Remembering Jackson Kaujeua
27 May 2020 | Art and Entertainment
On 27 May 2010, Namibian music icon Jackson Kaujeua died from kidney failure in the Katutura State Hospital.
Not only an artist, Kaujeua doubled as a liberation fighter through his music.
He paved the way for many artists, despite the music scene having significantly fewer platforms during his era.
For his contribution, the late star was honoured with the first-ever Namibian Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sanlam NBC Music Awards in 2002.
With today marking a decade since his passing, we reached out to artists to share how Kaujeua laid the foundation for today’s music scene.
Ras Sheehama told tjil that Kaujeua was one of his inspirations since he was a teenager. “For me, the impact lies in the legacy of music that I still tap from today. He also had a great personality and it was a pleasure to be around him,” Sheehama said.
Veteran kwaito musician Gazza described Kaujeua as one of his personal heroes. Gazza recalled occasionally seeing Kaujeua sitting at a bistro in Post Street Mall, playing his guitar and socialising with people.
“Sometimes people would put money in his hat, but he didn’t mind playing for free, for the passion he had for music.
“I also believe he contributed a lot to Namibia’s independence. He provided liberation music, which was much needed during that time. May his soul continue to rest in peace, we will continue to lift his name and continue to make music and contribute to his legacy,” Gazza said.
Music touched many
Carlos Kambaekwa, a member of Figera Jazz Band, which hails from the same era as Kaujeua, told tjil that the late icon was an internationally acclaimed artist whose music touched many.
Kambaekwa further said Kaujeua did not get the recognition he deserved while alive. “For his contribution to the liberation struggle and the music industry of Namibia, Kaujeua shouldn’t have died the way he did. “It is pointless now resurrecting his name and praising him while the music industry didn’t do so when he was alive. Economically, the music business isn’t even, and that needs to change,” Kambaekwa said.
Hikwa pioneer Sunny Boy added that, he will always remember Kaujeua as the founder of the Namibian music fraternity. He mentioned that Kaujeua inspired a lot of people to want to be musicians, including himself.
“He made such influential music that was also easy to sing along to, music that gave us hope, so we appreciate him.
“He influenced me so much that when I did a campaign for Roads Authority, I sampled his Oshakati song because the theme of the song was fitting with the message of the campaign. He is a legend, we will never forget him and he deserves to be in the hall of fame,” Sunny Boy added.
Josef Gabriel, the technical manager of the Ndilimani Cultural Troupe, said: “As we commemorate 10 years of his passing, I urge all Namibians to always remember and salute all heroes and heroines for the freedom and independence we so cherish today.
“Jackson was one of them. It boggles my mind why he was not accorded a hero’s status and buried at Heroes’ Acre,” Gabriel said.