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This Is My Time!

2014-01-24  Staff Report 2

 This Is My Time!
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One of Namibia’s leading Kwaito stars, Morocky Mbwaluh, aka The Dogg, has published his autobiography titled,Ther Dogg: Untold Story. As part of the reading culture campaign launched by the New Era Publication Corporation (NEPC) in conjunction with the Minister of Education, Honourable Dawid Namwandi last year, Artlife has been serialising this autobiography each Friday. Like in all other business ventures, your product launch should be spot on. I was convinced that the perfect introduction of Mshasho Water was during the launch of my fifth album titled This is My Time, on 4 April 2009. We were blessed to have the Deputy Minister of Youth, Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, at our product launch. His presence truly lifted us all in the Vegkop Stadium. “Mshashoism” is a lifestyle that has helped push the sales of the water project and clothing line. Some people wish to be associated with the spirit and brand of Mshasho, and by virtue of that will forever by Mshasho products. There are some areas to improve but so far so good. From a musical perspective, all we have to do is work hard to promote the Mshasho brand and the rest will fall in place. My wish is that the youth, who are our target market, grow up loving and appreciating the product. That way, we can rest assured that they will constantly buy it whilst ensuring their children buy it too. Behind every business project, money is a motive. My projects are no different, except for the car wash business which I have now given to my former employees there to run and generate their own source of income. I could have chosen the easy way out and closed it down, but the employees would have remained jobless. It is also a way of giving back to my community. Given the rate of unemployment in our country, I feel it’s everybody’s duty to contribute to minimising it in any way possible. The Year 2009 was my time, as my album title states. I staged perhaps the largest attendance of an album launch by a local artist on 4 April. This was the attendance I needed for the launch of the water project. Prior to launching This Is My Time, I had gone for about two years without releasing an album. Given a music industry where almost every artist launches an album yearly, I was happy to realise that my income from the album You Can’t Ignore sustained me with the additions from my other business projects and performances. This was just a learning experience for me as I needed to know how long I could stay in the industry without providing a new album. Having said that, I was impressed with the sales of my album throughout the two years I was not working or providing new material musically. As an artist, I have come to realise that when my time has come, I am more comfortable in the studio and the lyrics and beats come naturally. I don’t force it and that’s why I enjoy my time in the studio. It took me three to four months to have the album ready for April. As I am maturing musically, I am starting to develop and adopt effective ways of going about my music. I did not always feel free to speak my mind. There was this part of me that used to be worried about the response that my lyrics could possibly provoke. I felt it was my time, because I had come to age and was very comfortable with whatever I wanted to say. You can also say that I stopped caring that response I would get from saying certain things. I should confess that this is still the feeling I have. This was a learning experience in my life as a musician, and it has made me appreciate what I go through, and, I try to use it to my advantage. For instance, if someone has made me unhappy, I use that energy to go in the studio and do a sad song, and the same applies to my happier experiences. In the end, I come out with a better song as I say things that come from the bottom of my heart, and I think the fans can feel it. This is the best way I can incorporate my emotions into my music, and that is the meaning of being real. Hence, if I am happy, then I am able to put out a happy or celebratory song and people can feel that happiness within me. This is the reason why my fans understand me because I take them through my life experiences. To me, you can’t write a happy song when you are sad, and likewise, you can’t write a sad song when all you are feeling inside is joy. These are lessons I have learnt in the game through experience. It’s the only way one can say something in a song and really mean it. I like all the songs on this album; it’s kind of strange how I can hardly single out a favourite song. The song I did with Dickson, Be like This, is different since it’s a Hip Hop song. The song was originally recorded as a Kwaito song, but I was not happy with it. I took a chance to change it into a Hip Hop song and challenged myself in doing it, which later paid off. I think growth comes with every album I work on. It’s the reason that all my albums released to date are each uniquely different from one another. It is for this reason that I cannot single out one of them as my favourite. I enjoy taking risks with every album I work on by exploring new ways instead of sticking to the tried and tested ones. Musically, I like setting trends and not following them. People might assume that my first album is perhaps my favourite because I relaunched it in 2009 but that is not the case. Yes, it is special since it was my first offering and introduction to the music industry but I had to relaunch it to try and show people were I started as a music artist. I gained a lot of new fans as a result of my work in recent years. As such, they may have only been exposed to my newer albums, and many of them do not really know where I started. In addition to that, a lot of my fans who are able to communicate with me always demand to get copies of my very first album. It is clear to me that, for one reason or another, most fans do not have copies of that album. When your time has come, there is nothing that can stop you. Announcing and releasing  This is My Time in 2009 meant just that. When I performed on Big Brother Africa the previous year, my feeling was that I had gained the biggest continental platform to showcase my talent. The show broadcasts all over Africa and established artists from all over the continent who had a chance to be invited for the few performance slots on the reality TV programme. I was very fortunate to have been selected on two occasions. When people say opportunity knocks once, I can safely say that with regard to Big Brother Africa, opportunity had knocked on my door twice. There was no way I was going to let anything stop me from a second bite at the cherry, especially as I was given a guest appearance in the House, on top of the stage performance. I am the first music artist from Namibia to have been accorded this opportunity. International artist Keri Hilson had a guest appearance, and Bow Wow a performance on the same platform as well. For an African artist, it does not get bigger than that. My time in the Big Brother Africa House was a memorable experience. The contestants all seemed to have their strengths, and it was not easy to identify a favourite to win it. When one zoomed in on Erastus and the eventual winner Kevin, it was clear that both had chances of victory. Africa voted and their choice was Kevin. Congratulations to him. Being with the housemates for those 24 hours was priceless. The activities we shared as Africans from various backgrounds in the house are special to me. I shall forever treasure those moments. Overall, this programme unites Africans, irrespective of our social or economic differences. On the Sunday of my performance, the Namibian housemates competing for the big prize were up for eviction, and I am glad to have attracted Namibian interest that weekend, which may have added to their fortunes. The night of my performance highlighted the growing Mshasho fan base. Like for the previous performance, my fans came in numbers. This made the stage seem more welcoming. I felt more comfortable this time around than the first time partly because of musical maturity and the sense of confidence that comes with being on the same stage more than once. (To be continued next Friday)
2014-01-24  Staff Report 2

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