99FM – Your Inspiration Station

One on One With Ché Ulenga – Queen of The Tribe

A media powerhouse in her own right, Ché Ulenga has been passionate about music – particularly African music – for all her life. With that background, it’s no wonder that she now presents one of the biggest Namibian music shows in the country – ‘The Tribe’.

In this exclusive interview, we sat down with her to talk about Namibian music and the role of multiplatform shows like ‘The Tribe’ have in propelling the music industry to greater heights. 

Like any child growing up in Katutura in the 90s, music played a vital role in Ché’s upbringing. “It was part of family gatherings and social initiatives in our community and was used to share messages of hope, faith, love, and peace,” she says.

Namibia’s music was even better because it was closer to home and much more relatable than music from beyond. With passion, she recalls how Namibian music made her feel; “It was all the melodies, the tunes and the rhythms that would spark the fire.”

While music played a big role in her upbringing, she never thought that an opportunity to present on radio or television would ever arise. But now, looking back, she realizes that she was being equipped for the role she now finds herself in.

The journey of ‘The Tribe’

‘The Tribe’ started as a radio show in 2012 when Ché joined 99FM. The show was created to allow Namibian music to thrive. The show also serves as a platform that challenges the music industry to create quality music.

‘The Tribe’ is all about the Namibian heritage of sound, instruments, and Namibian stories from all corners of the country that unite us as one beat. 

Music, after all, is the one thing that makes us one Tribe.

On The Tribe, it does not matter which Namibian language you express yourself in or whether your beat is Soukous/Kwassa, Oviritje, or Rock. If you are telling authentic Namibian stories through music, then you have a place around the fire on the Tribe.

From TV to radio

The relationship between 99FM and One Africa TV made it easy to transform ‘The Tribe’ from a TV show to a multi-platform show that also now has a radio. The show allows audiences to not only engage the music but with the musician and industry stakeholders on a personal note.

‘The Tribe’ Exclusive interview shares insights on challenges in the industry and identifies areas in which the industry can grow while identifying opportunities for investment. 

Ché describes the future of Namibian music as promising. She is hopeful that with enough grooming and investments, the true talent that keeps rising will take Namibian music to another level.