By Rosalia David, The Villager Newspaper
Isak Nelumbu, known by his legion of fans as ‘Christmas’, has released his 14 track album ‘Omagumbo’ with the aim of reviving Shambo music. The album, released under D-Naff Entertainment, is now available on the market.
Many believe that Shambo music is meant for the old, but his exploits on this project might also lure a few young people and the young at heart to the local genre. He has put together a masterpiece that has appeal to tout old folk and also carries strong lyrical content.
Traditional folk music was regarded as a past time for the uncivilized, uneducated and only for the villagers finding themselves in urban surroundings in search of greener pastures. Several decades later, traditional folk music has become the in-thing and has captured the imagination and the admiration of the most sophisticated members of the local community, including the who’s who of Namibia’s much sought after celebrities in musical circles.
After listening to Christmas’ album, I will be the first to admit there is actually something the young generation is missing by ignoring Shambo.
Perhaps the track that captures the imagination of the audience is ‘Omagumbo’ which means ‘house’, speaks about how things have changed from the olden days in comparison to today, in terms of respect and the upbringing.
‘Uuyuni’ which means ‘the world’, also speaks about the life difficulties and also gives solutions to those that are going through difficult times. This track actually reminds me of the days when I would travel to the north and listen to the sounds of the Late Tate Quela.
Many Namibian women can easily relate to track five, ‘Inakotha’ which means ‘sleepless’, talks about women who chose money over love. It also reminds women that no matter how broke their partner is, they shouldn’t have sleepless nights thinking about money rather than the love of their lives.
Track seven ‘Eefelende’ which means ‘friends’ featuring Yashe Tati Pii & Nono also speaks about how friends should be of help rather than just being good for buying alcohol. I am sure many people would say ‘you’re right, Christmas’ because this is a common topic.
Christmas also made an attempt on the traditional ‘Weyo Yeya’ song which was also popularized by Tunakie featuring Jericho and Arrafath a few years back. While Tunakie had the joy of many fans to follow the song, Christmas certainly showed his prowess on the ballad.
Remember those songs that we sang in church? Track 11 titled ‘Nando’, which means ‘no matter what’, takes me back to the days I used to sit in church for only few minutes then go back home because of hunger, but if only those songs where sang the way Christmas did it in his Omagumbo album, am sure it would have kept min church.
Track 12 titled ‘Aakulupe’ which means ‘grandparents’, features Gwangodhi and expresses the excitement of the pensioners when they receive an increment on their monthly pension funds. I love the traditional kick in this song, and my grandmother would definitely stay up all night jammin’ to this song waiting for month end.
Although many claims to be the best producers in the country, the producer, V.LO, has proven himself on this album.
Although the weakest songs on the album do not outshine the majority of the best songs, I have to admit that track nine ‘Okadhila’ and track 13 ‘Okakambe’ were the weakest tracks. Overall, this album consists of quality production. Even by looking at the cover of the album, one can already tell that the album tells a cultural story.
Creativity is what we are looking for as the listeners and the supporters and Christmas has delivered.