SHE is best known for her funky outfits and breath-taking vitality on stage. Martha Namundjebo, best known as Lady May, is one of Namibia’s very own popular female singers. However, her unique vocals of the Oshiwambo traditional music fused with western pop made her a brand to be reckoned with. Her dynamic music is recognised beyond Namibian borders and has been nominated and won several awards at the Channel O Music Awards.
She claimed to fame in 2004 with her first album, Kamali that won her a Sanlam NBC Music Award. She also represented Namibia in the 7th season of Big Brother Africa and emerged the last woman standing.
Confidénte caught up with the dynamic musician, who is currently working on music projects in South Africa, on her music career, her future plans and life since her appearance in the Big Brother house.
Confidénte: Have you always enjoyed the art of singing? When and where did you start singing?
LM(Lady May): Yes, I have always enjoyed singing very much. I started singing professionally in 2004 when I whole- heartedly entered the music industry.
Confidénte: What did your family do to encourage you?
LM: My awesome family has always encouraged me to do well; they have been there for me from day one.
Confidénte: Who are your musical inspirations?
LM: I personally love Celine Dion’s music.
Confidénte: If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
LM: I cannot picture myself not singing. However, I don’t mind getting ‘Lucky’ and getting my hands on an excellent movie script for a big time, huge budget movie role as I think I would definitely enjoy it and would most importantly love to work with the best movie producers in the film/movie industry.
Confidente: What genre of music can’t you stand to listen to?
LM: I have a fear to admit that genre as somebody somewhere is going to read this article and say, ‘How dare she?’. Lol (Laughing Out Loud)
Confidénte: What hidden talents apart from music do you have?
LM: I think hidden talents get revealed when a person gets an opportunity to showcase their true ability to deliver successful output. As I am still travelling my life’s journey, therefore I feel that I still will get opportunities that will allow me to show the world my true ability to succeed in everything that I do in my career.
Confidénte: What do you think about when you are performing?
LM: I live the moment of the performance while on stage. To me being on stage is like travelling to a destination, you have to keep your mind on the location you want to arrive to, meaning when am on stage I am strictly a performer as that is my job. My job is to focus very well to the audience and to try and entertain them to the maximum. I simply love to perform, I guess that is why performing comes to me so effortlessly.
Confidénte: What has been the biggest moment of your career thus far?
LM: My musical career has been a journey since day 1, and I am still travelling the journey. So, the ‘journey’ of my musical career is my biggest high- light or moment because I am very sure that God has many plans ahead for me. I am just truly grateful for all blessings and am very excited for the future.
Confidénte: With all other female artists out there, what sets you apart from them?
LM: Please don’t get me wrong. But I just need to put it like this, ‘I am Lady May and will always be Lady May’. It’s very important to be unique in your own way, so sometimes working out of the box can be a gift. I love thinking and working out of the box most of the time, if not all the time.
Confidénte: You definitely seem like someone who is free, and it’s easy to see that in your style. How do you do it? How would you describe the kind of music you sing?
LM: Wow! The secret is to just be you. Sometimes fighting with who you truly are can be damaging to oneself. So, please just be yourself and as a human being try to do the right thing always. Regarding my music, I like being fearless when it comes to experimenting with different sounds. I love any sound that can make people dance.
Confidénte: What ice-cream flavour best describes you and why?
LM: I think I am like vanilla ice-cream because it’s very transparent, and if it was a person it would be a very humble, down to earth somebody who is caring, honest, loves giving and helping others where she can. Vanilla ice-cream also has this classiness about it that is quite not into your face but it’s there.
Confidénte: What do you enjoy doing most when you are not in studio or performing?
LM: I love being around people with wisdom as I enjoy listening to wise words always.
Confidénte: What musicians from all corners of life have you met and admire?
LM: I have met (the late) Michael Jackson when he came to Namibia for the very first time. He is the King of Pop and meeting him was a dream come true.
Confidénte: Would you recommend being a musician to children? Why?
LM: I would love to encourage the youth to be whatever they want to be in their careers and that means that it all starts with education at school and studying and working very hard to become the future teachers, doctors, lawyers or anything they want to become. My strong message to the youth is work hard, pray, believe in yourself and become the best that you can be.
Confidénte: What is your favourite song of all time?
LM: ‘Stair Way to Heaven’ Ledd Zepplin.
Confidénte:What are you doing in South Africa and how long before you return home?
LM: I am busy with interviews and am doing some collaborations and recording some of my songs for my upcoming album which was supposed to be out end of this year but I decided to push it to next year as I want to really perfect my next album because I want to release QUALITY and not quantity. I will be back home just in time for Christmas.
Confidénte: Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
LM: I see success as I am very sure that all will go very well in my musical career and many doors will definitely open for me to be a living proof of excellence.
Confidénte: What can we expect from you in the future?
LM: Please expect only the best from Lady May as I promise to give my all to my fans and everybody who loves my music.
Confidénte: Describe to us briefly your experiences in Big Brother?
LM: That is an experience that I will forever cherish in my heart, and a big thank you goes out to Lady May fans, Endemol, M-Net, the whole Big Brother Stargame ,Team-Lady May, Namibia and Africa for the support, My family, Management and everybody who has been behind me during my stay in the Big Brother house. My experience was very character building as I came out tougher and really ready to just be the best that I can be as a person.
Confidénte: Since Big Brother Africa, how have you changed as a woman and musician?
LM: In terms of character, as a person I went in the House to simply be myself and I have been consistent with being who I am in the house. So, everywhere that I go I am very comfortable with being just me but most importantly I love to always remind myself to always strive to do the right thing. As I am not perfect, I therefore always pray to God to guide me through my life’s journey because I trust the Lord very much as He has done many great things in my life.
Confidénte: You have had a fair share of criticism from Namibians, how have you moved on?
LM: There are many beautiful good words that describe Namibia as a country, and its people. If there is one thing I have had to learn about us as people is that every person was born with a good heart and I have learned to understand that people can forgive. So, if one has done wrong, then it is wise to apologise and move on with your life and as a way forward, it’s best to always try and do the right thing.
Confidénte: Has the “difficulties” you had with the 2011 NAMA Awards impacted on your music career and your life? What lessons have you learned from that? Would you repeat it again?
LM: I have had this question asked millions of times now. This was an incident that happened only once and I have said it before that NO I do not intend to re-live that. Most importantly, I have decided to bury that in the past and it is safely there. I will not talk about it again.
By Marianne Nghidengwa
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015