Tributes pour in for ‘Paulina’ hitmaker

Justino Handanga

Some Namibians have paid tribute to the Angolan musician and songwriter Justino Handanga (56), who died on Monday in the province of Luanda.

The artist’s death was confirmed by the Angola Press Agency and other online Angolan sources.

Dolar Yves, a Congolese singer based in Namibia, has described Handanga as a great musician, father and husband who contributed a lot to African music.

Yves says although he doesn’t know the late singer in person, he used to love his music.

“He was a legend with a unique talent that was loved by many. My sincere condolences to his family and the Angolan music industry,” he says.

Vilho Timoteus, a fan of the late musician, says the singer’s adeptness and fervour for music deeply impacted numerous individuals, and his absence will be keenly felt.

“May his harmonies persistently reverberate within our souls as we hold dear the recollections he crafted,” he says, conveying sincere sympathies to Handanga’s dear ones.

Shipanga Michael from Ondangwa says he grew up listening to Handanga’s music, and his death touched him dearly.

He says Handanga’s music was loved by many Namibians and has been well revived through local jukeboxes in various shebeens.

“That is where I learned about his music and started listening to it occasionally,” says Michael, while extending his condolences to the late singer’s family and Angolan musicians.

Handanga has two albums on the music market, namely ‘Ondjonguele Ya Telisiw’, released in 2004, and the second, entitled ‘Homenagem ao empresário Valentim Amões’, released in 2011.

In 2005, Handanga took part in the 15th edition of Angola’s national radio station music contest called ‘Top dos Mais Queridos’, coming third with the well-known song ‘Paulina’, and in 2006 he came fifth, sharing the same stage with the late Bango.

Angola Press Agency has reported that Handanga, a popular musician in Angola and Africa, began his musical career in the 1980s, after losing his parents at the age of five, by taking part in a competition called ‘Pio-Pio’.

The competition was held on Sundays by the Agostinho Neto Pioneers Organisation (OPA) in the municipality of Bailundo, where he imitated national and international musicians.

At the age of 17, Handanga, one of the ‘heavyweights’ of the national music scene, joined the former People’s Armed Forces of Liberation of Angola (Fapla) and was part of a musical group called ‘Pela Paz’.

The singer of hits such as ‘Ndumbalundo’, ‘Olonamba’, ‘Tenho saudades’, ‘Paulina’, ‘Carlito’, and ‘Abíli’, joined the National Police Forces on 10 October 1992, after having served the country through Fapla.

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