I can’t be the only one who has noticed the waning impact of Ma/Gaisa in the country. Ma/Gaisa is one genre that always had the power to cross over into non-Damara/Nama spaces. It’s a genre that could be enjoyed in every corner of this country. Matter of fact... I would go one more and say Oviritje bypassed Ma/Gaisa in popularity and the power to cross over.
When was the last time a Ma/Gaisa song or artist actually took the country by storm? And no… Adora, Kalux, Damara Dik Ding and Dixon do not count, because they do not really identify themselves as Ma/Gaisa artists.
When I say “took the country by storm” I do not mean it was a hit on Kaisames. “Took the country by storm” – as in every station played the song, print media was all over it and the social streets (Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc) were talking about it, and club DJs could not finish a night without having played that song. That’s what I mean by taking the country by storm.
I reminisce about the good old days of the late Phura, Ou Stakes, Lettie, Pule, Raphael & Pelle, etc who would pack stadiums all over the country, especially in Swakopmund. No DJ set would be complete without mixing in some of these legends’ music. No house party or family gathering would be complete without dancing to some Phura or Raphael & Pelle.
The likes of Jaliza, T-Bozz & Staika are but a few names that come to mind when I think of the continuity of the genre. I do not know of any other names, because the new crop of Ma/Gaisa artists seem to limit themselves to their comfort spaces like Kaisames. I’ve been on commercial radio for 10 years straight; trust me, the new crop of Ma/Gaisa artists do not reach out, they do not market themselves, they do not engage with the rest of the industry.
Namibia has seen some huge concerts in the last four years but you do not see the new crop of Ma/Gaisa artists headline any. The Dogg’s 29 09 series concerts, Gazza’s Milli concert, MTC’s 081 Fest, Windhoek Spring Fiesta, Bush Party, etc. with close to zero Ma/Gaisa influence. I almost get the feeling that the new crop of Ma/Gaisa artists want to be spoon-fed and to be wheelbarrowed into opportunities.
Ma/Gaisa is a beautiful genre and a way of life. There is not a single patriotic Namibian who does not enjoy the genre. The new crop of Ma/Gaisa artists need to stop their narrow approach, brand themselves and bang down ALL doors and not just limit themselves to their tribal spaces. This country needs Ma/Gaisa back in the spotlight on all fronts and not just on Kaisames, hence why I salute the people who pulled off the “The Next Ma/Gaisa Star search”.
Rise Ma/Gaisa Kings and Queens…Rise!
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
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