By Jeoffrey Mukubi
All-around Namibian creative Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja, who is currently doing his PhD in Performance Studies at the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies is representing Namibia in Europe with his ensemble “Tschuku Tschuku “.
According to the Theater Spektakel website, Tschuku Tschuku, which is the band that is featured around Mushaandja, is dedicated to a repertoire that combines afro-beat, jazz and shambo Mushaandja and the band have been performing in Zurich, Switzerland since Wednesday 25 August.
“I was invited to perform two of my works. I did 3 performances of ZILINI and hosted a collective listening on Ondaanisa yo pOmudhime (Dance of the Rubber Tree),” Mushaanja said.
ZILIN refers to an experimental voice technique from Benin, which not only plays an important role in voodoo rituals but is also applied by African musicians such as Angélique Kidjo. It can be understood as a restitution act.
Mushaanja has however also performed ZILIN in Namibian and more recently in South Africa before venturing into Europe where he is currently touring while working on his PhD simultaneously.
“My performance work is not separate from my scholarship. For example, Ondaanisa yo pOmudhime is the performance that I devised for my PhD. It is one of the practice-based research projects, which since 2018 has been performed in Germany, Switzerland, Cameroon, South Africa and Namibia. So, my scholarship is basically my artistic practice,” Mushaanja told unWrap.online.
He says that ZILIN as a new show and is basically his post-doctorate project which he is looking forward to developing and focusing on when he completes the PhD in December. Furthermore commenting on the current state of the arts in Namibia, Mushaanja says that the arts is resilient.
“We have been through the most even before the pandemic. It’s tougher and harder but it will require us to create more community and hold institutions accountable. We will overcome. It might take a while but we will bounce back,” he noted.
His latest single ‘Katutura Blues is currently available on Soundcloud and his latest project entitled Ondaanisa yo pOmudhime (Dance of the Rubber Tree) will be out on all online stores this week. The project has 9 tracks that he has been recording since 2017. It is produced by Sam Batola and Mutsa Lairdman and featuring Jackson Wahengo, Lovisa the Superstar and Diolini /Uiras.