Oviritje music rises to fame

15 June 2018
Author   Rinelda Mouton
Local radio presenters, television personalities and music label owners have described Oviritje music as the most fan-supported genre currently in Namibia. 
This rich music is rising in popularity.
Otjiherero is the primary language of all songs performed in the Oviritje musical style. Oviritje was made popular by Kareke Henguva as a pioneer in the genre when he, together with Kakazona Kavari, Meisie Henguva and Oomzulu Pietersen, introduced the keyboard element to their tunes.  Ovitritje usually has no keyboard sound.
Other groups that took over from Henguva and made this music popular are The Wild Dogs from the Okakarara area with their hit song Kaondeka.
Namibian record label owner of Deal Done Recordz (DDR), Djokic Dragan said he finds it very interesting to see how enthusiastically the Otjiherero people support the music genre in their language. “It is great to see how faithful the fans are to their music genre. It is something that really makes me happy,” the music producer and CD distributor said. Dragan is the owner of one of the biggest music retailers in the country, Antonio's Art, which supplies over 30 dealers with local music. 
Lomo The Prince who has been a radio presenter for over 15 years said he is pleased to see how Oviritje music has grown. “For the past ten years less international music is being played in Namibia in favour of more local artists and tunes. It is great to see that Namibians are more supportive when it comes to their own traditional music. I am also pleased about the fact that Oviritje music is not only listened to by the Otjiherero, but by a wider base of Namibians as well. I often hear it being played in many different places.  This can be the reason why there is growth in this genre,” The Prince said.
One thing that he hopes will also improve is the professional quality of Oviritje music videos. “Oviritje artists must start investing more into the quality of their videos. Great quality videos could be played more by well-known, international television stations such as Trace or Channel O.  Artists must have the mind-set that they need to start taking their music outside the country and not only performing just for Namibians,” he said.
Emil Seibeb, an entertainment television producer also expressed excitement about the increased support that the genre has been recently enjoying. He however feels that it is sad that artists are only available for interviews on shows that are in the Otjiherero language. “I have been finding it very difficult to get Oviritje artists in studio. They would always promise to come for a show but when the day comes, they never show up. I would see them happily at Otjiherero language shows, but not at those targeted at a wider audience. I feel that such behaviour is not right and I would encourage them to change, because this is causing them to not get broader media attention,” Seibeb said. 
A tourist, Mike Wiese said that those visiting Namibia also like attending a cultural, Oviritje performance. “The main reason why I enjoy it is because it is an original Namibian genre; it is not copied. I also like the traditional clothes that they often wear.  Group Bullet Ya Kaoko likes to wear animal skins and I find this much more beautiful than if they wear expensive jeans or a suit,” Wiese said.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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