Look back at Jackson

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

I felt moved to see how Namibian musicians are situated on YouTube and other social media sites for no real reason or anniversary. I was surprised and pleased to find the great Namibian performer and musical artist’s videos and music, the late Jackson Kaujeua (3 July 1953 – 27 May 2010).

We’re all staying at home a lot more these days. Take some time and fill your mind with the sounds of Namibia through the talents of our musicians, artists and singers. Check out Jackson once again.

I listened and watched the video of Jackson singing Kalahari. I had seen it before a long time ago. Isn’t it amazing how time flies and things we enjoyed years back, can come alive in our memories yet again?

I let my family here in the States enjoy the songs with me. They were rocking with Jackson even though they cannot pronounce his last name.

Kerstin van Wyk has a note beneath the video on YouTube. She says: “The video is made in Namibia in the untouched spectacular Kalahari desert. It screens the Namibian music Legend, Jackson Kaujeua together with two bushmen. It tells a story of surviving in the desert, the beauty of the desert and its animal kingdom. The song is in English and the amazing Klick language of the Bushmen! Get inspired by the world of Jackson!”

Find the music and get with his sound. Find recordings of Jackson singing Tombo, Kaondeka, !Nubu !Gubus, Wind of change, Aiye Kak’, and many more.

He was born Jackson Muningandu Kaujeua in ǃHuns, a village near Keetmanshoop.

His version of Wind of Change was a Namibian anthem for the fight against oppression and domination. It was the first song I ever heard him perform before an international audience. Kaujeua became a musical freedom fighter for Namibian Independence. Go online to read the bits and pieces of his early life. I came to know his music during the anti-apartheid struggle back in the day. He gave great shows to audiences searching for an understanding of the Namibian struggle for independence that was often overwritten by the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

To me, he was a star. But he was humble man. These days, some of those who want to gather money (by hook or by crook) and fly so high with material things, houses, cars, flashy clothes and bling need to look at Jackson for an example of how to do what you love for the love of it.

This is not to say that I did not join the sentiments of many who felt let down by the government and wealthy black Namibians for not embracing this man and his contributions to the struggle. Their consistent contributions to his basic needs would have allowed him to live a better quality of life, receive the medical care he needed and give honour to Namibian music during the struggle. I think of the N$750 million SWAPO headquarters building under construction and think of how well Jackson could have lived his later days with a miniscule fraction of that kind of money. Those who think living poor is romantic or noble need a reality check. There is no contentment and virtue in living hand-to-mouth.

I am reminded of a quote by the then SWAPO party youth league (back in 2010), Dr Elijah Ngurare, who after the death of this soldier of music for liberation said it best: “As we mourn, we cannot escape from the mental guilt that an independent Namibia did not treat him kindly.” Amen to that.

Rediscover Jackson’s music and jam to his memory.

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