wife and children. They remind me of the reason why I am out there working and making all the money. Without them, I have no fear of being careless and no reason to look forward to the next day. My wife is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me.’’
D-Naff is the father of five children and he is married to his long-time sweetheart and gospel star Lady Dyna.
Brought up by a caring grandmother in Eendombe village, Omusati region, D-Naff grew up just like any village boy, herding livestock and fetching water.
Growing up, he envisioned himself as a great, wealthy man to help his family especially his grandmother.
Like an inspirational speaker that he is, D-Naff would like to inspire young people who follow in his footsteps to not be like him.
“Be better than me because anytime you wish to be like me you will always end up second because you can’t beat me at being like me. If you wish to be like me, you should do what I did to achieve what I achieved. Suffer what I suffered to enjoy what I am enjoying. In my world, God is everything, so without God, you won’t amount to anything. Find God and you will find life,” he advises.
One thing he would tell his younger self, “If you don’t dream, you don’t become, and tomorrow only belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. The world does not owe you anything. You should go out there and make things happen that you wish to see happen and one day the moon, the sun, and eleven stars will all bow to you in honour of what you have finally become.”
“ Where you are born should not define what you become in life. The circumstances surrounding your birth have nothing to do with what you can become in this life. Namibia and the whole world are waiting for your manifestation,” said the outspoken singer before adding that what people become is entirely up to them.
He manages one of the busiest entertainment company in Namibia with artists such as Lady May Africa, Christmas, Steven Side, and Lady Dyna, as well as the Namgospel United.