One on One With Ché Ulenga – Queen of The Tribe
As we kick off 2020 and prepare for yet another exciting season of The Tribe, we sat down with our powerhouse of a host, Ché Ulenga to talk Namibian music and the role of the multiplatform show propelling the music industry to greater heights.
Where did your passion for radio/music start?
Like any child growing up in Katutura in the 90s, music played a vital role in my 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. Namibia’s music was even better because it was closer to home and much more relatable than music from beyond. It was all the melodies, the tunes and the rhythms that would spark the fire. I never thought I would have the opportunity to present on radio or television. Looking back, I now realize that I was being equipped for the role I find myself in today and the contribution I will make in the future.
Describe the journey over the years with The Tribe.
The Tribe started as a radio show in 2012 when I joined 99FM. I was given the opportunity to use the platform and create a space where Namibian music can thrive and challenge the music industry to create quality music that can air next to any other hit on the charts, on Namibian radio stations and anywhere on the African continent or beyond.
The constant question of what tribe are you and which group do you belong to are common amongst Namibians. Creating a further divide amongst people who have already been divided by segregation in our past, but the music belongs to all of us as Namibians. It is our heritage of sounds, instruments and Namibian stories from all corners of the country that unite us as one beat. It 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 Sokous/Kwassa, Oviritje or Rock. If you are telling authentic Namibian stories through music, then you have a place around the fire on the Tribe.
How was the transition from radio to TV?
It was quick. The relationship between 99FM and One Africa TV made this much easier. The transformation of the Tribe from radio to television has created a platform for the audience to not only engage the music but engage with the musician and industry stakeholders on a personal note as The Tribe Exclusive interview shares insights on challenges in the industry and identifies areas in which the industry can grow and where there are opportunities for investment. It has also become a space where established artists and stakeholders have the opportunity to share their musical journey and personal stories with Namibians of all ages, empowering those who have dreams of becoming the next big thing – musically, in the Land of the Brave.
What have been your top 3 interviews and why?
It is hard to choose because each interview on the Tribe brings something unique from Namibian people and the industry as each artist has a unique story to tell and has a unique way of telling that story. They also have different ways of engaging the audience and unique opinions and thoughts about the industry and what should have to propel their music to the next level.
It’s never the same.
What does the future of Namibian music look like to you?
There is so much potential and true talent that can be harnessed, groomed and put on various platforms for purchase. Infrastructure and resources are a challenge and on top of that, investment in the industry is almost non-existent, but with the little it has and with investment from those who believe in the industry’s potential, it has expanded over the last 20+ years and breaks barriers every day.