He makes music that speaks for him and has kept him relevant in the music fraternity but behind this lyrical genius and rapper, Tesh Lavo, is a man battling a mysterious sickness.
Upon us entering the house where he lives appeared the bubbly and easy-going Tesh, who welcomed us openheartedly, however, Entertainment Now! could easily notice the unusual look on his face and the change in his voice.
“I have been going through so much for the past years,” said Tesh when asked how he has been.
“I have been in battle with a strange sickness for a decade now. Even doctors cannot explain what is exactly wrong with me because tests always come out negative,” said Tesh, adding that the sickness has affected his music in many ways.
Explaining the sickness that he also does not understand, Tesh said: “The sickness comes and goes even for a month or two and comes back again. When it starts, I shiver, vomit, get heartaches, and many things.”
Tesh, real name Wilbard Nambundunga, says there is no hospital he has not been to, from state to private to traditional healers.
“I have been everywhere,” he said as he tried to put on a brave face.
According to him, he sometimes misses gigs and at times gets delayed for studio sessions because he is in and out of hospitals, which is why he has not been consistent with his music.
“Music is still my first love and when my spirit is calm, I go into the studio and help with the collaborations with other artists. I am one person that records but keeps quiet because of what I am going through,” he says, adding that despite it all he will not quit music.
Many people including artists have silently battled health issues, suffered in silence, and tried to put on a happy face to avoid stigmatisation, however for the ‘Toti la’ singer, it’s different.
He is using his condition to inspire people to always keep their circles small, saying his situation is caused by jealousy and hatred from people.
“People are not happy to see others progress in life, they will try to hold you back and it's very important to study people you surround yourself with. Keeping negative energies away may seem like a cliché but it's very vital in one's life,' urged Tesh.
Born in Lubango, Angola, Tesh moved to Windhoek when he was a child and attended People’s Primary School before he moved to Augustineum High School.
It was during this period of his life that he joined the music scene and made his mark.
The singer has contributed immensely to local music by making some notable hits in the country.
Apart from making music, Tesh has worked at the Maritime Warfare Branch of the Namibian Defence Force (Navy) until March when he resigned.
Growing up with his father, Tesh is also planning on starting a family with his longtime girlfriend.
“I now have kids and I am planning to get married because years are also going and my age is catching up with me,” said the father of two.
Apart from everything else, Tesh aims to escalate his music to new levels, saying he will be moving out of the country soon to look for greener pastures.
But before he leaves, he is planning to release his first album.
“I have made so many songs throughout my entire career but for personal reasons I have always been sceptical about releasing an album, however I think now is the right time I should release one, so that I at least leave my people with something to jam to,” he promised his fans.
He advises aspiring artists that look up to him to make music that will keep them relevant.
Talking to Entertainment Now! health practitioner, Dr Bernice Mudjanima, confirmed the type of illness the singer has, saying she has been dealing with such patients for many years.
“We receive a lot of patients with rare or unidentified illnesses which can sometimes be caused by an uncommon group of symptoms for a more common disease, or a group of problems that actually belong to two or three different diseases,” she said.
According to Mudjanima, such illness may not have a cure, however many patients will feel better after making certain lifestyle changes, such as being thoughtful about the food they eat and taking medications for common symptoms.