Best Kwaito artist of NAMAs 2020, Sunday Shipushu, known as Sunny Boy, has said the Kwaito genre in Namibia has derailed a bit due to another genre that has taken over the industry, which indirectly leads to people forgetting the genre.
“I would say the status of kwaito in the country has derailed a bit and I think it is because of the new genres that came in – like House music, the rise of hip-hop in SADC and South Africa, to be specific, has also played a role in that – and with time, people started forgetting kwaito a bit,” said Sunny Boy.
Despite this, Sunny Boy told Entertainment Now! that the genre is still loved, and is dominant and respected, especially in the northern parts of the country. “It has, however, gone stagnant for a minute there. People were confused and they didn’t know what to do,” said Sunny Boy.
He said the newcomers are doing well with the genre but they need to flip it to the next script, evolve it a bit, put in more impactful lyrics and it will be competing against genres like Amapiano.
“Kwaito needs new blood – hungrier, ambitious and passionate, creative artists, who can come and flip the script. Kwaito is like the prime genre in our country, and it is one of the most anticipated in the NAMAs because of the number of artists who participate and the fact that some of the biggest artists in the country do the genre; it is an honour to have scooped this award,” expressed Sunny Boy.
He said this is something he has worked hard for; as a result, he feels he deserves it.
“As an artist, I have been submitting applications to the NAMAs ever since its inception – before it was even called the NAMAs. I have been consistent in my submissions, as I did it every year; I never disappeared. Winning or not winning, plus I made hit songs. I have been making hit songs – and finally, I got recognised.”
Kwaito is a culture
Having been in the music industry for about two decades now, the Yaziza Entertainment Record label owner said Namibian Kwaito doesn’t need a revamp per se; all it needs is a little bit of polishing.
“It is a culture on its own. Local kwaito is an adapted culture we got from South Africa and made it our own – as a result, it is part of us now; you can’t come and change a culture.
You can rather improve, respect and polish it.
He said: “Kwaito still stands for the struggle of life; it is a way of life. What we go through, you can’t take that away and make it about bling, blank, splash stuff and whatnot. It will make the genre lose its originality.”
“I like what Manxebe is doing; Kaboy Kamakili is also up to something, and he is a hyped artist. I hope he can maintain that; I hope he can take the game to the next level. The new kids on the block are taking over the genre but not the game. To take over the game is a process; you need to grow roots so that you can withstand whatever is thrown at you. At the end of the day, it’s not about taking over; it’s about growing together as artists. It shouldn’t be about competition.”
He said: “If they are on that mission, then I am for them and will wholeheartedly support them. The advice I can give to those entering or to those who have been around two or three years is that music is a patient industry. You need to be strong wilt, ambitious and focused; if you are weak, it can break you. You can’t quit your calling, unless it is not your calling – consistency is key. And make sure you enjoy the journey,” concluded Sunny Boy.