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Following in music legend Tate Kwela’s footsteps

2024-02-12  Pricilla Mukokobi

Following in music legend Tate Kwela’s footsteps

Mickel Kharaseb, known by his stage name EfeLucky Kwela, is making waves in the local music industry with the release of his debut album ‘Like a Culture’. 

The grandson of the late Tate Kwela, Kharaseb’s journey into music began in 2013 when he started recording songs, fuelled by a passion ignited by friends who produce music and operate a studio. Among them, he credits Maxido for playing an important role in shaping his musical prowess.

Carrying his guitar to school became a ritual for him, and he delighted his classmates with impromptu performances, fostering a sense of encouragement and hope within himself. 

Drawing inspiration from his grandfather, whom he reveres as the reigning king of his craft, he recalls fond memories of learning to play the guitar at the tender age of eight. 

Kharaseb told VIBEZ! that Tate Kwela’s influence not only introduced him to the instrument, but also instilled in him a determination to pursue his musical aspirations.

“With the release of ‘Like a Culture’, I pay homage to his musical lineage, while carving out a unique path of my own. I will continue to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather. My debut album serves as a testament to my talent, dedication and unwavering passion for music. I will forever cherish him, and I will always make him proud,” he beamed. 

He noted that his grandfather’s recording sessions and guitar performances enriched his musical knowledge, solidifying Tate Kwela’s role as his ultimate mentor and role model.

Tate Kwela was born at the Akweenyaga village in Uukwambi district of the Oshana region, and passed away on 23 November 2005 at the age of 62.

He released several albums in his lifetime, amongst them ‘Unplugged’, ‘Mutaleni Gwandje’, ‘Kwela’ and ‘Lexington and Cassette Session’, with hit songs like ‘Ohela Hela’ and ‘Kanailonga’, with the latter further made popular by the King of Shambo Set-son Wahengo and others long after Tate Kwela’s passing.

Tate Kwela, real name Johannes Almas, was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 NAMAs.

He was loved by both young and old for his music and lyrics for over four decades.

Tate Kwela was one of the first recording artists in Namibia, and sang about life, culture and the liberation struggle.

‘Like a Culture’, which was released in September 2023, is something that runs in the family, said Kharaseb, adding that he is paying tribute to his grandfather’s efforts to leave a legacy on the planet, and because he serves as an inspiration to many young musicians. 

“What I am doing in the music business, I want to encourage the next generation to be modest, respectful, loving, peaceful and happy, and to receive blessings from the Man Above (Father of the fatherless). My biggest musical obstacles have been individuals who judge a book by its cover, and money issues, which is why it took me a while to release my first solo album,” he added. 

He labelled the 14-track album’s genre as Ubuntu Bantu. 

Kharaseb further said producer Vilho handled the mastering for this record, and he collaborated with Okapya-based producers Motive Sound, Beats by P, and Zyco Beats. He included Maxido die Baddest, E-Jay Namibia, Markes Haufiku, Zyco Beats, Lifetime, Kajossy die One, and Praise T on ‘Like a Culture’.

“My favourite songs on the album are track 2 ‘Our Life’; track 3 ‘Po Spota’, which was recently on Shipi FM’s Top 20 Local Countdown since the album was released in September; and track 6 ‘Ubuntu Banthu’. 

“‘Our life’ is about believing what is on the table, and eating what is available. ‘Po Spota’ is about being businesswise, because once we end up doing business, we must pay each other as we agreed at the spot where we are doing business. It should be a deal done. ‘Ubuntu Banthu’ is about wellness as a human being, and respecting and believing in our culture,” he observed. 

His plans include more promotion for his album and at least two or three music videos before August, and he has already started working on his next album to be released by the end of the year.


2024-02-12  Pricilla Mukokobi

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