WINDHOEK- It is obvious that the late South African township music disco king, Dan Tshanda, has secured quite a following in Namibia. This was quite clear when a small but significant crowd of his fans gathered to pay tribute to him at the Tura Zone Car Wash in Katutura on Friday.
The crowd may have been limited but indeed their enthusiasm seemed to know no bounds as they danced the night away in memory of their all-time muso whose music has become a daily diet in the country, especially amongst older township dwellers who embraced the sounds of disco, often described as bubblegum music.
This music genre in Namibia, like the genres of many a South African musician, evoked nostalgia about years of resistance against the cruel apartheid regime when music served as a means of expiation rather than escape against apartheid’s colonial oppression, and indeed eventually becoming symbols of resistance.
This is one of the main reasons why these genres established deep roots in Namibia and the region, conjuring up good sentimental memories of musical legends like Brenda Fasie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Steve Kekana, Lazarus Kgagudi, and many others.
From this crop of legendary musicians one can also mention the likes of Patricia Majalisa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Leta Mbuli and Caiphus Semenya, who are all still alive and holding their own.
“In memory to the big husband, may his soul rest in peace,” read a big banner at the event on Friday, invitingly luring Tura socialites to the increasingly popular venue.
Tura Zone Car Wash is now the rendezvous of the former Pamwe Car Wash, which in its days was a mecca of entertainment for those from the area and nearby surroundings.
The Tura Zone Car Wash tribute event was not the only event as the Tate Sammy Beer House 2 in Okakarara, an entertainment joint of first choice, hosted a similar tribute to the late muso.
This was not by chance that Okakarara was paying tribute to Dan because the town was his last musical port of call in Namibia when he performed at the Okakarara Trade Fair last year. And, just the previous weekend the Khomasdal Community Hall hosted another tribute to the maestro. In fact, it was at this tribute at the community hall where some Namibian fans even decided to attend their musical hero’s funeral in South Africa last Friday.
Leading the tribute on Friday at Tura Zone Car Wash was, amongst others, none other than DJ Chicco Tjindjo, a household name in local disco circles who traces his fame to the late 1980s and early 1990s in Tura. Also present was the Big Mountain Band, one of the few local disco outfits.
Dan was a South African gospel musician who claimed Africa-wide and international fame with the band Splash in the 1980s and later on as a solo artist. Born in Chiawelo, Soweto, Dan had to leave school at a young age. When he was old enough to drive, he found work as a taxi driver. He also started his own group, Flying Squad, which released the album ‘Mr Tony’ on Gallo Records in 1985.
Ray Phiri of Stimela was so impressed with the band that he wanted them as a support act, suggesting they change their name to Splash. They soon hit the big time and released classic albums such as ‘Peacock’ (1986), ‘Snake’ (1987), ‘Money’ (1988) and ‘Tshokotshoko’ (1989).
2019-01-25 09:58:07 23 days ago