Ona is an energetic musician. She makes the kind of music the tates would play in their old beetles on the way to Wamboland over the December holidays, for instance.
An Ilsa Independent College (in Windhoek West) graduate, the Gobabis-born and bred - official name, Destemona Mogotsi, 25 - is more traditional with regard to the songs she does; kwasa kwasa and Afro-pop. She says she cares less about the hyped-up RnB, hip hop and rock, unlike your regular young artists, for she wants to stick to her African roots.
Although music has always been Ona’s passion, she bloomed late, because she is naturally shy and never had the guts to approach any local producer for help.
However, through inspiration from artists like Tate Buti and PDK, the small-town choir girl decided to break-out of her shell with her debut album, ‘Tsala’, which loosely translates to ‘friend’. The album has what is called a “mangerengere beat”; it sounds indigenous, yet vibrant.
The 11-track album is straight up kwasa and Afro-pop and is sung only in Setswana. When asked if this will not limit her fan-base, she says good music can always be enjoyed regardless of whether the listener understands the language or not.
“I have noticed that Namibians like kwasa even though they do not understand the languages used to sing it,” she said.
The girl’s many moves saw her being chosen in July this year as a cultural dancer, to represent Namibia at a cultural event in France.
‘Tsala’, the title track, speaks about fake friends of whom she says she has first-hand experience with.
The second track, ‘Monna’, talks about the selfishness of men who abandon their families so they can spend all their money on other women.
Track number four; ‘Ke nako yame’ means ‘it’s my time’, “to conquer the world with my dance moves and music,” she sings.
‘Ngwana mme’ (number nine) is a youngster’s track that urges the youth to respect their elders.
She, however, sets the record straight for those who have been requesting her music on radio saying she is from Botswana; “I only do music in Setswana for diversity purposes but I’m purely Namibian.”
This album is totally different from what your regular young musician would normally give the audience. It is a must-have on a long drive.
Her fans here in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa can look forward to her album launch, which will take place at the end of next month at the old Chez Ntemba.