WINDHOEK – Local musician Venaune Kandukira, known as Big Ben, decided to end the ‘year of August’ in style by hosting a free music show at The Pub Corner in Olympia over the weekend. “I decided to give you a show plus I figured, why can’t we end the year of August in style,” said Big Ben to the restless crowd wanting him to start singing already.
Slated to perform at 19:00, Big Ben only started at around 20:20 with a song called Ndjiisira. It is an emotional song that always gets the crowd resonating with what he is singing. In the song, Big Ben apologises to his mother for not being a doctor she wanted him to be, or to marry into a wealthy family. He further says his father rejected him at birth and an uncle chased him out of the house because he was finishing the porridge. The song got the crowd singing to every word from beginning to the end especially the part where he says ‘Mama, you know how this world is, just give me a chance to redeem myself.’
As much as he started late, he performed till midnight. It was difficult to keep up with the number of songs he performed as they were more than 10. What sets Big Ben apart from other artists is his ability to relate and talk to his audience, engaging with them in-between songs. Entertainment Now! was impressed with the tactic he used of calling random people from the crowd to perform with him, that’s how personal it gets and what better way to host a show for the people and to fully involve them in the music. That was amazing to watch.
The venue proved to be too small as people flocked to join in on the fun. Entertainment Now! observed that the space later on in the evening became too cramped with little movement and room to dance.
Big Ben is one of the artists that can pull off a gathering by performing live music – all he had was a guitar, mic and two back-up dancers for some songs.
Big Ben usually incorporates a fusion of ethnic, urban and international sounds in his songs. Known for mostly performing his tunes at events, he stunned the crowd by performing Bob Marley’s 2006 release Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, which the crowd loved every minute of.
With the chilly weather, the organisers made sure there were drinks and a variety of food to serve the concert-goers. Braai meat, hot dogs, pap, hamburgers, everything was there that will be required at a concert.