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#TheTribeExclusive featuring Tunakie, queen of Otyaka

Known as the queen of Otyaka in her motherland, Namibia, Tunakie is spreading her wings wider and planting roots in neighboring lands while also tapping into audiences around the world. In this episode of #TheTribeExclusive, she lets us into her life as a mother, her music, business and her passion for making music that is unique to Namibia.

Let’s talk about your musical journey, where did this fire for the beat and music start?

I grew up with my grandparents deep in the village of Ontananga in Northern Namibia were attending Sunday school and doing cultural dances was part of my upbringing in the village.

When I went to stay with my aunt at Oniipa which is more of a town, I started watching TV and I fell in love with singing after seeing people sing and perform. I joined a cultural group in Oniipa of which I was the lead singer.

One day we performed at the opening of the Oshakati stadium, where DJ Remind approached me and asked if I want to be a solo artist. It all started from there. I recorded a song and the rest was history.

How does it feel to be on global stages and telling Namibian stories?

I’m so glad I chose traditional music because it’s because of the type of music I’m doing that I’ve been called to represent my country in Europe, America, China, and Dubai. I’ve been almost everywhere with my music and it’s not even over yet.

I’m happy to be representing Namibia and not only the Oshiwambo culture but the whole country.

How do you balance raising two beautiful twin boys and everything else?

Being a mother is very beautiful. It’s smooth, it’s not as I expected and after the twins, I actually got a daughter and it’s like having my best friend. When I look at them I get empowered to work hard. 

You have a business in South Africa, how do you manage it? 

I actually have a hair and beauty salon in Cape Town. Beauty in South Africa is really booming.  Since I’ve performed twice in South Africa, people are starting to recognise me as an artist and also as a businesswoman.

What are the things that you think we can do better as Namibia, where are we struggling and what can we change?

I think we can just stay true to ourselves. If you are doing Kwaito, R&B or whatever, just remember that we are doing it as Namibians, not as South Africans, not as Americans, we are doing it as Namibians because that’s our uniqueness. So make your R&B and be unique as a Namibian. Make your Kwaito, hip hop, and all other genres and be Namibian so that you can just represent us.

Watch The Tribe on One Africa TV (GOtv 90, DStv 284, DStv Now, TV2Africa.com) every Friday at 21h30 and repeat shows on Wednesdays at 07h00, and Saturdays at 17h30. Alternatively, listen to The Tribe on 99FM every Friday at 19h00, and follow The Tribe on Instagram @thetribenamibia and on Facebook @TheTribeNamibia.