Refugee band has new album

This is the world of 4X4 dubbed ‘Too much Power’ by local revellers, a rumba outfit made up of ten Congolese artists who found common ground in Namibia. “What would come out of DRC?” begins band leader Lukengo Seya Sergio, adding, “we could not think of playing soccer or doing anything else except entertain the Namibian masses”. The Rumba outfit is on song, their first album ‘Correction’, released in December 2003, introduced a different style of Rumba in Namibia. ‘Correction’ had a genre-crossing sound package packed with synthpop, Hip-hop and Kizomba influences. The 10-track album gave the band a highlight of their music career which included performing in a filled 10 000 seater Oranjemund Stadium, next to the South African border. “I will never forget that weekend, we were forced to play for two days and the concert had to start as early as 7pm, which was not the initial agreement”, says band animator Mulumba Mwamba Marcel. The band has since struck good relations with Namibia’s main campus, Unam and the Polytechnic of Namibia. ‘Enough is Enough’, to be launched on April 28 is geared towards underground Djs, families and all sections of the Namibian community, according to Sergio. This second album will be accompanied by the catch phrase, ‘Kaapana from Single Quarters’. The band tips the title track to be the talk of the streets by mid-April. “Everybody like our style because it’s unique”, boasts Sergio, adding that Kizomba beat in the new album is a desired ingredient to a good product. Besides, the title track and a hoard of Rumba style, track 4 “Mrs Shikongo”, might make an impact not only on the Namibian market but even in Angola. The song is done in Oshiwambo but has a Portuguese flavour. “I wrote it after what she has done to us and a lot of other refugees. She is the best lady I have ever come across in this country and she has done much for us”, Sergio emotionally says of Sara, wife to the Windhoek Mayor. The song was originally written in French and had to be translated into Oshiwambo. On 28 April, 4×4 will for the first time exhibit their newly found female dancers. Being a male band for the last 6 years, the group spiced its Ndombolo antics with acrobatic dances and the band leader says the women will make it more highly exciting for revellers. The five female dancers came from seasoned group , Ndilimani on a move which saw the Oshiwambo group, down-size its dancers, to five as well. After the launch of ‘Enough is Enough’, 4X4 will perform alongside Tunakie and kwaito sensation Killa B at the same venue, the following day. “People must be prepared to swerve to our new dance, Keba Bokobetamo’ (which means, Be Careful!)”, notes Marcel. As part of their high sense of creativity on stage , 4X4 have adopted a typical guerrilla stage wear, which depicts the reason for their being in Namibia. “We have received contracts from Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but we cannot go there because we do not have passports and are on refugee status”, says the band leader, a founding member in Koffi Olomide’s legendary Quarter Latin. Their music is played in countries like France, Angola, South Africa and Botswana and according to Mulumba Marcel the band yearns to compete with the continent’s best in Rumba music, were it not for the refugee law, that disallows them going out of the country. “We want to represent Namibia now, we have so much of Namibia in us”.

April 2006
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