Beauty and brains are a rare combination or at least for those who believe in that notion, but they are not as rare as artistry and intelligence in most cases when speaking about musicians abilities to juggle their academic inclination and their ability to entertain.
Alas, Namibia’ Black Vulcanite member Mark Mushiva defies the odds more often than not.
He is doing exceptionally well on stage while at the same time excelling in academics. While many will see the feat of having a PhD and being a musician in one go as a herculean task, he sees this as a straw in the park. For those that don’t believe him they just have to trace his success story, that in itself a perfect definition of the phrase starting from the bottom now we here.
Well, those are lyrics of a popular song by great American Hip Hop artist Drake but sing true to Mushiva’s meteoric rise to the academia and music industry.
A holder of a PhD in Computer Science Mushiva has combined his musical craft with his academic excellence and introduced a hip hop music instrument that will change music production in Namibia in no ways than seen before.
“I have always loved computer science and always thought of it as a new kind of literacy. Hip hop and poetry gave me a medium through which I could express myself. When you see that both these things are a platform for creative expression it becomes easy to see how the two work together, ” said a humble Mushiva whose work shows more than what he brags about.
Well for a man who lives a mixture of art and science there obviously is a lot scientific about his artistry.
” My music is scientific but also accessible. The discipline of computer science influences the character of my music. Creativity is what binds my music and computer science together, it is a mutually beneficial relationship and this is what made it possible for me to do both, ” he told unwrap.online.
Perhaps what many music pundits out there would live to know is what exactly keeps him ticking”?
“There is always a way for you to do multiple things that you love, more often than not this is where your creativity is needed, for linking and nurturing your crafts,” he said.
Mushiva believed the biggest lie the education system tells is that knowledge can only be found in academia.
” This is not true. You can find education everywhere if you are motivated. Do not let an academic qualification deter you, stick to the plan, results will always speak louder,” he said
In the true belief of one cannot control the circumstances they grow up in but have control of their future, Mushiva is a firm believer in the future being in everyone’s hands.
” I was born in a war camp in Angola, I moved back to Namibia after the liberation struggle. After I lost both my parents and brother I was adopted by my aunt and uncle and grew up in Hochland Park in Windhoek. I spent a lot of time on my own experimenting with things of an artistic and technical nature. I guess you can say I was a precocious and solitary child but I made a lot of friends when I started making music and skating, ” he said.
Mushiva’s love with science blossomed while at high school and as the years go by he found a perfect match between computers and art and his quest is to see more young artist following their dreams.
” I initially took physics but ended up failing my first term, I realised it wasn’t for me and started studying computer science while still doing music. I started a successful Hip Hop group with my friends called Black Vulcanite. After that I moved abroad for my masters and Ph.D., I felt that there was a lot I had to learn about myself and the entertainment industry was a distraction from my personal growth. I hadn’t spent as much time alone since my childhood, this gave me a renewed sense of purpose and I started making a lot of electronic projects while living in Berlin, Germany. I missed home terribly and felt uninspired by the lack of culture in EU so I moved back to Namibia. I hope to inspire other young people with my story and to bring the arts and cultures of Southern Africa into the interactive technologies of the 21st century to help the creative industry and to enhance technical youth-centred education, ” he said.