Local reggae fans flocked to the Steppers’ Yard Reggae Lounge (old Cardboard Box) in the capital over the weekend to celebrate International Reggae Day. Observed every year on 1 July since 1994, the two-day event on Friday and Saturday saw some of Namibia’s well known reggae artistes in action. The likes of Ras Sheehama, Buju, Ngatu, Fari Dread, Petu, as well as rapper Shikololo and several DJs entertained the much appreciative crowd.
The gathering was indeed well received, especially since no live shows of this genre were held since the outbreak of Covid-19 some two years ago.
Ronald Kauripondua Kanguvi, stage name Ras Ronald, said reviving reggae in the country is essential to ensure it does not die.
Speaking to VIBEZ! shortly after performing, he said they want to represent this genre to its optimum.
“Those of us who come from the regions are honoured to be performing here among big names who have been in the industry for a long time. We are also learning from them. We are not competing; all we want is a clean industry, clean brotherhood and spreading love through music,” said the //Kharas-based Ras Ronald.
“I am passionate about reggae, and if I don’t do it, then who will,” said event organiser Leena Kasheeta.
Kasheeta said she has been fond of reggae music from childhood and decided to organise this show and bring Namibian reggae giants together.
“My mother used to host reggae events almost every Saturday. I remember meeting the late Abraham Iyambo and Ras Sheehama in London at these gatherings. I was young but it became impactful when I came to Namibia and noticed that nothing is happening,” she said.
Kasheeta brought in a Jamaican artist in 2018 at the peak of her event hosting, but things gradually came to a halt when Covid-19 hit.
“There are few talented artists out there but what’s disappointing is there are no female ones. I was once approached by a South African music promoter who wanted to write an article about Namibian female reggae artists, and I could not recommend anyone,” she narrated.
Kasheeta was impressed with the way artists conducted and committed themselves, and promised more such turn-up events.
Another gig planned is the Reggae Vibration Festival in October, which will again see an artist from Jamaica.
“I am still contemplating for December, when I would like to host an African Unite Festival, where we bring continental artists and host it somewhere else other than Windhoek so that we can spread it on the continent,” she shared.