His biggest wish was to ensure Namibian radios and televisions play at least 50% local music, and for corporates to sponsor one artist for a year as part of their corporate social responsibility.
That is how much rapper and producer of note, Shilongo Peuyavali Ashipala (38), also known as Kanibal or shortly Kani, loved Namibian music.
Remembered for his tenacity in the music industry in which he excelled and created good quality music; his passing has left holes in many people’s hearts.
Kani wore many hats in the arts and creative industry, ranging from music producer to being a graphic/web designer, videographer and radio expert.
Before his demise, Kani called himself a retired musician, but still gave back by hosting master classes to push young and upcoming musicians to greatness and teaching them how to navigate the industry and make good music.
“He was a hip-hop legend; the music maverick has fallen. Kanibal was a genius in creating. He found a Namibian hip-hop sound where he wasn’t one, and gave life to many artists who are now thriving,” shared radio personality and dear colleague, Che ‘The Goddess’ Ulenga.
“Kanibal created a safe space for the 061Music crew, contributing to the hip-hop music. He was a leader in that pack.”
An emotional Che added: “I think almost 80% of this industry has worked with Kani. He touched their work; we have lost something. The industry won’t be the same without the little Kani there. The industry can, however, ensure his legacy lives on by continuing with creating and carrying on his authenticity.”
She said he continued making music, even when he was going “down”, and used to speak about his struggles in his music.
“The studio was the best place to express himself.”
Che recalled that when the likes of Jericho Gawanab started, Kanibal assisted in recording and producing his first studio album.
Contacted by VIBEZ!, a heartbroken Jericho said: “It’s too soon. I can’t say anything right now.”
Rapper Hitji Tjiramba, well known as Skrypt, said Kani will always be his idol as he played a crucial role in the artist he is today.
He said the ‘Umkadhona’ hitmaker lived in the moment and was his musical mentor.
“It is pretty simple, there wouldn’t be Skrypt today if it wasn’t for Kani. I am a radio presenter because Kani was the station manager when I got into radio. He gave me an opportunity even though I don’t feel I deserved it,” shared the award-winning rapper.
“He would give me a call or we would link up at football matches and talk life and music, and he would always tell me to never stop as that’s how I will float my way to the top. Kani is everything good about the industry; he has made it a thing to live in people’s hearts.”
Kani released beautiful songs… songs that many started sharing on social media platforms upon hearing his passing.
These include: ‘Umkadhona’ (Don’t Cry), ‘Dreamer’, ‘Sorry Boss’, ‘Woman’. These are some dearly loved ballads, as well as collaborations like ‘Soweto’ with Quido, ‘City on my chest’ featuring Luciano and the late Catty, ‘Keep It Alive’, ‘Welcome to Windhoek’ and other jams.
It has always been about art
Before his passing, Kani did content creation and on-air presenting at COTA FM, but also in the past worked for Base FM, formerly known as Katutura Community Radio (KCR), Fresh FM 102.9 Namibia, and 99 FM.