Local creatives have renewed hope for the new year, despite the ups and downs of 2023.
While some view 2024 as a year of hard work, devotion and expectations, others see it as a year of promise.
The Weekender chats with a few creatives about their plans for the year ahead…
KING TWIZZ ON ‘SIGNATURE’
Renowned rapper Jericho, real name Jerome Gawanab, also known as King Twizz, says this year he is going to focus more on his craft and continue the community work he began last year.
With six studio albums under his belt, Jericho is currently working on his seventh album, ‘Signature’, which he believes marks the start of a seven-year run of good fortune.
He hopes to feature international musicians on the upcoming album, and aims to be involved in more corporate events this year.
EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE
Model, entrepreneur and former Miss Namibia Chelsi Shikongo says her new year’s resolution is to be a better person than last year, improve on her health – particularly her mental health – and learn new skills and languages to better her life and future.
She also wants to hold herself accountable, she says.
Shikongo adds that she encountered challenges such as sexism and colourism last year.
“I overcame these challenges by being authentic, believing in myself and working on things that were beyond my control,” she says.
She adds that 2024 is personal to her, and she will be serving herself as an authentic, beautiful, intelligent, ambitious and driven young woman who is excited about her future.
INVOLVING THE YOUTH
Award-winning gospel singer, vocal coach and public relations officer Maranatha Goroh has placed gospel music on the map in Namibia and is still eagerly working towards her goals.
“I’ll be putting out new music and increasing my charitable contributions. I’m preparing for a youth concert, in addition to raising awareness about drug and alcohol abuse and how leading a positive, self-driven life can help overcome mental health issues,” Maranatha says.
With young people facing a plethora of societal challenges, Maranatha says the only way they can overcome them is to have role models supporting and guiding them. She will involve the youth in mentally stimulating programmes to help them find purpose and fulfilment in life, she says.
TIME AND ACTION
Dancer, choreographer and performance artist Stanley Mareka says his resolutions for 2024 are all about time and action, as he will be selecting 20 items on his to-do list and working on them within 24 hours.
“The year is a leap year, a very special year – each person must bring out their special powers and step up without needing anyone to push them.”
He says delays and procrastination marked 2023, as well as involvement in the wrong environments, but he overcame these challenges with consistent climbing and looking up while bleeding.
“It was a year of climbing the mountains without a safety rope.”
STRIVING FOR BALANCE
Acclaimed DJ Alba Nalo says she is a firm believer in not giving away too much of her goals until they happen, but she is hoping that whatever she does this year will contribute immensely to her DJing journey.
“I think the most difficult will always be patriotism, which begs the question, as an artist, do you put out music to cater only to the Namibian crowd, or should you rather aim for music that appeals to the global audience? As much as we want to create what we want, the success of that project will always depend on the consumer. So, finding the perfect balance is what I am striving for.”
Panduleni Sunday Shipushu, better known as Sunny Boy, is credited with creating the hikwa genre and winning numerous awards along the way.
While he is not usually the kind of guy who makes resolutions for the new year, he says this year he will be working on self-discipline.
“I usually identify it as a trait in me that is perhaps denting or weakening my character, and I set myself up to work on it till I get it right,” Sunny Boy says.
“The reason is that I have a tendency to bend sometimes to accommodate people’s needs. Ultimately, my losses outweigh my gains, which is damaging to both my business and me.”
He says he is going to be strict with himself this year about the decisions he makes and the things he devotes his time to, both personally and in business.
He’s also planning to release his next album, ‘Kingdom of Yaziza’, this year. He says the album is very special to him due to the difficulties and time he spent on it.
BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT
Singer and live performer Ann Singer says promoting her album ‘Love’ – released in August last year – is her new year’s resolution. Additionally, she will be filming two music videos from the album.
“I will also be going back into the studio to start working on my fourth studio album, and with this next album, I am looking at doing a lot of collaborations with other Namibian musicians.
“The television tour was one item I omitted from my media tour last year. I can’t wait to accomplish that this year. Along with doing my homework and contacting producers outside Namibia.”
She says she is also going to start calling all the artists that she has always wanted to work with so that she can start the conversations for collaborations.
“Last year, I had a lot of trouble managing my time because I had both work and school. This year, I’d like to focus on managing my time more effectively.”
Miss Heritage Namibia and ‘We Lead Namibia’ project leader Stella da Costa says this year she will be going big.
“It’s early in the year, but preparation for Miss Heritage has started, as it will happen in South Africa in September.”
She says part of her resolution is to showcase Namibian heritage sites and collaborate with more partners in the modelling field, which is her biggest target.
She will also be working with the National Heritage Council of Namibia to promote Namibia’s amazing heritage sites.
EXPECT A BANGER
Album producer and award-winning artist Albert Uulenga, AKA Mushe, is currently working on his eighth album, which he says will be his second to last before he gives up music to pursue other endeavours.
“This year, we must expect a banger and an album that will challenge all my previous albums.”
In addition to being a musician, Mushe runs a poultry company that sells chickens and produces eggs and distributes them to consumers.
Among his challenges last year was the cost of chicken feed and an avian flu outbreak that claimed 700 of his chickens. However, he managed to get back to business.
HEALTH AND FITNESS
Ethnix singer Etjo Katjivari Kangumine says her goals for the new year include putting more effort into her roles as a mother, financial adviser and artist.
“I have also taken on a health and fitness challenge which I would love to see through, and reach my savings and investment goals.”
Etjo says she has created a schedule to juggle all her roles and objectives after struggling to maintain balance last year.
“Fans will also get amazing visuals, along with new music this year,” she says.
Award-winning actress Nadula Hainane says she prefers to keep certain aspects of her plans private, as she values discretion and does not feel comfortable sharing all details, especially regarding personal information and specific resolutions.
“I navigate the challenges of a small industry and pay limited attention to local stories. I’m passionate about addressing gender-based violence through my upcoming films and a potential reality television show,” says Hainane.
Last year, she faced challenges with some investor rejections. Despite rejections, she perseveres in pursuing her film-making dreams and advancing her acting career and film production efforts in Namibia.
She says she plans to enhance her networking, pitch her projects to a broader audience and engage with potential investors to garner support for her films.
Singer, composer and record producer Page, who is also the other half of the duo Ethnix, is also recognised as a key figure in bringing the contagious rhythms of Namibian music to a global audience.
He says he doesn’t have any new year’s resolutions; instead, he sets goals with deadlines.
“These include activities like exercising, spending less money, drinking less alcohol and making more music. This year, I’d also like to pick up a musical instrument,” says Page.
In addition, he says he wants to give back to the community more frequently and spend more time with his family.
This year he also wants to write more music, which will mean spending more time in the studio honing his craft.
He says he suffered some minor setbacks last year, in terms of business ventures and from not releasing enough songs or videos due to time and money constraints.
“But we bounced back and made some of the biggest songs last year and featured some of the most talented artists in the country.”
He says this year Ethnix will work on more stunning videos that complement the new releases.
“We also want to branch out to European and American audiences and make Namibia known.”
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