By Jeoffrey Mukubi
THE Windhoek Jazz Festival which has been consistent in pulling jazz lovers from all over the country, successfully held its 2018 edition this past Saturday at the Independence Stadium. The gates opened at 15h00 and the live performances followed soon after. This year the festival organisers upped the game, as festival goers had the benefit of doing cashless transactions at food and beverage stalls, by using a cash card that was provided upon arrival onto the stadium grounds. The stage was set up on the north end of the stadium and although there was not a considerable or obvious change in how it looked last year, it still was still aesthetically appealing. As the stadium was gradually filling up, the likes of Sedney Haufiku, Damas Fusion and Siegra Jazz Band took the stage before sunset. The atmosphere was one for a very mature crowd, who noticeably enjoy jazz and chilled vibes, while relaxing on a blanket or a camping chair, with an ice cold beverage in one hand and grown-up conversations all round. Meeting old friends is also a highlight for many that attend the annual Jazz Festival and because it is a family-friendly event, many kids could be seen freely wandering about and enjoying themselves. As the sun set behind the Windhoek’s western mountains, Portuguese singer Catalina Duerte stepped up and sang soothing jazz tunes in her native tongue and constantly thanked the Namibian crowd. “This is my first time in Namibia. I am so happy to be here,” Duerte said before doing her last song. One festivalgoer, known to Confidente as James, said that the Jazz Festival is one of his favorite local festivals, but he just wants more options when it comes to the beverages on sale. “They only have Strongbow and Windhoek Lager, where are my options?” Shortly after Catalina Duerte’s performance, Suzy Eises took to the stage and many that were waiting to take a picture by the Jazz Festival banner, quickly rushed to the stage when Suzy announced that she will be doing a popular Drake song, titled In My Feelings. As the night progressed, everybody seemed to have been immersed deep in conversation or standing in a line to get some chicken wings from Wing It and beef from the Dolce and Kapana food truck, while patiently waiting for the next headliner. The Soil, who were one of the headliners, managed to vocally cleanse the Namibian crowd with their hard hitting beatboxes and powerful vocal chords. Performing for nearly 45 minutes, their every song was a delight and easy on the ear. After their performance, fans started to hoard the backstage, wanting to take pictures with the enchanting trio. Confidente then got the opportunity to ask one of the group members, Buhle Mda, about the one thing she will take away from her Namibian experience. She said: “Namibia h a s so many beautiful women, and the people here are so warm,” Buhle said. She also commented on the passing of rapper HHP, who was a headliner at the Windhoek Jazz Festival in 2015, saying “Jabba was a kind soul, he always cared even if he did not have to. We have lost an icon and a legend in South Africa.” Lize Ehlers came onto stage next in a long black dress and black beret. She was joined by her backing vocalist, Ori, and her trusted Song Night house band. Her performance was very contemporary, starting with a slow jazz ballad, titled Mama and Papa, and ending with a trap song, ‘Hou Op Lieg’. At that point the crowd was in its element and one could see plenty of VIPs flocking to the general access area to get a closer view of their favourite act. Elemotho then opened his set with a Zimbabwean song, led by his keyboardist. Elemotho then amused the crowd with his sharp sense of humour whenever he was readying himself for his next song. Ever ready to share the stage, he invited Swakopmund- based acapella group, African Vocals, to join him as he sang ‘Hola Gola’. South African superstar Zonke closed off the show with an electrifying performance, but her set was somewhat disturbed by the constant distortion between her microphone and her lead guitarist. The crowd then slowly started to leave before she could finish her set.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015