#TheTribeExclusive Featuring Tapz Munya
Multitalented Tapz Munya who hails from Zimbabwe, is an ethnomusicologist who was inspired to tap into the authentic African elements of music for his solo debut. He talks unity through music, representing Namibia beyond borders and his journey as a Afropolitan performer whose music knows no borders.
Tell us about ethnomusicology, what exactly is that?
Ethnomusicology is the study of non-western music. It’s more on the research side of our music in relation to culture. I’m really glad to have had an opportunity to study it because it’s something that I love. It’s all about improving especially African music on a world view and teaching African music the same way as Western music is taught. It’s about passing down this knowledge throughteaching our children how to read African music and it’s about preserving our history.
As a Zimbabwean based in Namibia, what challenges do you experience while finding a place for your sound and your music here?
There are challenges but there are also great things. In terms of challenges, sometimes you want to do projects and the first thing you are asked by corporates is “are you Namibian?”. But most of the time I perform outside Namibia I actually represent Namibia. My music has also been strongly influenced by Namibian music and that’s something that people need to realise, that our art doesn’t have boundaries.
How do you bring the elements and sounds that you have grown up with in Zimbabwe with the elements and the sounds that you have come to experience in Namibia?
That’s such a good question because first and foremost the language itself, it’s so similar to Shona in Zimbabwe. We also have similar instruments, we are bound,we come from the same routes so there is so much that made it easy for me to adapt to the Namibian music industry.
You’re also a lecturer at the College of The Arts. How does that enrich your music?
I have been here since 2013 when I was a student and then I started teaching at the College of The Arts in 2016. I’ve gained a lot of experience through field research and exploring Namibian sounds, so even this album features a lot of Namibian artists.
Describe the opportunities that arise from performing in other African countries and how people receive African music from Southern Africa?
It’s a very interesting journey I would say, especially when you say you are from Namibia, they always want to hear more about Namibian music. We need to get ourselves out there. We need to do more.
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