We’re still going to grow – Western …As pandemic impact on musicians is severe

Clementine Tjameya

Ihemba Western, best known as Western Mwanakanyemba is a 24 year old Rundu born local singer who made his musical debut in 2012. He started off with dance music in a band but had set his entertainment career aside to complete his academic commitments. He paused his musical career until 2015 when he joined Basement Records owned by Mr Kudumo.

The young singer recalls that even then he still had to divide his attention between music and his schoolwork. He only started doing music full time recently.

Western’s first song was a cover of the song Yawa by Tekno which he released in April of 2016. He gained a lot of fans after that successful cover. He began working more on his music. Over the last few years he has worked with several local artists like Kalux, DJ Vuyo, Zhondie, House Guru Gang, TKB, Nyemba Boss and a few others. The passionate singer now has a record label with Black Cat Films which is owned by Cellestinus. He is now an independent artist working with JB Scuff as his producer.

Asked how the pandemic has affected his musical career and personal life, Western says it has not only affected him but the entire music and entertainment industry as a whole. “I would say it affected a lot of us,” Western says. “With the pandemic came a lot of negativity. A lot of us as artists perform at shows most times. With the curfew and gathering restrictions one can’t do shows anymore,” he lamented.

Despite all the negative things brought by the pandemic, Mwanakanyemba still focuses his mind on the positives. “The good part about it is that a lot of people spend time a lot and get to think of ways to make money online. I am also using this opportunity to work on a lot of projects that are for my fans. I am just waiting for the right time to have them released.”

The upbeat singer also stressed that personally, the isolation rules brought forth by the pandemic gave him more time alone to meditate and write music. “There is enough time to think about everything. As for me, I usually spend time in the studio. I am even coming from the studio right now,” he is quoted saying with immeasurable zeal for his art.

There is more to the young singer than just his career and good looks. Western says he is a business-minded person and enjoys cooking. He sometimes spends his free time in the kitchen trying out recipes. He is even working towards perfecting his cooking skills as he plans to have a restaurant one day.

When asked what advice he had for his fellow musicians and fans that can help them get through the pandemic, he urges them not to be terrified by the current happenings.

“A lot of things worse than this have happened. This pandemic has affected us all negatively, but once it goes we can still carry on with our plans and we’re still going to grow. We just have to stay safe, wear our masks at all times and follow the rules set in place to minimize the spread. We will get through this together. And also, as long as we still have faith [we can make it]. This is not the end of everything.”

Western’s songs are available for his fans on his YouTube channel, Western MK. Fans can follow him on social media platforms @ Western-mwanakanyemba to get updates on any new releases.

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