Shikololo's independence message

13 March 2020 | Art and Entertainment

Credited as the pioneer of Oshiwambo vernac rap, it was only fitting that Shikololo made an appearance in this important issue.

We reached out and he granted us permission to chat to him about influencing Namibian hip-hop and his independence message.

His catalogue boasts hit songs such as Komanda Ovakwaita, Onjila Oyile and Ecstasy. As someone born in exile, Shikololo shared that he fell in love with music at a very young age as it was a norm to be taught revolutionary songs growing up. As he grew older, he developed a love for hip-hop, crediting 2Pac, Notorious BIG and NWA as some of his biggest musical inspirations. Sharing why he choose to rap in his native language, the pioneer said he spent some time in Germany and initially started rapping in English. “Swapo gave us pride and solidarity when we were in the struggle. I later on got introduced to the concept of Ubuntu – I am because we are.

“With this knowledge, pride and having spent time in Europe where I saw people doing things in their mother tongues, I came back home to see people imitating and not knowing that they are better if they do it their own way. I had to do it in my language and proudly so,” he said.

He narrated that he couldn't speak his mother tongue fluently but made it a point to learn from elders, especially during family gatherings.

Shikololo was part of the duo Shikodel with his friend Fidel. He told tjil in the 90s locally, music wasn't being packaged as full bodies of work, and it is for this reason that his first album only came out in 2004. Together with YT de Wet, Tunakie and La Chox, they released the album Mandume Fudu.

“It was a collaborative album but I was the mastermind behind it,” shared Shikololo. Before this album dropped, Shikololo was incarcerated for being in possession of ecstasy. “I was wrongly accused and when I came out, I had to share my side of the story so I recorded the song Ecstasy and shot a music video for it.”

On 30 years of freedom and independence, Shikololo said he wishes Namibia was self-reliant when it comes to food production. “It bothers me that we have to import everything from outside the country and it even makes us sick because of all the GMOs.

“I want the youth to be aware and proud of their culture so they can have a sort of belonging. We need to be proud like Europeans. They are so proud, they even use their native languages during official events. We need to do the same,” he said.

MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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